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Film and the City: The Urban Imaginary in Canadian Cinema

Author: George Melnyk
Publisher: [s.l.] : Athabasca University Press, 2014.
Edition/Format:   Computer file
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: George Melnyk
ISBN: 9781927356593 1927356598 9781927356609 1927356601 9781927356616 192735661X
OCLC Number: 910966327
Language Note: English.
Notes: Most Canadians are city dwellers, a fact often unacknowledged by twentieth-century Canadian films, with their preference for themes of wilderness survival or rural life. Modernist Canadian films tend to support what film scholar Jim Leach calls "the nationalist-realist project," a documentary style that emphasizes the exoticism and mythos of the land. Over the past several decades, however, the hegemony of Anglo-centrism has been challenged by francophone and First Nations perspectives and the character of cities altered by a continued influx of immigrants and the development of cities as economic and technological centers. No longer primarily defined through the lens of rural nostalgia, Canadian urban identity is instead polyphonic, diverse, constructed through multiple discourses and mediums, an exchange rather than a strict orientation. Taking on the urban as setting and subject, filmmakers are ideally poised to create and reflect multiple versions of a single city.Examining fourteen Canadian films produced from 1989 to 2007, including Denys Arcand’s Jésus de Montréal (1989), Jean-Claude Lauzon’s Léolo (1992), Mina Shum’s Double Happiness (1994), Clément Virgo’s Rude (1995), and Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2007), Film and the City is the first comprehensive study of Canadian film and "urbanity"—the totality of urban culture and life. Drawing on film and urban studies and building upon issues of identity formation in Canadian studies, Melnyk considers how filmmakers, films, and urban audiences experience, represent, and interpret urban spatiality, visuality, and orality. In this way, Film and the City argues that Canadian narrative film of the postmodern period has aided in articulating a new national identity.
Description: 1 online resource (319 S.)
Contents: AcknowledgementsIntroduction: The Urban Imaginary in Canadian CinemaThe City of Faith: Navigating Piety in Arcand's Jesusde Montreal (1989)The City of Dreams: The Sexual Self in Lauzon's Leolo(1992)The Gendered City: Feminism in Rozema's Desperanto(1991), Pool's Rispondetemi (1991), andVilleneuve's Maelstrom (2000)The City Made Flesh: The Embodied Other in Lepage's LeConfessional (1995) and Egoyan's Exotica (1994)The Diasporic City: Postcolonialism, Hybridity, and Transnationalityin Virgo's Rude (1995) and Mehta'sBollywood/Hollywood (2001)The City of Transgressive Desires: Melodramatic Absurdity inMaddin's The Saddest Music in the World (2003) andMy Winnipeg (2006)The City of Eternal Youth: Capitalism, Consumerism, and Generationin Burns's waydowntown (2000) and Radiant City(2006)The City of Dysfunction: Race and Relations in Vancouver fromShum's Double Happiness (1994) to Sweeney'sLast Wedding (2001) and McDonald's The Love Crimesof Gillian Guess (2004)Conclusion: National Identity and the Urban Imagination NotesBibliographyIndex

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"Film and the City" puts forth a new paradigm for the consideration of Canadian identity in cinema. Contending that earlier models were dependent on a largely rural representation of the nation. Read more...

 
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