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Women in the chamber : the influence of the Strindbergian theatrical legacy on Danish dogma films


Women in the chamber : the influence of the Strindbergian theatrical legacy on Danish dogma films

Laakso, Hanna Maria (2007) Women in the chamber : the influence of the Strindbergian theatrical legacy on Danish dogma films. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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In 1995 Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg wrote the Dogma Manifesto, a document that brought worldwide attention to Danish cinema through the Dogma films made according to the manifesto's rules. While the Danish Dogma films have been widely regarded as constituting the latest new wave movement, the films have not been studied in relation to the Scandinavian artistic and cultural traditions. Moreover, the actor's role in creating this new kind of cinema has also been ignored. By analysing the first six Danish Dogma films, this thesis explores the influence of the Strindbergian theatrical legacy on the Dogma filmmakers' approach to performance. The focus is on Dogma's representation of women and the performance of woman actors found in the films. First, the thesis compares the Dogma manifesto with Strindberg's manifesto of naturalism and studies the impact of these manifestos on redefining the female actor's craft. Second, the thesis argues that the Dogma films continue the Strindbergian chamber drama tradition; the use of authentic space is studied on a formal and thematic level, along with its influence on the creation of authentic performances. The discussion of chamber dramas segues into an examination of hysteria as a dramatic tool to analyse women's rebellion in a domestic space. Hysteria is also juxtaposed with another non-verbal dramatic means of expression, which is the use of silence in the women actors' performances. The discussion of dynamic use of silence and speech as well as the representation of words as an inauthentic means of expression is inseparable from an analysis of women, modernism and the use of close up capturing the actor's silent face. Finally, the interrogation of the use of words that hide ugly realities leads to an examination of construction of a hell-on-earth, transcendental experience within the realistic framework, the conflict between spiritual minds and sexual bodies. The thesis argues that the Dogma actors' performances of excess and theatricality mark a shift in the Scandinavian performance tradition: Moreover, it illuminates the importance of contextualizing women actors' performances culturally, nationally and historically.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Laakso, Hanna Maria
Pagination:v, 277 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Zucker, Carole
ID Code:975724
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:41
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