Advertisement

Of Moles and Giraffes: Recluses, Drifters, and Disconnection

  • Dunja Fehimović
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter addresses questions of space, place, and belonging in two low-budget, ‘independent’ films: La guarida del topo (Alfredo Ureta 2011) and Jirafas (Kiki Álvarez 2013). Their reclusive characters and claustrophobic domestic spaces complicate boundaries between inside and outside, presenting us with an image of a nation caught between the comforting allure of enclosure and the potentially dissolvent power of connection. The films’ ambivalent combination of marginality and continuity activates neither a productive paradigm of dialectical synthesis, nor an alternative model of mutual recognition. Informed by Augé’s ‘non-place’, de Certeau’s ‘place’ and ‘space’, Massey’s ‘throwntogetherness’, Foucault’s disciplinary society (1995), and Deleuze’s society of control (1992), this chapter argues that although these films’ protagonists may attempt to tunnel under the field of visibility and power, they cannot escape the reach of control, whose expansive mesh renders meaningless categories such as inside, outside, underneath, and against.

Works Cited

  1. Adorno, Theodor. 1990. Negative Dialectics, trans. E.B. Ashton. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Álvarez, Kiki. 2013. Jirafas. Film.Google Scholar
  3. Arango, Arturo. 2010. Cuba, los intelectuales ante un futuro que ya es presente. Temas 64 (December): 80–90.Google Scholar
  4. Augé, Marc. 1995. Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  5. Beckman, Ericka. 2013. Capital Fictions: The Literature of Latin Americas Export Age. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  6. Benjamin, Walter. [1935] 2012. Louis-Philippe or the Interior. In The Domestic Space Reader, ed. Chiara Briganti and Kathy Mezei, 103–105. Toronto and London: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bloom, Harold. 1995. The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Bongie, Chris. 1998. Islands and Exiles: The Creole Identities of Post-Colonial Literature. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bordwell, David. 1989. Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar
  10. Carpentier, Alejo. 1990. La Ciudad de Las Columnas. In Ensayos, ed. Obras Completas de Alejo Carpentier, 61–73. México, DF: Siglo Veintiuno Editores.Google Scholar
  11. Casamayor-Cisneros, Odette. 2012. Floating in the Void: Ethical Weightlessness in Post-Soviet Cuba Narrative. Bulletin of Latin American Research 31 (s1): 38–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cook, Deborah. 2008. Theodor Adorno. Key Concepts. Durham: Acumen.Google Scholar
  13. de Certeau, Michel. 2011. The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven F. Rendall. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Deleuze, Gilles. 1992. Postscript on the Societies of Control. October 59 (Winter): 3–7.Google Scholar
  15. del Real, Patricio, and Cristina Pertierra. 2008. Inventar: Recent Struggles and Inventions in Housing in Two Cuban Cities. Build Landscapes 15 (Fall): 78–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Derrida, Jacques. 2006. Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, trans. Peggy Kamuf. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Foucault, Michel. 1995. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan, 2nd ed. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  18. Freud, Sigmund. [1919] 1990. The Uncanny. In Art and Literature, trans. James Strachey and ed. Angela Richards, vol. 14, 335–376. The Penguin Freud Library. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  19. García García, Yeneily. 2013. Jirafas o el deseo de contar historias. Cuba cine, December 5. http://www.cubacine.cult.cu/noticias/%C2%BB-jirafas-o-el-deseo-de-contar-historias.
  20. García, José Luis. 2013. “Jirafas” de Kiki Álvarez, jóvenes cubanos en el ojo del ciclón. Cinestel, June 25. https://www.cinestel.com/pelicula-jirafas-kiki-alvarez-cine-cuba/.
  21. González Rojas, Antonio Enrique. 2014. JIRAFAS (2013), de Enrique (Kiki) Álvarez. Cine cubano, la pupila insomne, August 28. http://cinecubanolapupilainsomne.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/jirafas-2013-de-enrique-kiki-alvarez/.
  22. Guerra, Wendy. 2006. Todos Se van. Madrid: Ediciones B.Google Scholar
  23. Holland, Jonathan. 2013. Giraffes (Jirafas): Havana Review. Hollywood Reporter, December 14. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/giraffes-jirafas-havana-review-665759.
  24. Izquierdo, Jaisy. 2013. Jirafas. Juventud rebelde, December 4. http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/cultura/2013-12-04/jirafas/.
  25. Jones, Raya A. 2007. A Discovery of Meaning: The Case of C.G. Jung’s House Dream. Culture & Psychology 13 (2): 203–230.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X07076596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kafka, Franz. 1993. Collected Stories, trans. Edwin and Willa Muir, ed. Gabriel Josipovici, vol. 145. Everyman’s Library. London: D. Campbell Publishers.Google Scholar
  27. Massey, Doreen. 1994. Space, Place, and Gender. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  28. ———. 2005. For Space. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Medina, Roberto. 2013. Jirafas. Cuba cine, December 26. http://www.cubacine.cult.cu/a_proposito/%C2%BB-jirafas.
  30. O’Connor, Brian. 2004. Adorno’s Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Oramas Ezquerro, Ada. 2013. Cuba es el escenario natural de mi cine. CubAhora, December. http://www.cubahora.cu/cultura/cuba-es-el-escenario-natural-de-mi-cine.
  32. Pardo Lazo, Orlando. 2009. Boring Home. La Habana: Ediciones Lawtonomar. Google Scholar
  33. Pérez Jr, Louis A. 2001. Winds of Change: Hurricanes and the Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Cuba. Chapel Hill. London: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  34. Pérez Suárez, Adalys. 2013. Jirafas: Una propuesta diferente de Enrique Álvarez en el XXXV Festival de La Habana. Cuba cine, December 12. http://www.cubacine.cult.cu/noticias/%C2%BB-jirafas-una-propuesta-diferente-de-enrique-%C3%A1lvarez-en-el-xxxv-festival-de-la-habana.
  35. Portela, Ena Lucía. 2003. Cien botellas en una pared. Madrid: Debate.Google Scholar
  36. Rojas, Rafael. 1998. Isla sin fin: Contribución a la crítica del nacionalismo cubano. Miami, FL: Ediciones Universal.Google Scholar
  37. Royle, Nicholas. 2002. The Uncanny. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Google Scholar
  38. Ruiz Alamanza, Ariadna. 2013. El diálogo íntimo de las jirafas. Cuba cine, December 12. http://www.cubacine.cult.cu/a_proposito/%C2%BB-el-di%C3%A1logo-%C3%ADntimo-de-las-jirafas.
  39. Ruíz Chang, Alejandro. 2013. Jirafas: Una verdadera historia de amor. On Cuba Magazine, December 13. http://oncubamagazine.com/cultura/jirafas-una-verdadera-historia-de-amor/.
  40. Simmel, Georg. [1909] 1994. The Bridge and the Door. Theory, Culture & Society 11 (1): 5–10.  https://doi.org/10.1177/026327694011001002.
  41. Stock, Ann Marie (ed.). 2014. World Film Locations: Havana. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect.Google Scholar
  42. Ureta, Alfredo. 2011. La guarida del topo. Film.Google Scholar
  43. Vidler, Anthony. 1992. The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Weber, Samuel. 1973. The Sideshow, or: Remarks on a Canny Moment. MLN 88 (6): 1102–1133.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2907669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Modern LanguagesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations