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Small Nation, Global Cinema: The New Danish Cinema

Mette Hjort
Series: Public Worlds
Volume: 15
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Small Nation, Global Cinema
    Book Description:

    Small Nation, Global Cinema offers two strategies underwriting the transformation and globalization of contemporary Danish cinema—the processes of cultural circulation and the psychological efficacy of heritage. Focusing her study on the cultural context of the international film market, Mette Hjort argues that the New Danish Cinema presents an opportunity to understand globalization within the culture and economy of a small nation. Public Worlds Series, volume 15

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9766-3
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. 1 New Danish Cinema: A Small Nationʹs Path to Globalization
    (pp. 1-33)

    Danish cinema is not what it used to be. In the 1970s and ʹ80s this small national cinema produced about ten feature films a year, and every now and again one of them would register as successful according to some criterion of success, be it box office sales, festival visibility, or favorable critical review. For the most part, though, something was a little tired and worn about this national cinema with a golden-age past, which seemed in every respect to be very much a thing of history. If in the ʹ70s and ʹ80s, the early decades of Danish cinema brought...

  6. 2 Dogma 95: The Globalization of Denmarkʹs Response to Hollywood
    (pp. 34-65)

    When Hollywood is spending forty million American dollars on marketing a film in the United States alone, it would appear the time has come for a radical change in the rules of the cinematic game. The originally Danish cinematic project and now transnational movement known as Dogma 95 mobilizes a manifesto form and practice of rule-following to articulate and circulate a stripped-down and hence widely affordable concept of filmmaking. While the aims of Dogma 95 may be multiple, an all-important ambition is to unsettle an increasingly dominant filmmaking regime characterized by astronomical budgets and marketing and distribution strategies based on,...

  7. 3 Participatory Filmmaking: Experiments across the Filmmaker/Viewer Divide
    (pp. 66-111)

    Metaculture takes many forms, ranging from relatively banal phenomena such as journalistic film reviews to the kind of prescriptive document that underwrites the Dogma movement. The account of Dogmaʹs globalization in the previous chapter rests on the assumption that metaculture accelerates the circulation of the cultural elements to which it refers and thus has a world-making dimension. As Greg Urban puts it: ʺSocial space is reconfigured, however incrementally or radically, by the motion associated with specific . . . cultural objectsʺ (2001, 24). One such reconfiguration concerns the phenomenon of publics, for the result of Dogma 95ʹs metacultural instantiations, framings,...

  8. 4 Patriotism and Nationalism: A Common Culture in Film
    (pp. 112-157)

    In the Danish context, various emphases on the performativity of certain cultural forms, especially metaculture, are interpretable as more or less deliberate attempts to circumvent problems that prevent a widespread circulation of Danish films and the crystallization of a national and transnational interest in them. The Dogma 95 movementʹs ability to make film history clearly establishes just how effective such strategies can be. At the same time, it is important not to allow the flamboyance, compelling irreverence, and sheer cheek of the Dogma initiative to blind us to the efficacies of some of the more established long-term solutions to the...

  9. 5 Counterglobalization: A Transnational Communicative Space Emerges in the North
    (pp. 158-190)

    Heritage is an ʺinherently spatial phenomenonʺ that registers differences of scale: ʺAn intrinsic attribute of places is that they exist within a hierarchy of spatial scales. Places therefore have a heritage at local, regional, national, continental, and international scales, while, in turn, a particular heritage artifact can function at a variety of scalesʺ (Graham et al. 2000, 4). Yet film scholars have failed to take seriously the kind of multiplicity of scales that the geographers emphasize, opting instead to discuss heritage film production in connection with the kind of national focus evident in a film such as Erik ClausenʹsCarl....

  10. 6 International Heritage: Toward an Ethics of the Bio-Pic
    (pp. 191-233)

    This is how left-wing anthropologist Renato Rosaldo begins his article ʺImperialist Nostalgiaʺ (1989, 107). The sense of anger is at once powerful and clearly at odds with the nostalgic pleasures that these films are meant to provoke. What Rosaldoʹs response registers is precisely the tension between a past that is ethically and politically questionable and a visual style of representation that is inherently enticing—the very tension, in short, that lies at the heart of the heritage film phenomenon as characterized by important British theorists of the genre (Higson 1993, 1995, 1996, 2003; Vincendeau 2001). Indeed, the anthropologistʹs anger is...

  11. 7 Toward a Multiethnic Society: Cinema as a Mode of Incorporation
    (pp. 234-272)

    Collective mobilization, metaculture, and common or shared culture are some of the strategies available to filmmakers grappling with problems of access and recognition, which inevitably impinge on small nations. The assumption in the previous chapters has been that these obstacles are rendered all the more daunting by certain kinds of globalization. Examples include globalizing processes that saturate communicative space with certain cultural products, thereby effecting a gravitation toward the norms made salient by these products. The capacity to saturate cultural spaces in this way is made possible by population density, concentrations of capital, and linguistic dominance, phenomena that are more...

  12. Appendix: Dogma 95 Manifesto and Dogma Films
    (pp. 273-278)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 279-284)
  14. Works Cited
    (pp. 285-298)
  15. Index
    (pp. 299-312)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 313-313)