Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building.
Degree: PhD, Slavic Languages & Literatures, 2017, University of Michigan
This dissertation investigates how the question of national responsibility under Communism in Polish culture interrogates the Western notion of the auteur. Whereas in the 1950s French critics applied the term to a masterful artist whose individuality permeates all aspects of the cinematic work and who is largely in control of the otherwise collective processes of filmmaking, in Poland the term came to signify a filmmaker who, above all, had to engage with two incompatible ideological imperatives. The first, represented by the official pro-Soviet government, expected film productions to promote communist values within Poland and internationally. The second urged artists to cherish the “greatness of the Polish nation” and preserve the legacy of Romantic nation-building and its values that originated in the first part of the 19th century. I argue that the filmmakers of the Polish Film School (1955–1965), often admired as auteurs by Western film critics for their stylistic achievements, actually had to negotiate between an intrinsic need for individual expression and the pressures of two antagonistic ideologies.
Beside offering a more nuanced definition of the auteur, a major concept in global film theory, my contribution also lies in exploring the legacy of Romantic nation-building through the long cultural and intellectual tradition of the artist’s role in Polish society. I begin with an investigation of the Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz and his role in formulating the myths that later came to determine Polish nationhood. I trace this legacy in Interwar cinema through the work of avant-garde Polish critics and filmmakers who grappled with resolving the tension between art-for-art’s-sake, derived from French criticism, and socially-committed cinema promoted by Soviet Constructivism. Then I turn to the controversies over French auteurism as the concept was introduced into Polish film criticism in the 1950s I conclude with case studies analyzing the films made by renowned directors Andrzej Wajda and Tadeusz Konwicki. I argue that the role of Polish Film School filmmakers was closer to the notion of the Romantic wieszcz (poet-prophet, national bard) than to the Western idea of the auteur and his personal and individual vision
Advisors/Committee Members: Eagle, Herbert J (committee member), Abel, Richard (committee member), Paloff, Benjamin B (committee member), Wampuszyc, Ewa (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: Auteur theory; Polish film and literature; French New Wave; Tadeusz Konwicki and Andrzej Wajda; Romantic nation-building; Artist's role in society; Slavic Languages and Literature; Humanities
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to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Duda, P. (2017). Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/137039
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Duda, Paulina. “Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building.” 2017. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. Accessed December 08, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Duda, Paulina. “Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building.” 2017. Web. 08 Dec 2019.
Duda P. Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2017. [cited 2019 Dec 08].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/137039.
Council of Science Editors:
Duda P. Between Auteur and Advocate: Polish Film and the Legacy of Romantic Nation Building. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2017. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/137039