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A melodramatic imagined nation : the unruly subject of Canadian cinemas

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A melodramatic imagined nation : the unruly subject of Canadian cinemas

Bruce, Jean Marietta (2003) A melodramatic imagined nation : the unruly subject of Canadian cinemas. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Canadian cinema comprises a corpus of work that is not easily unified by a recognizable national style or a singular mode of production. The unruliness in the identity of Canadian cinema, including the imprecise distinction between popular and art cinema, has contributed to the ongoing difficulty of attaching critical definitions to it. This dissertation argues that the films made between 1972 and 1992, during the burgeoning discourse on Canada as a multicultural nation, represent narratives of difference. In the cinema of this period, anxieties around sexuality, immigrant identity and cultural imperialism are highlighted. A selection of films emblematic of the conflict between multiculturalism and popular culture in Canada have been selected for analysis in this thesis. The critical tensions in these films are examined by using melodrama as an analytic method. As a mode of expression in film, literature, stage productions and television, melodrama is a discourse of cultural conflict and contradiction. It also straddles the distinction between popular and art cinema. As a film and cultural theory, and as a critical method of analysis, therefore, melodrama illuminates Canadian cinema and exposes it as an exemplary site for constructing national subjectivity. Melodrama functions as an intervention into the various models of Canadian subjectivity that have been produced in film spectatorship and theorized in film criticism.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bruce, Jean Marietta
Pagination:iv, 250 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Russell, Catherine
ID Code:2291
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:27
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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