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Women in the Wave: A content and visual analysis of the representation of female characters in Yugoslav New Cinema and Black Wave Cinema.

This project investigates how female characters were represented in films of the Yugoslav New Cinema and the Black Wave Cinema (1961-1972), in terms of the narrative, and the visual style. A main focus hereby is how in many of these films women are suffering from various kinds of violence. The Yugoslav New Cinema movement occurred in the former Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia, as part of world-spread New Wave movements, such as the French Nouvelle Vague. Black Wave Cinema then is a subdivision of the Yugoslav New Film, characterized by grim endings and a harsh critique towards the Communist regime. We approach the films of these movements from a gender and media studies perspective, with inspiration from feminist film theories and representation theories. The study also takes into account the sociopolitical context, namely the official gender equality policy of the Yugoslav state and its practices in society. This framework leads us to reformulate the overarching problem of the representation of female characters in New Yugoslav Cinema and Black Wave Cinema into two hypotheses and a research question: 1. If female characters are passionate, independent and progressive, they will eventually be punished cinematically for those transgressions by the remnants of the patriarchate within the course of the narration. (RH1) 2. The figure of the raped woman in the films is an allegory of a raped nation. (RH2) 3. Are the films under research confirming the binary stereotypes of female characters - either virgin or whore- or do they subvert these stereotypes? (RQ3) This set of hypotheses and research questions is operationalized in a quantitative content analysis (of 143 films WP1) and an in-depth qualitative content and visual analysis (of a smaller sample of 10 films WP2). Firstly (WP1), a database of films is constructed (WP1.1) and a first quantitative analysis (WP1.2) is executed to investigate basic content information: main parameters of female characters, numbers and types of violence against women, etc. Secondly, a qualitative analysis (WP2) is undertaken on a sample selected from the database. The qualitative content analysis (WP2.1) examines how women are violated: by rape, murder, beating or victimization; and whether and how they are stereotyped. The visual style analysis (WP2.2) looks into the same films analyzing filmic parameters such as camera movement and position, editing, light, music, composition and color and how these function within the narrative content.
Date:15 Jul 2017 →  14 Jul 2018
Disciplines:Communication sciences, Journalism and professional writing, Media studies, Other media and communications