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Encountering Modernity

Posted by lamacs On June - 15 - 2010

Keyan Tomaselli
Critical Arts, Volume 23, Issue 1 March 2009 , pages 124 – 132

Twentieth Century South African Cinemas

A book describing the history of South African cinemas can never be about cinemas only, for the subject will always be intimately intertwined with its context, in this case 20th century South Africa. Keyan Tomaselli, one of the founders of cultural studies in SA, explores in this book how South African cinemas and films have been decidedly shaped by the country’s history. In turn, films have inspired their makers and audiences to understand, and come to terms with, the complex phenomenon of modernity.

Discussing film theory, narratives, audiences and key South African films and filmmakers, Tomaselli aptly demonstrates that the time has come to adapt a more ‘African’ view on African cinemas, since western theories and models cannot automatically be applied to an African context.

Far from shying away from the personal, Tomaselli gives a conscientious and telling account of how his own experiences as a film maker, a cultural studies scholar, and a South African, have inevitably influenced his academic viewpoints and analysis.

Prof. Keyan Tomaselli (Culture, Communication and Media Studies Department, University of KwaZulu-Natal) previously worked in the film industry and was co-writer of the White Paper on Film. His seminal books include The Cinema of Apartheid and Appropriating Images (1996). His interests are political economy, African cinema and visual anthropology.

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