Cinema on the Periphery
By Conn Holohan
Contributions by: Rosa Gonzalez
This book takes a comparative approach to contemporary Irish and Spanish cinema in order to examine the ways in which the films produced have been marked by Ireland and Spain's distinctive encounters with modernity. In successive chapters, the book explores the representation of gender, sexuality, space, and history within contemporary Irish and Spanish film, arguing that these representations should be read in relation to the particular process of modernisation which occurred within Ireland and Spain, whereby an insular, conservative national culture was supplanted within a short period of time by an urbanised, European secularism. Within these representations, it argues, can be uncovered attempts to reconstruct a national narrative within this new cultural context. It traces these cultural shifts through a detailed analysis of the aesthetic strategies and thematic concerns of the films which have emerged from Ireland and Spain over the last fifteen years. By establishing specific idiosyncratic features shared by Irish and Spanish films, this book places Ireland's cultural and cinematic development firmly within a European context. By concentrating on genre films, it illustrates how films which are not specifically concerned with issues of nation are nevertheless marked by their national context. Furthermore, it argues for the importance of reinstating the nation as an interpretative category, one which allows the assertion of a politicised national identity within an increasingly globalised entertainment cinema.
Publication Date: 1/1/2010