An archaeology of Irish cinema: Ireland's subaltern, migrant and feminist film cultures (1973-87)
Connolly, Maeve (2003) An archaeology of Irish cinema: Ireland's subaltern, migrant and feminist film cultures (1973-87). Master of Arts thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis examines the development of an Irish film avant-garde, from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. The thesis argues that this period was marked by an historically specific intersection between Irish and international film cultures, which can be traced through contemporary film theory, cultural policy and critical practice. This period witnessed a revitalisation of indigenous production, and new initiatives in Irish arts policy, but many important Irish filmmakers trained or began their careers in London and New York, while others were supported by cultural and political agencies outside the state. The thesis focuses on the work of five filmmakers (Bob Quinn, Joe Comerford, Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Vivienne Dick and Pat Murphy) and on three key areas of intersection between Irish and international film culture, associated with the ‘subaltern’, migration and feminism. Through close readings of specific films, supported by interviews with selected filmmakers, distributors and archivists, the thesis develops an expanded model of practice, which extends beyond production to address issues of distribution and exhibition. This archaeology of Irish cinema is informed by post-structural critiques of the archive, as well as theories of the avantgarde, and it argues that the reception of Irish avant-garde film has been structured by the institutional discourses of the museum and the academy.
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