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March 1995, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Rebecca Robinson <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Mar 1995 13:44:13 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Having suggested recently that New Zealand film can stand up to analysis
as well as any other nationality's, I have since spent sleepless nights
(that's days to you!) trying to define "New Zealand film".
Does the collective works of a nation comprise "X" film? What happens to
those films or filmmakers who deliberately make film to subvert that
supposed national thread? New Zealand has a small (comparatively) but
active film industry; it is tempting to say there is a national voice
expressed, some qualities that are universal among them. That
presupposes  "good faith" on the part of the filmmakers to contribute to
the New Zealand film tradition. I'm using NZ here as I can't speak for
those traditions of other countries; presumably (help me here) other
small countries have the same questions.
How does a New Zealander break the mould, be seen as not a New
Zealander? As a small nation clutching for a cultural identity, we tend
to "own" our sportspeople, our millionaires, our supermodels and our
Coversely, how do filmmakers from the US break the mould and free
themselves from the international assumptions audiences bring with them
when "consuming" film? How does an American subvert the American film
mechanism to produce something else?
-Rebecca Robinson, University of Canterbury, New Zealand