Staging an encounter between cinema and countryside is to invoke a rich and diverse spatial imagery. This book explores the reciprocal relationship between film and the rural: how film makes rural and rural makes film. Part I of the book explores the idea of the nationhood and relatedly, how cinematic countrysides frame the occupancy and experience of border zones. It covers representations of the Australian landscape and the spatial imagery behind the 'inculcation of political ideology' of North Korean films. European 'films of voyage' are a cinematic tradition that articulates representations of the countryside with questions of boundaries and cultural diversity. The 'pagan' landscape of British cinema and the American and British war films are also discussed. Part II focuses on the role that countrysides play in mediating national self-image through globalising systems of cinematic production. Films such as The Local Hero and The Lord of the Rings, the latter in the context of New Zealand as a shooting location, are discussed. The third part of the book focuses on two key markers of social identity and difference - 'childhood' and 'masculinity' - which serve to amplify how embodied identities come to inflect the idea of rural space. A family's relocation to the countryside from the city serves to emphasise that they are isolated from the moral structures that might contain their deviant behaviour. Part IV of the book deals with, inter alia, the Amber Film and Photography Collective, and amateur films on the former coalfields of Durham.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book emphasises different thematic concerns and approaches to the idea of cinematic countrysides. It explores the idea of the nationhood and how cinematic countrysides frame the occupancy and experience of border zones: those rural environments that bring the relationship between state, subject and cultural identity into sharp relief. The book also explores a largely uncharted tradition of national cinema of North Korean film. It represents an important intervention into debates about the internationalisation of economic activities and the real and imagined effects that come from attracting mobile investment into rural locales. The book examines the wider processes of production/consumption that surround the representation of countrysides in film. It addresses alternative ways of interpreting and practising cinematic countrysides.