March 19 2013.docx

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Innis College Courses
Corinn Columpar

March 19, 2013 – FILM LECTURE Today’s topic: Film and (Post)Colonialism Note: For information on the final exam format and a final exam study aid, visit the “Helpful Resources” folder on our Blackboard Site. Go back and look at the weekly lecture outlines. Let’s start by revising the title and studying Film and Colonialism, removing the “post”. We bumped against psychoanalysis last week with feminism. Psychoanalysis was a common theme last week. The references to psychoanalysis are only a tip of an iceberg. Psychoanalysis has impact cinema very importantly. There is a sense in which the cinema and psychoanalysis are implicated in each other. They are rooted in the same historical moment, and are tied to each other. They can explain each other in some ways. Today, we are devoting our attention to the heights of European colonialism (the European empire) that juxtaposed the birth of cinema. Many European powers were the first to establish infrastructure for the production of films on a large scale at the same time they ruled over the rest of the world. Travel logs = very popular form of early cinema. The Lumiere brothers pioneered these types of films. They started to produce a series of travel logs. Initially, the Lumiere Brothers turned their cameras on various events happening in the world around them. The name of these captures were “things happening now”, or “actualites”. For example, they filmed workers leaving the factories, and then screened these films in cafes. After, they started sending cameras around the world and filmed events, that were mundane or special like coronations. These travel logs allowed for people to see the world without having to leave their homes. The Lumiere brothers made “Indochina, the village of Namo”, which allowed to bring Indochina into the grasp of French viewers. This allowed the French to be more than virtual tourists, and even more than armchair conquistadores. The French could assume the position of virtual colonial authority (at the time, Indochina belonged to France). Ethnographic cinema (another kind of film like travel logs) depicted human diversity (much like anthropology). When film began, anthropologists thought cinema would transform ethnic relations. Early ethnographic films are very similar to “Nanook of the North” (regarded as the first documentary film). Flaherty’s film was creative in its aspirations and execution. It wanted to scrutinize the people who were supposedly dying out because they could not compete with the developing world. Early colonialist films served…  To institutionalize certain looking relations that have endured into the present.  The shore up certain assumptions about racial difference that were already in circulation when cinema was invented (Such as white supremacy. The rational giving by colonial powers was that of the “white man’s burden”, the idea that White Men were to civilize the rest of the world. The goal was to uplift others culturally. Thu
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