Third Cinema and The Terminal

November 11, 2008

I was assigned to deal with the notion of Third Cinema (which is not the equivalent of Third World Cinema, because Third Cinema can be made outside of the Third World). The division of the World is a post-Cold War idea, when the terms First, Second and Third worlds came into existence. However, a fourth register (Fourth World) emerged with its paradox:the fourth-worlders (or middle-worlders) are people who live in a country without a nation.

For this, as an illustrative example, one shuld think of Spielberg’s The Terminal (2004), in which Victor Navorsky (the crack in the system) has to acknowledge his nation is suspended fuctioning a s a legal nation due to some inner conflict. Thus, having arrived at JFK Airport, he has no land,so until he gets back his citizenship he has to wait at the airport.

Just what Freud said in Civilization and Its Discontents: „Civilization diminishes the liberty and freedom of the individual. We mistakenly believe that social institutions promote and protect our liberties, but in fact they limit them and hence are the cause of considerable displeasure.”

Zizek developed the idea further: […]the truth of globalization: the construction of new walls safeguarding the prosperous Europe[or the U.S] from a flood of immigrants
Revival of the Marxist idea: „global capitalism: it is “things” (commodities) which freely circulate, while the circulation of ‘persons’ is more and more controlled”

And finally, Paul Virilio thinks that we ,for now, can talk about Airport Urbanism, which:

“the airport today has become the new city…People are no longer citizens, they’re passengers in transit. They’re in circum-navigation. When we know that every day there are over one hundred thousand people in the air, we can consider it a foreshadowing of future society: no longer a society of sedentarization, but one of passage; no longer a nomad society, in the sense of great nomadic drifts, but one concentrated in the vector of transportation.”

The film has a similar story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who spent some 20 years at de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

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