TITLE

'If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage': screenwriting, national specificity and the English-Canadian feature film

AUTHOR(S)
Kaye, Janice; Davis, Charles H.
PUB. DATE
January 2011
SOURCE
Journal of Screenwriting;2011, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p61
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Like other film-producing nations, Canada's movie landscape was long ago colonized by US interests. While other nations also welcome American movies, the Canadian case is extreme: Canada has the lowest market share in the world of its own movies on its own screens. Living next to the world's most powerful country, Canada occupies - geographically, economically, linguistically and culturally - a position unique in the world. The historical and ongoing predicament of the lack of success of English-Canadian feature films has been variously attributed to similarities to the United States in language and culture, lower production budgets, and weaknesses in distribution, exhibition, marketing and 'quality'. The role of screenwriting, however, is little understood and rarely broached. In this article, we argue the importance of screenwriting in understanding national cinemas; show that it has institutional, sociological and nation-specific dimensions; and present Canada as an ideal case to begin examining such factors. The first dimension - the institutional - is defined by auteurism as well as the collaborative nature of production. The second - the sociological - is greatly affected by exclusionary networks and various levels of discrimination based on such factors as gender, ethnicity/race, age, sexuality and economic class. The nation-specific area pertains to diverse historical, cultural and institutional practices particular or exclusive to the country or region. English-Canada, for instance, experiences a unique and complex cultural policy environment. Moreover, its fractured and regional history is one that has resulted in the production of obsessively performed narratives of national identity, particularly imbricated with Québec, the United States, Britain and France. Our analysis draws together strands of intersecting disciplines, combining film theory and history with production studies, close textual analyses, political economy and nation theory, calling for a more complete picture of the role of screenwriting in national cinemas.
ACCESSION #
53725108

 

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics