Transcending ‘Cold Intimacies’ in Veiko Õunpuu’s Works

Mazierska, Ewa Hanna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4385-8264 and Naripea, Eva (2016) Transcending ‘Cold Intimacies’ in Veiko Õunpuu’s Works. Baltic Screen Media Review, 4 (1). pp. 60-87. ISSN 2346-5522

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This article examines five films by Veiko Õunpuu, Estonian’s most renowned contemporary director – Empty (Tühirand, Estonia, 2006), Autumn Ball (Sügisball, Estonia, 2007), Temptations of St Tony (Püha Tõnu kiusamine, Estonia/Finland/Sweden, 2009), Free Range: Ballad on Approving of the World (Free Range: ballaad maailma heakskiitmisest, Estonia, 2013) and Roukli (Estonia, 2015), focusing on his representations of neoliberalism and especially its effect on emotional and intimate lives of the characters. We argue that the characters of his films typically reject the conventional romantic life promoted by neoliberal discourses, including Hollywood cinema, yet this does not make them happy, but disoriented and restless. The repudiation of ‘emotional capitalism’ pertains also to the way Õunpuu’s films are conceived and executed. Most importantlyhe resists the conventions of Hollywood cinema, including a classical script and happy ending, as well as setting and shooting them in peripheral places. Our main theoretical framework is the concept of ‘emotional capitalism’ as elaborated by Eva Illouz.

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