“This is an important, urgent study, pursued with energy and acuity. Well-grounded in both geopolitical contexts and critical theory, the book offers sharp and insightful analyses of art cinema from Mali, Argentina, Greece, Iran, and France. Always engaging and readable, this is an excellent resource for teaching and a vital contribution to our understanding of cinematic responses to neoliberalism.”
-Thomas Austin, University of Sussex, UK
“Timely and eminently readable, Art Cinema and Neoliberalism reinvigorates debate on art cinema’s relationship to politics. Lykidis’s incisive analyses of contemporary international art films animate the centrality of debt, disenfranchisement, racism, and anti-democratic policies to the 21st century formation of political film aesthetics. This book forms a major contribution to the emerging body of scholarship on the cinemas of economic crisis.”
-Rosalind Galt, King’s College London, UK
Art Cinema and Neoliberalism surveys cinematic responses to neoliberalism across four continents. One of the first in-depth studies of its kind, this book provides an imaginative reassessment of art cinema in the new millennium by showing how the exigencies of contemporary capitalism are exerting pressure on art cinema conventions. Through a careful examination of neoliberal thought and practice, the book explores the wide-ranging effects of neoliberalism on various sectors of society and on the evolution of film language. Alex Lykidis evaluates the relevance of art cinema style to explanations of the neoliberal order and uses a case study approach to analyze the films of acclaimed directors such as Asghar Farhadi, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Lucrecia Martel in relation to the social, political, and cultural characteristics of neoliberalism. By connecting the aesthetics of art cinema to current social antagonisms, Lykidis positions class as a central concern in our understanding of the polarized dynamics of late capitalism and the escalating provocations of today’s film auteurs.
Alex Lykidis is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the English Department at Montclair State University, USA.