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From Dusk till “DAU”: the Rise of Heterotopic Cinema in the Times of Pandemic



The release of Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s megalomaniacal cinematic project DAU coincided with the global Covid-19 pandemic. With festivals postponed and public screenings no longer possible, Khrzhanovsky moved his project online, integrating the unprecedented experience of the global lockdown and quarantine into the cinematic universe of DAU. Using the concept of heterotopia devised by French philosopher Michel Foucault, this paper examines the ways in which self-isolation altered the conditions of spatio-temporal engagement with DAU. Ultimately, the paper presents an original theoretical model of heterotopic cinema to demonstrate that confinement is precisely what allows Khrzhanovskiy’s artistic method to fully function.