Drehli Robnik
Pandemic Cinema

Screening, Lecture


Paranoia TV Zentrale

Production specifics
Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’20

Due to the coronavirus crisis, many cinemas have long since been either closed or half empty. At the same time, the net is filled with lists of the most binge-worthy- pandemic movies for us to watch at home, possibly on a screen in our home office. Yet, in contrast to how the media manage the pandemic, there are moments in which films—old and new alike—allow us to perceive what is politically at stake here. In his lecture, Drehli Robnik traces pandemic films from Nazi biopics to the Hollywood lab thrillers, from the representation of the state of emergency in Contagion to that of tracing in last year's Indian drama Virus. Cinema reveals the literal meaning of the word pandemic: that which concerns the entire demos, the people of the state as a society, comprehensively and fundamentally. The talk delves into these stagings of contagion in their governmental and corporeal dimensions, looking at their forms of exclusion and exploitation—and at the fact that there is nothing “normal” about them.