Cinema on the Periphery: Contemporary Irish and Spanish Film


Conn Holohan

Casts new light on two national cinemas which have never previously been considered in terms of their shared characteristics. The readings of Irish and Spanish films in this book are informed by concepts from a number of theoretical areas, including urban theory, gender studies and trauma theory. Concentrates on genre films from Ireland and Spain which have not been widely written about.

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This book takes a comparative approach to contemporary Irish and Spanish cinema in order to examine the ways in which the films produced have been marked by Ireland and Spain’s distinctive encounters with modernity. In successive chapters, the book explores the representation of gender, sexuality, space and history within contemporary Irish and Spanish film, arguing that these representations should be read in relation to the particular process of modernisation which occurred within Ireland and Spain, whereby an insular, conservative national culture was supplanted within a short period of time by an urbanised, European secularism. Within these representations, it argues, can be uncovered attempts to reconstruct a national narrative within this new cultural context. It traces these cultural shifts through a detailed analysis of the aesthetic strategies and thematic concerns of the films which have emerged from Ireland and Spain over the last fifteen years.

By establishing specific idiosyncratic features shared by Irish and Spanish films, this book places Ireland’s cultural and cinematic development firmly within a European context. By concentrating on genre films, it illustrates how films which are not specifically concerned with issues of nation are nevertheless marked by their national context. Furthermore, it argues for the importance of reinstating the nation as an interpretative category, one which allows the assertion of a politicised national identity within an increasingly globalised entertainment cinema.

Table of Contents

  1. The Comparative Approach
  2. Power and Patriarchy Femininity,
  3. Sexuality and Space
  4. The City Space
  5. The National Past

About the Author

Dr Conn Holohan is currently lecturing on Irish and Spanish cinema as well as Film Theory in University College Dublin. His publications include articles on the crime film in Irish and Spanish cinema, narrativity in Breakfast on Pluto, and queer sexuality in recent Irish cinema.