Locating the transnational: representations and aesthetics of the city in contemporary European cinemas

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Keating, Abigail
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University College Cork
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This thesis focuses on two Western European cinematic cities, and two unique periods of their respective nations’ histories, in a bid to “locate” the transnational within a contemporary European milieu. I argue that my geo-cinematic case studies are emblematic of broader questions of the problematics of national identity in contemporary Europe in the face of cross-national flows yet, as a result of their representations as cities both “anchored” and “in flux”, they reject a European postnational identity. Through its engagement with cinematic Rome as the “Eternal City” of Europe and cinematic Dublin as the “newly Europeanised” city, my thesis traces how representations and aesthetics of the urban spaces of these two cities correspond with the tensions at the heart of the respective eras in question. Via the figures that inhabit it, navigate it and search for it, the city is utilised to highlight fixity and mobility, centrality and dislocation, in explicit and implicit ways, amid the rapidly changing landscape of its national terrain. It is through my analyses of the filmed places and sociopolitical, socioeconomic and sociocultural spaces of these capital cities under the rubric of the transnational that this research demonstrates the “pluralities” of the construct in its cinematic manifestations. It is also my aim to evaluate the concept of cinematic transnationalism when identifying and accounting for representations of a specific national, historical timeframe, when the momentousness of the changes that occur is not bound by the national, but rather is reflective of the influence of both domestic and external forces. To this end, my thesis draws attention to instances in which the nation is shown to persist and resist dilution, arguing that it is only against the backdrop and continuity of the nation (in its evershifting guises) that the transnational can be conceived in representative and aesthetic terms.
Film studies , European cinema , Irish cinema , Italian cinema , Transnational cinema , Cinematic city , Dublin in cinema , Rome in cinema
Keating, A. M. 2014. Locating the transnational: representations and aesthetics of the city in contemporary European cinemas. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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