Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand (Book)

In this innovative work of cultural history, Simon Sigley tells the story of film culture in New Zealand from the establishment of the Auckland Film Society in the 1920s to the present day. 

Rather than focusing on the work of individual filmmakers, Sigley approaches cinema as a form of social practice. He examines the reception of international film theories and discourses and shows how these ideas helped to shape distinct cultural practices, including new forms of reviewing; new methods of teaching; and new institutions such as film societies, art house cinemas and film festivals. He goes on to trace the emergence in New Zealand of the full range of activities and institutions associated with a sophisticated film culture – including independent distribution and exhibition networks, film archives, university courses, a local feature film industry and liberalized film censorship. In doing so, Sigley makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the myriad of ways film can shape our thinking, our icons, our institutions and our conversations. A fascinating case history of how a culture can develop, Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in film culture and cultural history.

Category: Film Studies

Edition

In this innovative work of cultural history, Simon Sigley tells the story of film culture in New Zealand from the establishment of the Auckland Film Society in the 1920s to the present day.
Rather than focusing on the work of individual filmmakers, Sigley approaches cinema as a form of social practice. He examines the reception of international film theories and discourses and shows how these ideas helped to shape distinct cultural practices, including new forms of reviewing; new methods of teaching; and new institutions such as film societies, art house cinemas, and film festivals. He goes on to trace the emergence in New Zealand of the full range of activities and institutions associated with a sophisticated film culture—including independent distribution and exhibition networks, film archives, university courses, a local feature film industry, and liberalized film censorship. In doing so, Sigley makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the myriad ways film can shape our thinking, our icons, our institutions, and our conversations. A fascinating case history of how a culture can develop, Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in film culture and cultural history.
Chapter 1: In Defence of Films as Art
• The Overseas Context
• Film Availability in New Zealand
• The Auckland Film Society (1929)
• The Auckland Star Film Reviews
Chapter 2: Second Thoughts About Art
• The Wellington Film Society (1933)
• The Road to Ruin
• A Parliamentary Inquiry
• Turning Left
• The Federation of Film Societies
• The Film Institutes (1934–39)
Chapter 3: Thesis and Antithesis – Tomorrow on Film
• Early Film Criticism
• Defending the Cinema
• The Importance of Documentaries
• The Cinema and Education
• Other Contributions
Chapter 4: Public Policy and Private Enterprise
• Institutions and Agents
• The National Film Library
• Independent Film Distribution
• Film Criticism Goes National
Chapter 5: Building the Cultural Infrastructure • The Revival
• Developing Discursive Practices
• Collaboration with Business
• The Perils of Passivity
Chapter 6: Happy Together: Education, Networks, Festivals • Magazines and Film Classes
• The Winter Film School
• Commerce and Co-operation
• At the Art-house
Chapter 7: Nouvelle Vague: Film Culture Meets Counterculture
• The Auckland International Film Festival (1969)
• Youth Culture and Film Censorship: 1930s Redux
• The Wellington Film Festival
• Some Conclusions
Chapter 8: Between Spectacle and Memory
• Film Festival Expansion
• Programming the Nation
• Festival Professionalization
• Creating a Memory Site
• Born in Poverty
• The Last Film Search (1993–2000)
• Roadmap for the Future
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