Horror Genre and Balkan Cinema: the Fluidity of Croatian and Serbian Cinema

Jurkovic, Tanja (2022) Horror Genre and Balkan Cinema: the Fluidity of Croatian and Serbian Cinema. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Even though Hollywood is often recognised as a genre cinema, and despite “the signs of a significant revival of interest in the topic”, that does further suggest that this is not the case with other cinemas around the world. For example, European cinema has often been associated with the art house, usually depreciating its genres rather than the opposite, which became noticeable when the auteur theory, with its development in France, and expanding later to the West, “gave those wanting to take film seriously a seemingly legitimate way to do so.” On the other hand, the Eastern European Cinema is commonly recognised as a cinema of artistic expressions and challenges that serve to deliver political propaganda above all else. Because of this, most academic work on genre in the Eastern European cinema is scarce, especially in the Balkans, where it is, virtually, non-existent. Any scholarship on horror to date in the Eastern part of Europe, was virtually neglected by the rest of the world. That was also the case with the Balkan cinema. There was not any kind of historical mention of horror as a genre in the Balkans, although examples of it existed, even since the 1930s. Accordingly, no one saw these films as horror when they were made, due to the problematic point of displacing a genre, depending on the period. Those were films of amateur nature, films that explored everyday life and human nature, influenced by popular literature, film directors, and culture. Genre was the term reserved for Hollywood rather than for small national cinemas across Europe. Horror has nonetheless found a way to leave a mark on Balkan cinema. Tracing the horror genre since the beginnings of film art in Croatia and Serbia (Yugoslavia respectively) in this research project will show that horror was always present in the Balkan context in one way or another. Whether in news and articles in film journals and magazines from the 1920-30s, or later seen in the works of some of the most prominent directors in Yugoslavia, and later Croatia and Serbia, the mentioning of horror and usage of its elements, mixing other genres (science fiction, fantasy) with these elements, as well as the fascination with horror genre aspects has positioned the genre within the complicated national context in Balkan cinema, outlining a potentially bright future of the genre in contemporary Balkan film.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 10:44
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 10:44
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94716


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