March 26, 2013 .docx

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Innis College Courses
Corinn Columpar

March 26, 2013 – FILM LECTURE Today’s Topic: Film and the Nation So far in this section of the course we have looked at films relationship to certain social movements (feminism, anti-colonial relations). Today, we will look at film and the social formation that is the nation. We will think of the national cinema. National cinema is a field of inquiry. Why is the study of national cinema a complicated matter? First, it is hard to determine to which nation a film belongs. For example, a film’s national identity could be determined by any of the following:  Financing (A film can be funded by a single country or can be financed by multiple countries, multiple financial sources. Orlando is an example of this; money came in from 5 different countries).  Subject Matter (Orlando has to be called British because one of its most central projects is engaging with British history and to revise British history.)  Personnel (The identity of the film can be associated with the identity of the personnel. Orlando has a British protagonist, a British director, and many other famous British artists. The film’s cinematographer is Russian, however, like many of the crewmembers. Based on this fact, could Russia claim Orlando as its own? We can also think about how American films are made in Canada for lower costs. How Canadian are these films?) A good example of the dilemma of a film’s identity is Lore.  Audiences (Where was the film well received? Where did it receive major recognition? Who identified with it?) If one particular national audience responds to a film, then it can claim the film as its own. This is by implication what one of this week’s authors says in the reading this week. The dominant practice is to identify a film by the country in which its production companies are found. Financing is the dominant practice, but this is not the only practice we can entertain. When studying a national cinema, we need to bear in mind differences as well as commonalities. We need to think about the flow of capital, flow of personnel, flow of ideas communicated to international and national audiences. Two issues that the study of a national cinema can illuminate:  The means by which that nation imagines itself. The way we have been using nation runs counter to its traditional meaning. Nation is defined by a collectivity based on a number of shared things, the most important of which are ancestry, language, and cultural heritage. Meanwhile, state is defined as an institutional structure charged with exercising authority within a definable and limited jurisdictional purview, which is typically territorial in nature. At this time, the nation-state emerges, which brings together the nation and the state to make them coincident. It brings together a land and a culture. Today, we tend to ta
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