LA GRANDE BELLEZZA: Adventures in transindividuality

Author(s): del Río, Elena

This essay examines Paolo Sorrentino’s LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (THE GREAT BEAUTY, 2013) as a film where the conjunction of human and milieu maps the immanent links between individual and collective. I draw on Gilbert Simondon’s concept of transindividuality as simultaneously a spatial and temporal process of collective individuation. In making the city and its human inhabitant indiscernible, the film preserves the link between solitude and the collective. The collective arises in a preindividual zone of affects that inscribes a non-conscious form of intimacy among bodies in a shared milieu. I examine two major aspects of the film’s expressions of transindividuality: the artwork as a catalyst for the affirmation of disparate forces coalescing around the dynamic disparation of sacred and profane realities, classical and contemporary art; and the conjoined image of city and human crystallising as successive existential territories that are shown in paradoxical simultaneity. The city-human spectacle shows the body passing through endless processes of individuation. It is the dephasing of temporalities in the city-human body, rather than a judgmental opposition between sacred past and profane present, that energises the film in its ability to capture preindividual forces and affective singularities.

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Preferred Citation
del Río, Elena: LA GRANDE BELLEZZA: Adventures in transindividuality. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 6 (2017), Nr. 2, S. 19-36. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/3398.
@ARTICLE{del Río2017,
 author = {del Río, Elena},
 title = {LA GRANDE BELLEZZA: Adventures in transindividuality},
 year = 2017,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/3398},
 volume = 6,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 2,
 pages = {19--36},
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