ISSN: 2241-6692

Film as Revanche: Dissecting the Dispositif in New Greek Cinema

Geli Mademli


This paper presents an analysis of Nikos Vergitsis’s second feature film Revanche (1983) in light of contemporary apparatus theory. A close reading of a number of sequences aims to highlight the importance of the film’s legacy for New Greek Cinema, its uniqueness in conveying the specificity of the cinematic medium, and its role in the emergence of a new subjectivity entangled with the crisis of ideology. My analysis situates the film’s release within the socio-political context of Greek film industry of the time, but diverges from social science methodologies in cinema studies: By focusing primarily on the filmic devices and tropes that reveal the agency of the cinematic dispositif, I suggest that the film responds to the bulk production of Greek art-house historical films during the polity change (i.e. the transition from Military Junta to democracy from 1974 onwards) with individuating what Jacques Rancière calls “the emancipated spectator” (2011). By delineating a radical form of cinephilia that acknowledges the mechanisms of visual assemblages, I argue, Revanche urges the viewers to consider the complex relation between technology and representation, past and present, the personal and the political.

Keywords: cinephilia, dispositive, film technologies, Metapolitefsi, Revanche, spectatorship