In researching competing claims for a national cinema, this paper works to illuminate the unities and dispersions underlying the ontological notion of a cohesive “imagined community.” The mid-90s resurgence of an economically viable Turkish popular cinema will be compared with Turkish art-cinema’s claim for the national, and particular attention will be placed on the methodological moves that each claim is making. Debates on Turkey’s political, economic and cultural positioning amidst various global flows appears in discourse about and within Turkish popular cinema. Emphasizing the use of the art-object in media historiography and incorporating analyses of two films, Vizontele (Yilmaz Erdogan, 2001) and Masked Gang: Iraq (Murat Aslan, 2007), this research problematizes binaries that saturate popular discourse on Turkish culture and cinema, such as the divide between national and transnational, tradition and modernity, and art verses popular culture. In investigating popular cinema as both a subject and object of discourse, we might better understand what old fissures and contradictions this new national claim is bringing to the surface through its dual-ambivalence towards both ends of the cultural map.
|Keywords:||Turkish Popular Cinema, Turkish Art Cinema, Global Media, National Cinema, Transnational Cinema, Film Co-productions, Cultural Policy|
Graduate Student, Film and Media Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA
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