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Public defences


Melankoliska fragment: om essäfilm och tänkande (Melancolic fragments: On Essay Film and Thinking)

Patrik Eriksson, Valand Academy

Thursday 19th September 2019
At 13:00 film screening Bio Valand, Akademin Valand
At 14:30 Public Defence, Aulan, Akademin Valand

Astrid Söderbergh Widding, professor in film studies at Stockholm University

Examinig committee

  • Ingela Josefson, Professor in Practical Knowledge, Uniarts, Stockholm
  • PhD and scriptwriter Jan Nåls, principal lecturer at department of Culture and Media, Arcada, Helsinki
  • Film artist and composer Michel Wenzel, Stockholm

Chair: Fredrik Nyberg, Senoir Lecturer, Valand Academy

This artistic doctoral dissertation comprises the essay film Melancholy Fragments (73 min.) and the book Melancholy Fragments: On Essay Film and Thinking. In making the film I wanted to explore if and how an artistic filmmaking practice works as thinking. What does it mean that I, with the help of and through the film production process, try to generate a kind of thinking? And how does it influence the form and expression of the film? The film itself can be seen as an answer to these questions. The film stages a kind of thinking within and through an artistic process. The other part of the dissertation, the written portion, deals with the creation of the film and my work on it, and with my study of film as thinking. The writing can be seen as a work story. By thinking I mean the activity of reflecting and evaluating and thereby generating ideas, questions, and temporary answers. It’s about a desire to figure something out. One way of getting at cinematic thinking is to see film shooting and editing as a thinking process instead of an execution of something that’s already been developed. Essay film as a form and method is particularly suited to a cinematic way of thinking because it relies on an exploratory perspective, an explicit subjectivity, and a metacritical approach, which is expressed in the film itself. Together, the dissertation film and book study, describe, and discuss in various ways the essay filmmaking process from the inside. The texts in the book, which were written after the completion of the film, focus on the type of thinking that emanated from my work on the film—what it led to and what it means for me. I can conclude that I have been surprised by how my thinking has changed and ended up in a very different place than it was when I started. I see this fact in particular as the clearest and most important “proof” that the process of making essay films works as a kind of thinking.

artistic research, essay film, filmmaking, artistic filmmaking practice, cinematic way of thinking, film as thinking, work story, reflection, melancholy, Robert Burton, Magnus Bärtås, Andrei Tarkovsky, E.M. Cioran, Hannah Arendt

The first part of this dissertation, the essay film Melancholy Fragments, is available on Vimeo at the address www.vimeo.com/348446748 and password MelancholyFragments

Download the dissertation HÄR 


Images: Annica Karlsson Rixon from Valand Academy defending her dissertation 'Queer Community through Photographic Acts. Three Entrances to an Artistic Research Project Approaching LGBTQIA Russia' at the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg, 2016. Photographs by Hendrik Zeitler.


Dissertations at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts can be found at the link below.


Page Manager: Pia Ahnlund|Last update: 9/5/2019

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