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EMMA (Études Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone)

Seung-Hwan Shin (University of Pittsburgh), "North by West: The Manchurian Western and Minoritarian Cinema"

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Seung-Hwan Shin (University of Pittsburgh), "North by West: The Manchurian Western and Minoritarian Cinema"

Reflecting on the Western’s development after WWII, André Bazin noted, “Its roots continue to spread under the Hollywood humus and…robust suckers spring up in the midst of the seductive but sterile hybrids” (“The Evolution of the Western”). This comment may feel puzzling to those familiar with his qualms over postwar Westerns that relied on extrinsic elements such as moral struggle, stylization, and eroticism to justify their existence. However, it becomes a powerful metaphor for the Western’s global dissemination. Its persistent germinations in far-flung lands confirm that unlike its decrepit trunk at home, its rhizomes have remained healthy and continued to sprawl out under the rigidly territorialized surface. Thus, hinging on what charm the primarily American genre gained in non-American contexts, my paper looks into the Manchurian Western with a particular focus on The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Kim Jee-woon, 2008). In a country like Korea both geographically and culturally distant from America, the Western’s adaptations have involved more friction and more tortuous process of transposition. Yet, the Manchurian Western becomes all the more interesting for its rhizomatic diffusion. Its reworking of the Western’s epic outlook in non-epic contexts (e.g., colonial Manchuria) indeed reminds us of notions like “minor literature” (Deleuze) that often borrows foreign idioms to turn nomadic toward its own language. In theorizing Manchurian Westerns as minoritarian cinema, I explore how they integrate foreign tropes with countercultural sensibilities in Korean society, more specifically, how a film like The Good, the Bad, the Weird recasts history of imperialism in the East Asian context in transposing Leone’s sarcastic treatment of American mythopoeia onto occupied Manchuria, and also weirds national history by mixing it and mercenary characters into a jarring juxtaposition. Accordingly, I read Manchurian Westerns as defiant of such entrenched frameworks as historical authenticity and the Hollywood/non-Hollywood binary.


    Date de réalisation : 15 Novembre 2018
    Lieu de réalisation : Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, Site Saint Charles
    Durée du programme : 28 min
    Classification Dewey : Histoire générale de l'Asie. Orient. Extrême-Orient. Moyen et Proche Orient., Histoire générale de l'Amérique du Nord, Cinéma - Histoire, Films (analyses et critiques des films), Aspects particuliers des films (adaptations cinématographiques, genres de film...)
    Catégorie : Conférences
    Niveau : Tous publics / hors niveau, niveau Licence (LMD), niveau Master (LMD), niveau Doctorat (LMD), Recherche, Concours (Agrégation, CAPES...)
    Disciplines : Civilisation anglaise et américaine
    Collections : Transnationalism and Imperialism: New Perspectives on the Western
    ficheLom : Voir la fiche LOM
    Langue : Anglais
    Mots-clés : impérialisme, transnationalisme, analyse de film, Manchourie, Cinéma, études cinématographiques et vidéo
    Conditions d’utilisation / Copyright : Tous droits réservés


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