Rethinking Third Cinema

Rethinking Third Cinema

Rethinking Third Cinema

Rethinking Third Cinema

Synopsis

This important anthology addresses established notions about Third Cinema theory, and the cinema practice of developing and postcolonial nations. The 'Third Cinema' movement called for a politicised film-making practice in Africa, Asia and Latin America, one which would take on board issues of race, class, religion, and national integrity. The films which resulted from the movement, from directors such as Ousmane Sembene, Satyajit Ray and Nelson Pereira dos Santos, are among the most culturally signficant, politically sophisticated and frequently studied films of the 1960s and 1970s. However, despite the contemporary popularity and critical attention enjoyed by films from Asia and Latin America in particular, Third Cinema and Third Cinema theory appears to have lost its momentum. Rethinking Third Cinema seeks to bring Third Cinema and Third Cinema theory back into the critical spotlight. The contributors address the most difficult and challenging questions Third Cinema poses, suggesting new methodologies and redirections of existing ones. Crucially, they also re-examine the entire phenomenon of film-making in a fast-vanishing 'Third World', with case studies of the cinemas of India, Iran and Hong Kong, among others.

Excerpt

The function of any introduction is to justify the purpose and necessity of the project it prefaces and, usually, to find cunning ways of apologizing for excesses of length, brevity, stimulation or tediousness. I have no need to do so here for what you have is an anthology of some of the most original and deeply-researched writing of acclaimed historians and theorists of film, a summa, if you will, of the best that contemporary scholarship has to offer in terms of reevaluations of Third Cinema and its consequences both to film theory and subsequent filmmaking practice. It is comprehensive without lapsing into garrulous all-inclusiveness, concise without being gnomic or abstruse. Unlike many another volume devoted to film theory, the introduction and the contents of Rethinking Third Cinema are deliberately aimed at a broad constituency, not only of students and scholars who are at home in the metropolises of theoretical discourse, but also those from the wider cultural and intellectual terrain which Third Cinema theory embraced.

As a theory the latter made over-arching, even messianic, claims and purported to speak for a vast socio-geographical region that even then (in the early 1960s) already produced the majority of the world’s films. Yet it has suffered the contradictory fate of never being treated seriously as a theory while at the same time becoming - especially when indolently pressed into service in classrooms as a mechanism of generalization - the measure of all the cinemas of an increasingly ephemeral Third World now teetering on the brink of being globalized away. Thus, even at a guarded and sometimes hostile distance from those commercially-orientated postcolonial cinemas it stigmatized as immature relics of imperialism and Neocolonialism, Third Cinema theory addressed the largest of all constituencies of filmmakers and the widest subject area within the purview of film studies. Its neglect among film theorists coincides with what has been, until recently, a corresponding (and even more scandalous) neglect within film studies in general of the cinemas of non-industrialized countries, as Robert Stam, unique among authors of introductions to film theory both in devoting a section to Third Cinema theory and differentiating it from the broader concerns of postcolonial film theories, points out.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.