The Desire for History in Lars von Trier’s Europa and Theo Angelopoulos’ The Suspended Step of the Stork
AbstractTHE PERSISTENCE OF DIALECTICS OR THE DESIRE FOR HISTORY IN LARS VON TRIER'S EUROPA AND THEO ANGELOPOULOS' THE SUSPENDED STEP OF THE STORK In this article I intend to discuss cinema’s potential to represent history in a period that political conflict and historical referents seem to be absent. I am going to pursue this argument through a comparative reading of two films, Lars von Trier’s Europa (1991) and Theo Angelopoulos’ The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991). My contention is that these two films exploit historical narratives of the past and the present with the view to negating teleological and ahistorical assumptions that history has come to a standstill. The central topos of the postmodern theory is that the distinctions between real and fictional reference are not clear-cut and in order to gain an historical understanding one has to go beyond reductionist simplifications between facts...