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For the past seventy years the discipline of film studies has widely invoked the term national cinema. Such a concept suggests a unified identity with distinct cultural narratives. As the current debate over the meaning of nation and nationalism has made thoughtful readers question the term, its application to the field of film studies has become the subject of recent interrogation. In "The Myth of an Irish Cinema", Michael Patrick Gillespie presents a groundbreaking challenge to the traditional view of filmmaking, contesting the existence of an Irish national cinema. Given the social, economic, and cultural complexity of contemporary Irish identity, Gillespie argues, filmmakers can no longer present Irishness as a monolithic entity.The book is arranged thematically, with chapters exploring cinematic representation of the middle class, urban life, rural life, religion, and politics. Offering close readings of Irish-themed films, Gillespie identifies a variety of interpretative approaches based on the diverse elements that define national character. Covering a wide range of films, from John Ford's "The Quiet Man" and Kirk Jones' "Waking Ned Devine" to Bob Quinn's controversial "Budawanny" and "The Bishop's Story", "The Myth of an Irish Cinema" signals a paradigm shift in the field of film studies and promises to reinvigorate dialogue on the subject of national cinema.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780815631934
ISBN-10: 0815631936
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Syracuse University Press
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publish Date: 15-Jan-2009
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Michael Patrick Gillespie

Michael Patrick Gillespie is professor of English at Marquette University. He is the author of The Aesthetics of Chaos: Nonlinear Thinking and Contemporary Literary Criticism, Ulysses and the American Reader, and Reading William Kennedy, the latter published by Syracuse University Press.

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