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Archipelagoes and constellations: political economy and aesthetics in Twenty-First Central American and Hispanic Caribbean film

Alfaro Córdoba, Amanda; (2020) Archipelagoes and constellations: political economy and aesthetics in Twenty-First Central American and Hispanic Caribbean film. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), University College London (UCL).

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Abstract

Filmmaking landscapes are changing as political and technological frameworks undergo deep transformations. This thesis argues that politics and technology, as well as the cinematographic languages derived from them, respond to mechanisms that pull in opposite directions: one divides up the resources and operational networks which are based on the structure of a fragmented political economy that conforms to what is often referred to as the New International Division of Cultural Labour; the technology-based cultural expressions, for their part, find connections in other ways, building paths between discordant cultural codes. This thesis asks the following questions: What impact has the changing infrastructural landscape had on film production and distribution, and the expression of themes in the twenty-first-century cinema of the Hispanic Caribbean and Central America? What role have Hollywood and Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano played in this new era? By critically reading texts that explore and discuss the diversity of Latin American cinemas and the problem of defining a “house style”, conducting interviews with filmmakers, decision-makers and cultural critics as well as viewing and analysing a wide range of films from Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Costa Rica that have circulated in film festivals, this thesis examines the influence of the political context at precisely the point in time when technological changes are starting to revolutionise filmmaking practices, circuits, and dynamics. In this thesis I examine three production contexts: (a) the political economy underpinning global cinematographic practices, (b) the legacy of the Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, and (c) the impact of technology on production and distribution dynamics, via an analysis of nine films which exemplify the characteristics of each context. The thesis focuses in particular on the pathways followed by filmmaking in Latin America between the Scylla of politics and the Charybdis of technology. As a result, I argue that there are two oppositional trends. On one hand, there is the archipelagic drive that forces a wedge between the cultural and financial policies in the Hispanic Caribbean and Central America based on economic conditions. The second, and oppositional trend, which is configurative – that is to say, it shows a continuity of meanings within the film texts – is underpinned by the convergence of a set of voices that face a similar set of challenges as a result of marginalisation, invisibilisation, and decontextualisation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Archipelagoes and constellations: political economy and aesthetics in Twenty-First Central American and Hispanic Caribbean film
Event: University College London
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092231
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