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Talking heads, imagined communities: steam of Life and the affective politics of intimate documentary
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, ISSN 2042-7891, E-ISSN 2042-7905, Vol. 2, no 2, 97-112 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a cycle of new Finnish documentaries, male confessional talk abounds. Beyond the successful Miesten vuoro/Steam of Life (Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen, 2010), several recent documentaries propose to give voice to ordinary Finnish men who reveal their true feelings to other men. In this article, Steam of Life is discussed as a case of intimate documentary, drawing on both the political aesthetics of feminist documentary and the transnational, late modern rhetoric of confession.Employing the complex affective legacies of the talking head, the film engages in performative politics of gender and nation. It mobilizes a discourse on the nation as a male network, and importantly evokes nation as a sentimental community, a community based on feeling. In so doing, however, it de-individualizes the speaking subjects. While purporting to give voice to the male protagonists, the film makes them anonymous soldiers of the nation, thereby denying them their own voices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 2, no 2, 97-112 p.
Keyword [en]
intimate documentary, masculinity, sentimentality, Miesten vuoro/Steam of Life, Joonas Berghäll, Mika Hotakainen, Finnish cinema
Keyword [sv]
intim dokumentär, genus, maskulinitet, tårar, Den nakna mannen, Finland, finsk film
National Category
Studies on Film Gender Studies
Research subject
Cinema Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81752DOI: 10.1386/jsca.2.2.97_1OAI: diva2:563644
Moving Experiences: Affective Turns in Cinema and Media Studies
Swedish Research Council, 90150201
Available from: 2012-10-31 Created: 2012-10-31 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Koivunen, Anu
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