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Editor: Robert Fish

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.

Robert Fish

As we shall see, staging an encounter between cinema and countryside is to invoke a rich and diverse spatial imagery. Cinematic countrysides are the expanse of the American Great West and the restraint of the English village street; the mountain terrains of North Korea and the jungle environments of the Viet Cong. Cinematic countrysides are the iconographic backdrop to national founding myths and the

in Cinematic countrysides
Childhood and rurality in film
Owain Jones

explore two other aspects of childhood in the cinematic countryside. Firstly, heeding Little’s ( 1999 ) concern about the whole notion of idyll (see also Cloke et al ., 1995 ), I consider films which go beyond obvious ideas of idyll in two ways. The first are films which show the other side of idyll, or life behind the ‘façade’ of idyll, raising issues of poverty, but also oppression through patriarchal power, and

in Cinematic countrysides
Representations of war and rurality in British and American film
Rachel Woodward and Patricia Winter

, deadly rural of Vietnam. What do representations of rurality, representations such as Platoon ’s, bring to war films? How do they function? In this chapter, limiting our discussion to British and American cinema, we look at the use of representations of the rural to explore how the cinematic countryside functions in war films. War films in British and US cinema are riddled with rural representations, used

in Cinematic countrysides
Abstract only
Urban versus rural in City Slickers and Hunter’s Blood
David Bell

This chapter builds on my previous interests in the cinematic countryside and in constructions of urban and rural masculinities (Bell, 1997 ; 2000 ). It seeks to make a modest contribution to the growing body of work on gender and the rural, and more specifically on the relationships between rurality and masculinity (for an overview, see Little, 2002 ). My aim (to borrow from Rachel

in Cinematic countrysides
Mark Neumann and Janna Jones

This chapter focuses on a few of the amateur films made in New England, a tiny fragment of the thousands of reels that survive in archives and attics throughout the United States and abroad. By examining a few of the amateur films, it also focuses on how the presence of the movie camera in various rural settings enabled people to both document and dramatise rural existence. In Maxim's hands, the amateur movie camera could enchant the rural as a place of magic, but it also showed how that enchantment was a property of a class. The chapter discusses four films, which offer a curious glimpse at how the rural appears as an imaginary site, a cinematic space where depictions of rural life are a product of the filmmakers' relationship to their subjects. The films are Snow White, Time Marches On, Movie Queen and Miss Olympia.

in Cinematic countrysides
Michael Leyshon and Catherine Brace

This chapter brings together work on rural landscapes and identity, the lives of young people in rural areas and the representation of rural youth in fiction to construct a critical analysis of Tim Roth's film The War Zone. Set in north Devon, the film reconfigures the rural as aberrant, heteroclitic and sinister in several linked ways. First, it challenges the lay discourse which positions the countryside as a safe place in which to grow up by portraying it as alienating and marginalising. Second, it resists the popular image of rural sexuality as playful, innocent fumbling in a hayloft by foregrounding Tom Holland and Jessie's exploration of their (deviant) sexual identities. Finally, by using as its setting the bleak landscape of north Devon, it envisions a contemporary alternative to a historically constituted version of rural England as a green and pleasant land.

in Cinematic countrysides
Film, photography and the former coalfields
Katy Bennett and Richard Lee

Drawing upon the work of the Amber Film and Photography Collective, this chapter explores the relationship between performance, representation and identity. It looks at how the landscape of the former Durham coalfields is simultaneously identified and embodied through a focus on both its representation and some of the practices that affect its representation, and presents two stories. One of these stories is called 'Embodied landscape' and shows how Amber's work gives form to the Durham landscape, influencing how it is experienced. 'Embodied landscape' introduces two of Amber's projects: the film Like Father and a photographic exhibition called Coalfield Stories. The second story is called 'Landscape embodied'. The two stories are written side by side to demonstrate the impact of Amber's collaboration with people and landscapes on its work and how its practices simultaneously identify (itself and) the former coalfields.

in Cinematic countrysides
Martin Phillips

This chapter sketches out aspects of the economic and cultural dimensions of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) 'films in space', and explores the 'spaces in the films', most particularly its rural spaces. It focuses on the notions of 'spaces of film' and 'film in space' to examine rural socio-spatial identities being performed within and around the film industry of New Zealand. New Zealand has been described as 'Britain's Farm' and it may well be that the imagined geographies of the rurality of New Zealand and England are for many people not as distinct as their spatial differentiation might suggest. The chapter also explores one particular space of film by considering the economic and the cultural impacts of the film in Aotearoa/New Zealand. If the films enact an imaginative geography involving movement through differing constructions of rural space, they also enact movement through imaginative geographies of nature as well.

in Cinematic countrysides
Material geographies of filmmaking and the rural
Andy C. Pratt

This chapter explores the material practices of filmmaking and to what extent the dreams and representations are reflected in reality. It sketches out the processes through which film is made, concentrating on the organisation of the 'back of camera' activities. The chapter outlines the changing process of film production and the rise of what has been termed 'runaway production'. Runaway production is considered, on the one hand, a threat to Hollywood and, on the other, an opportunity for many global locations that hope to benefit from a migrant film industry. The chapter also explores the contradictions of location shooting for rural areas. It reviews some of the relevant debates in the literature. The chapter considers the potential for different forms of rural film production that are led by cultural rather than economic agendas.

in Cinematic countrysides