The literary critic Mikhail Bahktin’s concept of the “chronotope” describes how reality-based space-times are configured or represented through discourse; it is useful because it foregrounds the inseparability of time and space. This course uses the chronotope as a way into exploring the vast, diffuse terrain of contemporary global art cinema.
We will begin by questioning the definition of global cinema and related terms such as world cinema, national cinema, transnational cinema, and art cinema. After this theoretical overview, we will dive into the movies of two distinct time-spaces: Chinese-language cinema (namely, the Fifth and Sixth Generation filmmakers of the mainland,Taiwanese New Cinema, and the Hong Kong New Wave) and New Argentine Cinema.
Comparative analysis of these cinemas will allow us to try on the lenses of national, regional, and transnational film studies. With a few exceptions, all of the films emerge from the turn of the 21st century, and from our slight temporal distance we will reflect on how they express concerns about the rise of globalization and digital visual culture, and the concomitant shifts from industrial to post-industrial economies and modes of labor, and from modern to postmodern sensibilities. The narratives of these films also manifest recurrent interests in the divisions between the city and countryside, and in differences in generation, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and socio-economic class. Focusing on these overlapping concerns, we will attempt to understand how the films speak to both their localized time-spaces and to international audiences.