ISSN: 2241-6692

Greek Avant-Garde Cinema and Marx: The Politics of Form in Sfikas’s Modelo and Angelidi’s Idées Fixes/Dies Irae

Rea Walldén


This article poses the question of the politics of form. It compares two Greek avant-garde films of the 1970s: Modelo (1974) by Kostas Sfikas and Idées Fixes / Dies Irae (1977) by Antoinetta Angelidi. It investigates the premise that avant-garde filmmaking combines experimentation with political radicalism, enacting a politics of form. Modelo and Idées Fixes partake to left-wing politics and refer to Marxian concepts. Sfikas’s film is a ‘translation’ of Das Kapital in the cinematic medium. Angelidi’s film chooses a more complicated point of view, feminist and post-structuralist; yet it does refer to the Marxian critique, while also using the structure of dialectical juxtaposition. Both films’ politics affect their visual form, narrative structure and textual techniques. They both deny classical narration, question the function of representation, investigate cinematic time, expand the definitional borderlines of their medium. Nevertheless, they are two very different films. Modelo is comprised by a single static shot, based on symmetry and minimal aesthetics, while Idées Fixes relies on a multileveled exploration of cinematic heterogeneity. The article studies both their differences and inter-connections, aiming to draw some conclusions as to what may constitute a revolutionary text made in the language of cinema.

Keywords: Angelidi, avant-garde, Eisenstein, Marx, Sfikas