Thursday, 15 December 2011

"Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commerciale?" Special Issue of SITUATIONS

Framegrab from Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu , 2006)
Babel sets out to be a new sort of film that attempts to create a “world cinema” gaze within a commercial Hollywood framework. I examine how it approaches this and ask whether the film succeeds in this attempt. I explore the tensions between progressive and conservative political agendas, and pay particular attention to the ways “other” cultures are seen in a film with “Third World” pretensions and U.S money behind it. I frame my analysis around a key question: does the Iñárritu-led outfit successfully create a paradigmatic “transnational world cinema” text that de-centers U.S. hegemony, or is this a utopian project doomed to failure in a film funded predominantly by major U.S. studios? I examine the ways in which the film engages with the tourist gaze and ask whether the film replaces this gaze with a world cinema gaze or merely reproduces it in new ways . [Deborah Shaw, "Babel and the Global Hollywood Gaze", Situations, 4.1, 2011]

Film Studies For Free is delighted to announce the publication of a new film issue of the Open Access journal Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination. The special issue is entitled "Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commerciale?" and it contains ten essays on modern international films and cinemas, including those of Iran, Nigeria, Mexico, Romania, France, China, Argentina, and India as well as on contemporary film festivals and on films documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As the editors write:
The issue has a global reach in its coverage of countries and regions of the world ranging from Hollywood’s own “Global Gaze,” to a placement of Nigerian Cinema as the equal of Africa’s modernist cinema, to Venezuela’s difficult negotiation of a Bolivarian cinema in a neoliberal context, to a questioning of the radical othering of Eastern European cinema whose concerns now seem much closer to those of the West, and, finally, to a tracing of a complex multiperspectival fashioning of the image of the Chinese peasantry in a moment when the distinction between city and country are rapidly fading.  The global reach of the issue extends as well to the range of theoretical positions used to examine contemporary global cinema, be it:  structural-materialist aspects of the questioning of the Israeli-Palestinian problematic; the integration of economic and aesthetic methodologies in a post-Adornian examination of the Cannes Film Festival; feminist and subaltern theory utilized to critique the patriarchal aspects of what is sometimes viewed as India’s most politically progressive cinema; a rereading and deconstruction of French radical workerist post-1968 cinema; and a linking of feminist and anti-colonial perspectives to highlight the way that in Iran Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten spotlights Muslim women's emancipation.
Below are direct links to the contents, as per usual here at FSFF.

Situation homepage  Archives

Vol 4, No 1 (2011) Table of Contents PDF
  • Terri Ginsberg, Dennis Broe, "Whither Globalization? An Idea Whose Time Has Come or Whose Time Has Come and Gone?" PDF
  • Deborah Shaw, "Babel and the Global Hollywood Gaze" PDF
  • Dennis Broe, "The Film Festival as Site of Resistance: Pro or Cannes" PDF
  • Hossein Khosrowjah , "Neither a Victim nor a Crusading Heroine" PDF
  • Jonathon Haynes , "African Cinema and Nollywood: Contradictions" PDF
  • Terri Ginsberg, " Radical Rationalism as Cinema Aesthetics: The Palestinian–Israeli Conflict in North American Documentary and Experimental Film" PDF
  • Paul Douglas Grant, "Just Some of the Ways to Shoot a Strike: Militant Filmmaking in France from Arc to the Groupe Medvedkine" PDF
  • Noah Zweig, "Villa del Cine (Cinema City): Constructing Bolivarian Citizens for the Twenty-First Century" PDF
  • Ping Fu, "Encircling the City: Peasant Migration in Contemporary Chinese Media" PDF
  • Gayatri Devi, "Between Personal Cataclysms and National Conflicts: The Missing Labor Class in Malayalam Cinema" PDF PDF
  • "Eastern European Cinema on the Margins" by Meta Mazaj PDF
  • Contributors, Film Issue PDF

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