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The Essayistic Films of Olivier Smolders: Desire and Drive


The Essayistic Films of Olivier Smolders: Desire and Drive

Pineda, Adolfo Robin (2014) The Essayistic Films of Olivier Smolders: Desire and Drive. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Pineda_MA_F2014.pdf - Accepted Version



The Essayistic Films of Olivier Smolders: Desire and Drive
Robin Pineda

This thesis focuses on two short films by Belgian director Olivier Smolders: Adoration from 1987 and L’Amateur from 1996. As of the time of writing, there is no critical work engaging in depth with the director’s work. By means of textual analysis both films are defined in this thesis as investigations produced by and about desire.
To flesh out this theme, the two films are placed in the context of the burgeoning field of study of the essay film. While not necessarily essay films in and of themselves, the films are highly personal works that have an essayistic dimension incorporated into their structure, and they can thus be thought of as investigations into the acquisition and presentation of knowledge and experience related to desire.
Several terms are borrowed from Lacanian psychoanalysis (filtered through Žižek, Fink & McGowan) and used not necessarily to explain the work psychoanalytically, but as dynamic elements that help reveal the structural components of desire that structure both films. The essayistic is imagined as stemming out of an essayistic drive, a compulsive attempt at gathering visual knowledge that causes the author to inscribe that very desire into the structure of the film.
Because these films are investigations into the use of the camera and cinematic practices as ways of mediating desire, they are important works that comment on the place and function of cinematic practices of the gaze, performance, and desire in contemporary visual culture.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Pineda, Adolfo Robin
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film Studies
Date:15 July 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Russell, Catherine
ID Code:979004
Deposited On:06 Nov 2014 15:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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