Choreographing the Global in European Cinema and Theater by Katrin Sieg (auth.)

By Katrin Sieg (auth.)

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The swell of heterosexual desire as connective glue between national actors in global imaginations, she maintains, thus figures the shift from ideological enmity and competition toward economic integration into the world market and political cooperation with the American hegemon. While I am persuaded by Tadiar’s argument about the integrative force of a sexual economy and find it eminently transferable to the European context, I disagree with her periodization and maintain that the sexual economy she associates with globalization has a much longer discursive history that not only structured cold war relations but stretches back as far as precolonial times.

Jeremy Rifkin contrasts the American nightmare of unfettered capitalism, imperialist aggression, and social disintegration with the “European Dream” of mass prosperity, democracy, and peace (Rifkin 2004). Jelinek refutes any such Euro-romanticism. On the one hand, she recalls the long linkage between European democracy and imperialism dating back to ancient Greece. On the other, she refuses to blame American culture and media for the breakdown of civilization she diagnoses in the images of torture that flooded the Web in the spring of 2004.

Does the emergence of a European cinema provide a space for alternative, critical imaginings of transnationalism? The chapter tells three stories that intersect in the reading of three films: Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three, Margarethe von Trotta’s The Promise, and Cédric Klapisch’s Europudding. Each textual reading examines a particular, auspicious conjunction of these three stories, which narrate political discourses of European integration and globalization, the sexual economy of European and global imaginations, and the changing organization and aesthetics of cinema.

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