Jirí Menzel and Jan Patočka on sacrifice

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Abstract

This paper puts the Czech New Wave film-maker Jirí Menzel into a philosophical discourse with the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. Essentially the paper argues that an examination of Menzel’s films offers a criticism of Patočka’s understanding of the role of the dissident sacrifice. The two films explored are the 1966 film Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledované vlaky), and the 1969 film (although not released until 1990 due to censorship) Larks on a String (Skrivánci na niti). These two films make a succinct argument for problematizing the dissident’s sacrifice. Patočka argues that the dissident sacrifice is an act which is meaningful in itself. Menzel makes his criticism by adding a deal of ambiguity to the actions of the dissident, and this ambiguity places a question mark over the meaning of the sacrificial act and its effect.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScreening the Past
Volume41
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Dissidents
Criticism
Censorship
Film Maker
Waves
Phenomenologists
Train
Strings
Philosophical Discourse

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title = "Jir{\'i} Menzel and Jan Patočka on sacrifice",
abstract = "This paper puts the Czech New Wave film-maker Jir{\'i} Menzel into a philosophical discourse with the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. Essentially the paper argues that an examination of Menzel’s films offers a criticism of Patočka’s understanding of the role of the dissident sacrifice. The two films explored are the 1966 film Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledovan{\'e} vlaky), and the 1969 film (although not released until 1990 due to censorship) Larks on a String (Skriv{\'a}nci na niti). These two films make a succinct argument for problematizing the dissident’s sacrifice. Patočka argues that the dissident sacrifice is an act which is meaningful in itself. Menzel makes his criticism by adding a deal of ambiguity to the actions of the dissident, and this ambiguity places a question mark over the meaning of the sacrificial act and its effect.",
author = "Daniel Brennan",
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Jirí Menzel and Jan Patočka on sacrifice. / Brennan, Daniel.

In: Screening the Past, Vol. 41, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This paper puts the Czech New Wave film-maker Jirí Menzel into a philosophical discourse with the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. Essentially the paper argues that an examination of Menzel’s films offers a criticism of Patočka’s understanding of the role of the dissident sacrifice. The two films explored are the 1966 film Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledované vlaky), and the 1969 film (although not released until 1990 due to censorship) Larks on a String (Skrivánci na niti). These two films make a succinct argument for problematizing the dissident’s sacrifice. Patočka argues that the dissident sacrifice is an act which is meaningful in itself. Menzel makes his criticism by adding a deal of ambiguity to the actions of the dissident, and this ambiguity places a question mark over the meaning of the sacrificial act and its effect.

M3 - Article

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JO - Screening the Past

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