Global Multi-Protagonist Trends in a Local Setting: The Case of Frozen Land and Autumn Ball

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Abstract

This article explores whether a specifically regional quality can be identified in the following Finnish and Estonian multi-protagonist/network narrative films: Aku Louhimies’ Frozen Land (Paha maa, Finland, 2005) and Veiko Õunpuu’s Autumn Ball (Sügisball, Estonia, 2007). The article begins by providing an overview of the discussion regarding multi-protagonist films - a film form in which several lead characters are commonly connected via accidental encounters. Thereafter, an examination is made of how the form’s widely recognised generic qualities are represented in the Northern and Eastern European examples. As an overview of the discourse illustrates, multi-protagonist film is mainly interested in urban spatiality, contingency and human interconnectedness. It is also shown that these examples from the cinemas of small nations follow global trends rather closely. At the same time, Frozen Land and Autumn Ball can be seen as representing a specifically regional sensibility that is not only interesting in its own right, but which can also be understood as directly influencing the character-action.

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