Conflict and controversy in small cinemas
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The book Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas explores small cinemas in view of their presentation of the difficult and controversial times we live in today. The authors concentrate on the dysfunctionality of political, economic, and social systems; shifting national identities; the exploitation of women and children; ter- ror and the war on terror; and finally, gender and race stereotypes. These phenom- ena are studied from the point of view of both interdisciplinary and intercultural studies, social economy, political theory and film studies. Small, non-commercial cinemas have always had the tenacity and bravery to deal with controversial topics, tackle uncomfortable issues and present them in an uncompromising fashion. Primarily independently funded and not always financed by their governments or big corporations, they can more truthfully address the aforementioned topics compared to Hollywood cinema, which is restricted by its funding policies and political attitudes. The most distinctive aspect of the book is its timeliness as most chapters deal with controversial and politically loaded subjects and the here and now of lives all over the world in the films that are both frank in content and innovative in aesthetics. It is worth noting that the two main topics of the book, conflict and controversy, are interpreted in various ways in the selected chapters. The conflicts are not only political in nature as presented in the films (as illustrated in chapters in Part 1), but also they are conflicts between film content and form (as illustrated in chapters in Part 5). Conflicts may be both external and internal, especially in such controversial cases as the presentation of Roma people (in Part 3). Controversies surround the lack of controversy in small avant-garde cinemas; controversies occur in the presentation of gender on the one hand (as analyzed in Part 2) and in the understanding of film genres such as mockumentaries on the other (as discussed in Part 4). We present these areas with full understanding that misunderstanding or hesitation when applying these categories to film analysis may be both annoying and inspiring at the same time.
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