Dr Angelos Koutsourakis

University Academic Fellow in World Cinema


Summary: Film Theory, Modernism, Political Cinema, DEFA, World Cinema.

Location: 214a Michael Sadler Building

Teaching Commitments: Cinema in the Digital Age MODL3230 Introduction to Film Studies II MODL 1800 Audiovisual Cultures MODL 1050

I am a University Academic Fellow in World Cinema at the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures, which is based at the School of Languages, Cultures, and Societies. 

I completed my PhD at the University of Sussex in 2012. Between 2012-2016, I held postdoctoral fellowships in Australia at the Universities of New South Wales and Queensland. I joined Leeds in January 2017. 

My research is at the interface of film theory, World cinema, modernism, and politics and representation. I have a particular interest in early film theory and the ways that it can help us rethink present debates. 

I am the author of Politics as Form in Lars von Trier: A Post-Brechtian Reading (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), which was reissued in paperback in 2015. I have also co-edited (with Mark Steven) a book on The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015).

My current book project (contracted with Edinburgh University Press) is titled Rethinking Brechtian Film Theory and Cinema and proposes a comprehensive examination of Brechtian Film Theory and Cinema aiming to invite scholars and students to understand Brecht's writings on film, and Brechtian cinema beyond their canonical reception on the part of the 1970s film theory (known also as the Grand Theory). The book extends recent work in the area of film studies concerned with the re‐examination of some important film/media and critical theorists of the past (Kracauer, Bazin, Arnheim, Balázs, Benjamin, Burch). 

I am also working on two book-length projects. The first one looks at  the cinema of Konrad Wolf, one of the most esteemed DEFA filmmakers; and the second one investigates the idea of the Kafkaesque in World Cinema. Furthermore, Thomas Austin (University of Sussex) and I are working on an edited collection that looks at Cinemas of Crisis: Film and Contemporary Europe and addresses filmmakers' engagements with pressing issues of the moment via popular genres, documentary, art cinema, experimental film, intermedia work and gallery installation. 

 I would welcome PhD proposals in areas related to any aspect of Film Theory, European Cinema in its historical, and political context, Cinema and Modernism, Intermediality (Cinema and the other Arts). 

My academia.edu profile

Professional Teaching Qualifications: Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy  



Politics as Form in Lars von Trier: A Post-Brechtian Reading (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). Reissued in paperback in 2015.

Reviewed in:  1.  New Review of Film and Television Studies , 2. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 3. The Brecht Yearbook, 4. CINEJ Cinema Journal 

Edited Books:

Koutsourakis, A., Steven M. (eds), The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015). 

Edited Journal:

Guest Editor of Image and Narrative 17:5 (2016). Special Issue on Artaud & Cruelty.

Journal Articles: 

 'Visualizing the Anthropocene Dialectically: Jessica Woodworth and Peter Brosens’ Eco-Crisis Trilogy' in Film-Philosophy 21: 3 (2017): 299–325. 

'From Binary to Rich Dialectics: The Revolt of the Fishermen and Mauser’, in Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image 8 (2017), pp.32-50.

‘The Ethics of Negation: the Postdramatic on Screen’, in Substance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism 45:3 (2016), pp.155-173. 

‘Theatricality as Cruelty’, in Image & Narrative 17(5) (2016) , pp.54-65.

‘Film Theory’, in The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 24 (2016), pp. 87-64.

‘The Dialectics of Cruelty: Rethinking Artaudian Cinema’, in Cinema Journal 55:3 (2016), pp.65-89. 

‘The Crisis of the Individual as a Precept of Political Cinema: Kuhle Wampe (1932) and Monsieur Verdoux (1947)’, in Film Criticism 39:3 (2015), pp.26-47.

‘Utilizing the Ideological Antiquity: Rethinking Brecht and Film Theory’, in Monatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur 107:2 (2015), pp.242-269.

‘Politics and Open-ended Dialectics in Lars von Trier’s Dogville: a Post-Brechtian Critique’, in New Review of Film and Television Studies 11:3 (2013), pp.334-353.

‘History as transition: Brecht’s Historisierung in Straub/Huillet’s Not Reconciled (1965) and Angelopoulos’ The Hunters (1977)’ in Studies in European Cinema 9 (2-3) (2013 published/ issued 2012), pp.169-179.

