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Title: Locating the national in Croatian film culture, 1980-2009
Author: Alexander, Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 4724
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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In this thesis I propose a new methodology for constructing national cinemas, using reception studies, which aims to better convey the plurality of identities present within a national context. Existing national cinemas overwhelmingly rely upon homogenous national identities dictated by scholars who opaquely play judge and jury over inclusion. Each national cinema ostensibly provides a superior representation of a particular nationhood than its predecessors. I argue that filmic nationhood is less absolute and the role of the national cinema scholar should be in communicating the significance of various existing interpretations within a national context. National audiences do not watch films as blank canvasses but rather are conditioned by the context in which they consume them. This necessitates these audiences’ disaggregation according to their various collective identities which enact ingroup favouritism and outgroup discrimination. These identities’ filmic reception is accessed through press materials such as magazines and newspapers which address their particular readership appropriately. Analysis of this reception over an extended period of time constructs a national cinema network and reveals both the complexity and contradictions of filmic nationhood. Croatian film culture from 1980 to 2009 serves as the medium through which I implement my preferred methodology in this thesis. Analysing the varied receptions of six films, I construct a Croatian national cinema which is significantly more nuanced than those which have preceded it. Nationhood is shown to be the most significant collective identity in Croatian film culture, often conditioning the depiction and reception of other national and non-national identities. Nevertheless, this was neither a static nor an exclusive nationhood. What it meant to be Croatian in film culture was concurrently understood in different ways and Croatian imaginings were always supplemented by Yugoslav alternatives.
Supervisor: Mazdon, Lucy ; Bergfelder, Tim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available