Communism with Its Clothes Off: Eastern European Film Comedy by Lilla Toke

By Lilla Toke

The dissertation examines the legacies of gruesome comedy within the cinemas of
Eastern Europe. absolutely the non-seriousness that characterised gruesome realism
became a winning and comparatively secure option to speak about the absurdities and the disasters
of the communist procedure. Thismodality, besides the fact that, wasnot particular tothe communist
era yet stretchedback to the Austro-Hungarian period and ahead into the Postcommunist
times. The research explores how movie comedyprovided a moment, carnivalesque world
that reflected reliable tradition in a ugly method and ridiculed it, and as such those
comediesindicated the failure of the Grand Narrative of Communism. the flicks
constituted a much-needed replacement public sphere, the place the controversies and
absurdities within the dominant social constructions may emerge in a serious mild. They
demystified the workings of nation communism in very important methods: first,they published
that ideological and fabric truth wereincongruous and sometimes contradictory and that
the phantasm of ideological truth used to be forcefully maintained via language. Secondly,
the motion pictures disclosed that the communist state’s biopolitics was once eventually unsuccessful
since it did not absolutely combine the contributors into its ideological venture and in its place
encouraged a selected “doublethink”to emerge (where humans at the same time authorised
and defied communist regulate over their bodies). eventually, in its carnivalesque
representations,Eastern eu cinema played a massive counter-cultural
function that commented at the very ontology of present socialism: the flicks pointed to
an irreconcilable contradiction among communist ideology and fabric fact that
would eventually result in the system’s loss of life in addition to the state’s competitive makes an attempt
and mess ups to interpellate its matters absolutely and effectively.

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Extra resources for Communism with Its Clothes Off: Eastern European Film Comedy and the Grotesque

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39 The absurd mimetically reproduces communist hegemony in its schizophrenic split between ideology and reality, between official discourse and the actual experience, as well as between politicized language and referent. George Orwell in his novel, 1984 refers to the simultaneous awareness and purposeful ignorance of ideological discrepancies as “doublethink” necessary in order to sustain the image of a utopian reality. Doublethink, an essential component of communist mode de vie means a selfimposed blindness that overlooks reality in order to sustain ideological mystifications.

Having no other option and suffering from increasing pain, the philosopher finally gives up and joins the gymnastic group. 36 The scene is suggestive because it shows not only the pathetically helpless situation of the philosopher when facing political authority, but also that he is a captive of his own linguistic maneuvers. The fact that he ends up in the gymnastic group indicates that his discursive power is limited by his position in the social hierarchies. The KO’s status overrides any rational argument.

In the absurd, the collapsed relationship between communist ideology and reality and the incongruence between language and the world became visible. The comic distance between self and the world, role and actor, truth and deception reproduced the grotesque logic of communism that split discursively constructed reality from the existing one. Both A Trip Down the River and The Firemen’s Ball disconnect the visual sphere from the aural, the apparent from the real, nonsense from sense, plan from execution, and lies from truth.

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