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Title: Refracting space : navigating the suburban milieu in Finnish film 1960-1980
Author: Viitanen, E. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 7487
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis examines cinematic representations of Finnish suburbs between 1960 and 1980. It demonstrates how filmic strategies are employed to critique welfare state politics and how the films channel popular anxieties about rapid urban change. The research is divided into five chapters each focusing on the analysis of one film. The films are presented in chronological order drawing out a timeline for cinematic, social and architectural change, beginning with the planning of the suburbs and ending with the second generation of dwellers. The films recreate architecture and space on screen in different ways, whilst addressing a variety of themes such as nostalgia, surveillance, mapping and navigation. The analysis of these themes draws on classic and recent critical theory on space and cinema including Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, Marc Augé, Laura Marks and Giuliana Bruno. The thesis approaches the spaces through three lenses, each highlighting a dimension of the suburban environment. The first lens excavates the social and political context which led to the building of the suburbs, drawing attention to the policies of the Finnish welfare state, and shifts in social landscape brought on by urbanisation. The second lens regards the architectural designs and urban planning, and ways in which they translated social ideals of the welfare state into physical reality. Finally, and most importantly, the third lens studies how film reinterprets these spaces, infiltrating the choreography of everyday life. Moving through the lenses, the image of the suburb is refracted and transmuted. The potential of the cinematic world to negotiate the intersection of physical environment and lived experience is at the core of the thesis. It introduces new readings of pivotal Finnish films, examines their larger socio-political context and asks broader questions of the relationship of the cinematic spaces to their real life counterparts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available