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Re-takes

Postcoloniality and Foreign Film Languages

2005
Author:

John Mowitt

Re-takes

A sustained theoretical reevaluation of “film languages,” both visual and verbal

John Mowitt investigates the relationship between postcoloniality, national identity, ideology, and filmmaking. Using bilingualism and the concept of foreign film language, Re-takes pushes film studies beyond both linguistics and psychoanalysis to re-situate it within the networks of global cultural communication. Mowitt challenges film studies to reflect on the relation between its organizing analytical distinctions and its position within globalization.

Re-takes offers fascinating and provocative close analysis. It will revitalize discussions of ‘Third Cinema.’

Sharon Willis, University of Rochester

Exploring several dimensions of the problem of “film languages,” this volume engages the complications inherent in the study of the “other” and investigates the intricate relationship between postcoloniality, national identity, ideology, and filmmaking. John Mowitt establishes how Eurocentrism sustains both the concept of the foreign language film and the flawed initiative of multiculturalism. Using bilingualism and the concept of foreign film language, Re-takes pushes film studies beyond both linguistics and psychoanalysis to re-situate it within the networks of global cultural communication.

Through close readings of the bilingual films of Senegalese filmmaker Sembene Ousmane and Bolivian filmmaker Jorge Sanjinés, Mowitt articulates the poetics and politics of postcoloniality in the global cinematic field, and challenges film studies to reflect on the relation between its organizing analytical distinctions—national and foreign, textual and institutional—and its position within globalization. Examining the implications for the ways in which academic intellectuals classify and misappropriate cultural forms, Re-takes is a provocative intervention into ongoing discussions of the changing nature of film and media studies.

Awards

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Re-takes

John Mowitt is professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.

Re-takes

Re-takes offers fascinating and provocative close analysis. It will revitalize discussions of ‘Third Cinema.’

Sharon Willis, University of Rochester

This brilliant and deeply original book offers close and carefully reasoned readings of films. A lucid and thoughtful consideration of the power of cinema outside American culture. A remarkable and unique study. Essential.

Choice

A vital, ingenious, and, at times, deliriously exasperating read.

Film Comment