Specters of Brecht in Dogme 95: Are Brecht and Realism Necessarily Antithetical?’, in The Brecht Yearbook 37 (2012), pp.40-61. 

‘Cinema of the Body: The Politics of Performativity in Lars von Trier’s Dogville and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth’, in Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image 3 (2012), pp.84-108.

‘“You want to Wake up to Free yourself of the Image of Europa. But it is not Possible”. Lars von Trier’s Critique of the European Narrative of Progress in his Europa trilogy’, in Journal of Contemporary European Studies 20:4 (2012), pp.517-535.

‘Great Directors: Shirley Clarke’, in Senses of Cinema 65 (2012), available here.

‘From Post-Brechtian Performance to Post-Brechtian Cinema: Shirley Clarke’s adaptation of The Living Theatre’s Production of The Connection’, in International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 7:2 (2011), pp.141-154.

‘The Persistence of Dialectics or the Desire for History in Lars von Trier’s Europa and Theo Angelopoulos’ The Suspended Step of the Stork, in Kinema: A Journal for Film and Audiovisual Media 33:1 (2010), pp. 93-106.

Book Chapters:  

Koutsourakis, A. ‘Cruelty and the real: the female figure in Orchidégartneren (1977), Menthe - la bienheureuse (1979) and Befrielsesbilleder (1982) ’, in Rex Butler and David Denny (eds) Lars von Trier’s Women (New York: Bloomsbury), pp.87-102.

‘Realism is to Think Historically: Overlapping Elements in Lukácsian and Brechtian Theories of Realism’, Ian Aitken (ed) The Major Realist Film Theorists: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), pp.123-138.

‘John Cassavetes: The Ultimate Hero of American Independent Cinema’, in John Berra (ed) Directory of World Cinema: American Independent 3 (Bristol: Intellect, 2016), pp.98-101.

‘“The Gestus of Showing”: Brecht, Tableau and Early Cinema in Angelopoulos’ Political Period’, in Koutsourakis, A., Steven, Mark, (eds) The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp.64-79.

‘Introduction: Angelopoulos and the Lingua Franca of Modernism’, in Koutsourakis, A., Steven, Mark, (eds) The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp.1-19.

‘Brecht and Film’, in Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (London & New York: Taylor & Francis, 2014), pp.63-68.

‘Symptomatic Reading’, in Edward Branigan and Warren Buckland (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (London & New York: Taylor & Francis, 2014), pp.464-469.

Other Publications:

 Introduction to Image & Narrative issue 17.5: "Artaud and Cruelty", pp.1-5, available here.

“Go Back to the Source”. Postscript to “The Dialectics of Cruelty: Rethinking Artaudian Cinema”, available here.

‘Political all the Way: the 62nd Sydney Film Festival’, in Senses of Cinema 76, available here.

Review: Ian Aitken (2012), Lukácsian Film Theory and Cinema: A Study of Georg Lukács’ Writing on Film 1913-1971, in Film-Philosophy 19 (2015), pp.19-24.

Review Essay: German Cinema—Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory since 1945. Thomas Elsaesser, in Affirmations of the Modern 2:1 (2014), pp.155-164.

‘Brecht Today: Interview with Alexander Kluge’, in Film-Philosophy, 15:1 (2011), pp.220-228.

‘Interview: Hal Hartley’, in The Moving Arts Film Journal (2010), available here.

‘John Cassavetes: The First Dogme Director?’, in Bright Lights Film Journal 63 (2009) available here

Membership of Professional Bodies

• Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS).

• European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS).

• Modernist Studies Association.  

• International Brecht Society.

• Cinematic Thinking Network Australia. 

Service to the Industry:

PhD Thesis Examiner: La Trobe University 2014.

Honors Thesis Examiner: University of New South Wales 2014. 

I have acted as a peer reviewer for these journals:

New Review of Film and Television Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Studies in European Cinema, Studies in Popular Culture , Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance , Feminist Media Studies,  Journal of Greek Media & Culture.

I have also acted as a reviewer for book proposals submitted to 1. Edinburgh University Press and 2. Bloomsbury.