858 Chapters
Medium 9780253009234

5. Made in America: Urban Immigrant Spaces in Transnational Nollywood Films

Edited by Matthias Krings and Onookome O Indiana University Press ePub


FILMMAKERS IN NIGERIA'S MEGACITY LAGOS HAVE PRODUCED astounding numbers of video films in recent decades, but the significance of the city for Nollywood film production does not stop there. Lagos itself is being reproduced, reimagined, and re-created in many of these films. The importance of the Nigerian urban center for the country's English-speaking film production is indisputable, and the production of English-speaking video films in southern Nigeria is inextricably linked to contemporary Lagos.1 This phenomenon shows that Nollywood is following the cinematic tradition of using the cityscape as a setting and as a symbol of national cinemas, such as Rome for Italian, Berlin for German, and Paris for French national cinema. In the development of Nollywood as a thriving and distinctly Nigerian film industry, Lagos has become the icon and symbol for modern Nigerian filmmaking: “[Nollywood] is a medium of the city. It is only a city like Lagos that could have engineered and nurtured its birth” (Okome, “Nollywood”). In recent years, not only the distribution of Nollywood films, but also their production have become transnational, and Nigerian filmmakers based in cities around North America have produced Nollywood-style videos that are set in urban centers such as New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Through diasporic filmmaking, these globalized cities and their immigrant communities become cinematic manifestations of transnational movements of money, labor, goods, media, and people, and the actual city space, with its buildings, streets, sidewalks, cars, and other symbols of urbanity, is a place where social actors “negotiate the relationship between the local and the global” (Mennel 201).

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Medium 9780253010773

5 Speaking Too Soon: SNL, 9/11, and the Remaking of American Irony

Ron Becker Indiana University Press ePub


Cultural critics have long shown a proclivity for dabbling in other areas of intellectual practice including, on occasion, the coronary sciences. There is, it seems, a considerable sense of satisfaction in the finality of declaring the death of various abstractions. Such statements rarely look prescient retrospectively, but this has not stopped a string of eminent Western thinkers from announcing that all sorts of intangible things have forever departed from the realm of the living, or at least of the relevant. G. W. F. Hegel declared “history” to be over in 1806. Friedrich Nietzsche boldly announced the death of God in 1882. Francis Fukuyama, building on Hegel’s declaration, in 1992 once more proclaimed the “end of history” after the fall of Soviet communism.1 And, according to many, irony took its final breaths on the smoke-filled morning of September 11, 2001.

On September 12, Andrew Coyne of the Canadian National Post wrote, “The Age of Irony died yesterday,” a claim that has been frequently repeated and mocked ever since.2 Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter took up the same notion a week later, stating flatly, “It’s the end of the age of irony.”3 Time’s Roger Rosenblatt wrote an oft-cited article entitled “The Age of Irony Comes to an End,” claiming, among other things, that 9/11 would forever end a prevalent cultural attitude that failed to distinguish “a joke from a menace.”4 However unlikely, the events of 9/11, it seems, helped to place a concept generally relegated to the intellectual realms of philosophy and literary criticism squarely within mainstream public discourse. In hindsight, this connection may seem rather strange, if not outright foolish. Nonetheless, there is no denying the seriousness with which it was taken at the time.

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Medium 9780253015594

1. Empire Cinema: Frames and Agendas

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Indiana University Press PDF



Empire Cinema

Frames and Agendas


n Oc­to­ber 2, 1935, Benito Mussolini stepped out on the balcony of Rome’s Piazza Venezia to address the largest rally in the fourteen years of the Fascist regime. Surrounded by microphones and movie cameras, the Italian leader hailed his audience:

Blackshirts of the Revolution! Men and women of all of Italy! Italians all over the world, beyond the mountains and beyond the seas: listen well!

A solemn hour is about to sound in the history of the fatherland. At this moment twenty million men occupy the pub­l ic squares of all Italy. Never in the history of mankind has there been seen a more gigantic spectacle.

Twenty million men: one heart, one will, one decision.

The decision to which Mussolini referred was that of invading Ethiopia, an act that would avenge the Italians’ defeat at Adwa by Ethiopian troops almost forty years earlier. The regime had planned the invasion since 1934, and Italian soldiers stood ready at the Ethiopian-­Eritrean border even as the Duce told Italians to follow “the wheel of destiny” and avenge their offended honor. The Fascists resembled French and British imperialists in justifying their expansionism with the rhetoric of the civilizing mission, but were perhaps unique in proclaiming the arrogant European, with his history of disregard for Italy, as the enemy along with the Af­r i­can. As

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Medium 9780861966899

Chapter 16 Paul S. Moore, Nationalist film-going without Canadian-made films?

Richard Abel John Libbey Publishing ePub

In urban, English Canada, the First World War was a significant marker of Canadian independence, maturing into a nation after British colonial adolescence. In defense of the British motherland, Canada found its national pride. This is especially applicable to Ontario, where stalwart Loyalist patriotism and a remarkable volunteerism signaled how Toronto would eventually eclipse Montreal culturally, industrially and economically as the national metropolis, having already done so in fact in the war effort.1 But a Toronto-centric Canadian nation would never have that metropolis as a sentimental focus, neither as the heartland of a folk or an avant-garde culture, nor even as a center for a national mass-produced culture. As is first evident in the shift from Montreal to Toronto during the First World War, whatever Canadian nationhood meant, it would be a distinctly modern amalgam tenuously linked by an imported mass culture, distributed out of Toronto but not created there. This is certainly the case with cinema, in which the city supplied an exemplary prototype of nationalist movie-going, of consumption and showmanship.

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Medium 9780861966820

Father Christmas – 1991

Marie Beardmore John Libbey Publishing ePub


England was just heading into recession when John started on his next film, Father Christmas, but TVC wouldn’t suffer from the downturn just yet, even though a lot of manufacturing based industries were really suffering. Many in the financial services sector were also fearful of losing their jobs and probably many in the media industry, but John had another film to make and could, at least for the time being, ride the wave.

After the sadness in The Snowman and Granpa, and the gloom of When the Wind Blows, Father Christmas was altogether a lighter project, especially welcome with all the dark recession talk at the time. The film was based on combining two of Raymond’s books: Father Christmas (1973) and Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (1975), and there was much joy when John’s daughter had a production of her own – John became a grandfather for the second time when Nicola gave birth to her daughter Clio in the summer of 1991.

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