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Organic Cinema

Film, Architecture, and the Work of Béla Tarr

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

238 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-566-2 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (June 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-567-9 eBook

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“A magisterial, transdisciplinary contribution and brilliant comparative analysis of a major contemporary filmmaker whose work remains undertheorized and insufficiently known in a global framework. Organic Cinema presents a wealth of perspectives on the interlocking fields of cinema and architecture.” · Catherine Portuges, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


The “organic” is by now a venerable concept within aesthetics, architecture, and art history, but what might such a term mean within the spatialities and temporalities of film? By way of an answer, this concise and innovative study locates organicity in the work of Béla Tarr, the renowned Hungarian filmmaker and pioneer of the “slow cinema” movement. Through a wholly original analysis of the long take and other signature features of Tarr’s work, author Thorsten Botz-Bornstein establishes compelling links between the seemingly remote spheres of film and architecture, revealing shared organic principles that emphasize the transcendence of boundaries.

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein received his doctorate from Oxford University and his habilitation degree from the EHESS in Paris. He has authored and edited numerous volumes in philosophy, cultural studies, film, and other fields. He is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.

Subject: Film Studies General Cultural Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Cinema, Architecture, Literature
Chapter 2. Central Europe
Chapter 3. What is “Organic?”
Chapter 4. The Melancholy of Evolution
Chapter 5. Where is the Center?
Chapter 6. Modernism and Postmodernism
Chapter 7. Organic Harmonies
Chapter 8. Back to Humanism?
Chapter 9. Politics of Harmony
Chapter 10. The Spiritual
Chapter 11. Organic Places
Chapter 12. The Organic Camera Shot



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