The Study of National Cinema Essay

Words: 1294
Pages: 6

The study of national cinema and the way in which its defined has been a topic of discussion that many scholars have debated. Stephen Crofts ‘Concepts of National Cinema,’ Susan Hayward’s ‘Reframing National Cinema’ and Andrew Higson’s ‘Limiting the imagination of National Cinema’ attempt to define the tricky boundaries of what the term national cinema means and the impacts it has on the way in which audiences perceive these types of films.

One of the key areas of debate in the discussion is determining what the idea of nationalism and the nation-state mean in a world that is becoming globalised. Crofts uses Anderson’s concept of ‘imagined communities, ’ which alludes to the idea of an individual having their own image of their affinity
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This neat summary is in support of the argument of John Hill, who argues despite the global dominance of Hollywood and its transnational market there is still value in national cinema. This is exemplified when he writes “the value of home-grown cinema is to the cultural life of a nation and, hence the importance of supporting indigenous film-making in an international market. ”

The debate whether the term national cinema should be rendered obsolete is also presented by Hayward. Hayward writes current reframing of national cinema “carves out spaces that allow us to reevaluate the concept of national cinema. It makes it possible to reterritorialise the nation ”. Hayward’s use of the term reterritorialise calls attention to the hybridity of national cultures that expose the “masquerade of unity ”. This is one of Hayward’s key arguments, she points out the role of national culture seeks to “surpress” the minorities in society and this is where national cinema should be conceptionalised to bring about change, understanding or knowledge to the communities imagined identity.

One of Crofts key arguments is a continuation from the point made earlier about understanding the different types of national cinema. Crofts argues that identifying the different production methods of national cinemas is critical. This notion is supported by Higson, who argues for “a shift of emphasis away from the analysis of film