Frontiers of Screen History (Book)

Imagining European Borders in Cinema, 1945–2010


Frontiers of Screen History provides an insightful exploration into the depiction and imagination of European borders in cinema after the Second World War. While films have explored national and political borders, they have also attempted to identify, challenge and imagine frontiers of another kind: social, ethnic, religious and gendered. The book investigates all these perspectives. Its unique focus on the representation of European borders and frontiers via film is groundbreaking, opening up a new field of research and scholarly discussion. The exceptional variety of national and cultural perspectives provides a rewarding investigation of borders and frontiers.

Kimmo Ahonen and Heta Mulari are research fellows in the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku, Finland.


Foreword – Tom Conley Introduction: Encounters with Borders – Kimmo Ahonen, Raita Merivirta, Heta Mulari and Rami Mähkä Worlds Divided by the Iron Curtain Chapter 1: Imagining West Berlin: Spatiality and History in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, 1987 – Hannu Salmi Chapter 2: ‘What’s Wrong with a Cowboy in Hamburg?’: New German Cinema and the German-American Cultural Frontier – Jacqui Miller Chapter 3: The Collapse of Ideologies in Peter Kahane’s The Architects – Marco Bohr Chapter 4: How to Win the Cold War: Borders of the Free World in Guilty of Treason (1950) and Red Planet Mars (1952) – Kimmo Ahonen Alternative Cultural Locations Chapter 5: Crossing Over: On Becoming European in Aki Kaurismäki’s Cinema – Sanna Peden Chapter 6: Looking for Alternative London: The London Nobody Knows and the Pop-Geographical Borders of the City – Kari Kallioniemi Chapter 7: The Cité’s Architectural, Linguistic and Cinematic Frontiers in L’Esquive – Jehanne-Marie Gavarini Borders Crossed, Borders Within Chapter 8: Between Hamburg and Istanbul: Mobility, Borders and Identity in the Films of Fatih Akin – Jessica Gallagher Chapter 9: Transnational Heroines: Swedish Youth Film and Immigrant Girlhood – Heta Mulari Chapter 10: Family as Internal Border in Dogtooth – Ipek A. Celik Post-Colonial Borders and Cultural Frontiers Chapter 11: Gendered Conflicts in Northern Ireland: Motherhood, the Male Body and Borders in Some Mother’s Son and Hunger – Raita Merivirta Chapter 12: Heartlands and Borderlands: El Dorado and the Post-Franco Spanish Cinema as a Bridgehead between Europe and Latin America – Petteri Halin Chapter 13: Subverted and Transgressed Borders: The Empire in British Comedy and Horror films – Rami Mähkä

'This could hardly be a more timely or more useful volume. The thirteen essays examine cinema that dates from the era of the immediate post-World War Two until the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. In a commendable array of films, directors and geographic places, the authors examine the aesthetic borders and boundaries that loosely designate the entity of Europe, and the transcultural and transnational comings and goings in the porous spaces that delineate the internal and external European frontiers. Underlying a number of the analyses is a sensitivity to Thomas Elsaesser’s notion of “double occupancy” that prevails in many cultural and cognitive spaces but that carries particular salience in Europe where the physical occupancy of region and geography has been defined and redefined.' 

Judith Keene, The European Legacy
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