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November 1999, Week 2


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Peter Hughes <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Nov 1999 08:44:08 +1100
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Call for papers

Film/culture adaptation: Asia

Film/cinema arrived in different countries at different times and in
ways. In some countries (Britain and France are good examples),
locally-produced films were also the first films screened, while in others
(like China and India) there was a period when only imported films were
available for screening: though the centenary of cinema has already been
celebrated around the world, there are still many places where the centenary
of film production has still not been reached. Film always built upon the
local culture: so in Australia and USA it appeared first in vaudeville
performances in live theatres and in open air fairgrounds, while in Japan
the Benshi tradition continued from live theatre into film exhibition.
'Screening the past' is planning an issue devoted to this phenomenon of the
adaptation of film to the culture/s it colonised and of culture/s to the new
phenomenon of film production and exhibition. We are interested not so much
in the story of how film arrived in any particular place as in the
accommodations that took place between the new medium and the culture into
which it was being interpellated.

The sorts of questions that may be raised include (but are not limited to):
- Where did the first films screened in the country or area come from? If
from outside the local culture, how did local people respond to them, or
even understand them? If from inside the local culture, what other
entertainment forms or media influenced the kind of films that were made?
- Where were the first films screened? to what sorts of audience? what other
entertainment media influenced audience expectations? how did film
exhibitors build upon or bypass these expectations?
- Did other cultural activities (such as live theatre) or forms (such as
narrative structures) change as a result of films? Did entertainment
structures adapt to include film or to compete with it? Did film influence
religion? or education? or lifestyles?
- Did film / cinema adopt cultural structures from the 'indigenous' culture:
narrative structures, religious forms, educational practices and
philosophies, etc?

The current Call for Papers concerns specifically Asian cultures, but we
would also be interested to hear proposals from people whose area of
interest is outside Asia, as we may well devote later issues to a similar
discussion of other parts of the world.

Proposals (approx.500 words) should reach the editors by 1 March 2000.
Completed papers (following house style, as described in our Style Guide)
will be required by 1 August 2000.

Ina Bertrand
Screening the past
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