Conférence

Fareed Ben-Youssef (NYU Shanghai), “'Just Make Me Look Good’: The Duel Against Mythic Representation in the Transnational Western Films of Chloé Zhao”

Réalisation : 16 novembre 2018 Mise en ligne : 16 novembre 2018
  • document 1 document 2 document 3
  • niveau 1 niveau 2 niveau 3
  • audio 1 audio 2 audio 3
Descriptif

Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao hasestablished herself as a foremost chronicler of the experience of NativeAmerican youth. Her Westerns—"Songs My Brother Taught Me" (2015) and"The Rider" (2017)—center upon teenagers on the Pine Ridge IndianReservation in South Dakota.

In “Songs,” Zhao speaks to the burden of mythicportrayals upon these often-invisible populations. A white outsider—a proxy forthe filmmaker—asks if she can take a photo of the film's hero on horseback. He replies,"Just make me look good." Commenting on this scene, Zhao stresses thatthe people of Pine Ridge fight codified archetypes of themselves as depicted inWestern film and in American media which present them “as either savages orperfect, holy medicine men." She finds that such representation “is sodangerous because it actually reshapes how people see themselves.” This paperthus examines how the pressure to ‘look good’ on camera speaks to a rigidconstruction of the Native American self that Zhao's cinema works tointerrogate and disrupt. In so doing, Zhao proposes a transnational Westernform that articulates a newly fluid identity, one where a complete self may begleaned within a frontier space of discontinuity and lost bearings.

My paper brings together formal analysis withpersonal interviews with the director. I position these materials within atheoretical framework centered upon identity formation, upon Stuart Hall’s formulation:“Identities are constituted within, not outside representation.” I thusillustrate how Zhao frames the plight of constituting an identity within a voidof representation wherein one can only see oneself through mythic lenses—as eithera cowboy star of the rodeo or the salvation of a downtrodden tribe.

Thèmes
Notice
Lieu de réalisation
Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, Site Saint Charles
Langue :
Anglais
Conditions d'utilisation
Tous droits réservés.
Citer cette ressource:
EMMA. (2018, 16 novembre). Fareed Ben-Youssef (NYU Shanghai), “'Just Make Me Look Good’: The Duel Against Mythic Representation in the Transnational Western Films of Chloé Zhao”. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. https://www.canal-u.tv/101723. (Consultée le 9 août 2022)
Contacter

Dans la même collection

Sur le même thème