African Film: Re-Imagining a Continent by Josef Gugler

By Josef Gugler

In African movie: Re-imagining a Continent, Josef Gugler offers an advent to African cinema via an research of 15 motion pictures made by way of African filmmakers. those administrators got down to re-image Africa; their movies provide Western audience the chance to re-imagine the continent and its humans. As some extent of comparability, extra motion pictures on Africa—one from Hollywood, the opposite from apartheid South Africa—serve to spotlight African directors’ altogether various views.

Gugler’s interpretation considers the monetary and technical problems of African movie construction, the meant audiences in Africa and the West, the restrictions on distribution, and the serious reception of the flicks.

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What happens, then, when a film itself exists only in fragments and stills? In some sense, the logic is reversed: the analysis of the film becomes a way to bring it back to life, in the sense of making it whole, a process that mimics that of the work of the director himself. In the case of ¡Que Viva México! this dialectic is thematized in the film, and in particular in its “Prologue” and “Epilogue,” through constant reversals of death and life and the emphasis on this process as continuous. This projection of the poetics of the film onto the poetics of the artistic process (and back) is particularly justified in the case of Eisenstein.

For now, a brief sketch of the development of postrevolutionary cultural ideology of Mexico will help us contextualize Eisenstein’s fascination with the indigenous culture. Turning to Mexico’s distant past in the “Prologue,” Eisenstein’s film simultaneously reflects the importance of the pre-Columbian foundations of Mexican history, and the revival of this past as part of the postrevolutionary national ideology of indigenismo,4 to which the muralist project of Rivera and Siqueiros is intimately tied.

We are, after all, breaking the most basic taboos by gazing directly at gods and at death itself. The funeral-procession sequence consists of two parts—the procession itself and a ritualistic feast that forms it. The latter is filmed in static shots composed much like the preceding sequence. The main difference, however, is that instead of one or two frontal takes from different distances (a close-up and an extreme close-up, for example), the composition of the visual planes changes to a kind of establishing shot of a half-open coffin showing the face of the dead with three men and three women positioned symmetrically on the sides of the coffin with jicaras, half-cut 44 : chapter one Figure 4.

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