Films of Theo Angelopoulos: a voyage in time
This thesis provides a critical enquiry into the films of Theo Angelopoulos. Dividing his films into two periods—the one running through the seventies and the other starting with the advent of the eighties—I will examine the representation of history in the first period of Angelopoulos and the metaphor of the journey in his subsequent films. Furthermore, I will trace the development of an aesthetic based on long takes which evokes a particular sense of time in his films. This aesthetic, which is based on the internal rhythm of the shot, inscribes a temporality where past, present, and future coexist in a contemporaneous image. Being free from the requirements of an evolving plot, this image is an autonomous image which allows the passing of time to be felt. Autonomy, which I will define after philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis as an immanent movement towards change, can be also used to describe the process of changing oneself or a given society from within. In exploring the resonances autonomy has, I will make a connection between the social and the cinematic; an attempt which is informed by what Angelopoulos’ films do of their own accord. In this way, I will suggest that Angelopoulos is important not only for the history of film but also for one’s modus vivendi.