Archive for calls, March 2013

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[ecrea] SYMPOSIUM ST ANDREWS/FILMHOUSE - Commies and Indians: The Western Beyond Cold War Frontiers

Wed Mar 20 17:32:33 GMT 2013

You are cordially invited to attend an exciting new symposium organised by Dina Iordanova, Dennis Hanlon and Jonathan Owen from the Centre of Film Studies in St Andrews, to take place on Friday 17 May 2013, 10am-6pm in the FilmGuild, at Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh. Please invite colleagues and friends to come along.

For all information, please look here:, or email Stefanie at (sevdp /at/ <mailto:(sevdp /at/>

In the 1960s the Western genre, then waning in its native Hollywood, took root in many European countries. Though Italy's Spaghetti Westerns indeed remain the best-known result of this transposition, the genre also crossed political lines into Communist Eastern Europe. A highly diverse raft of state-socialist Westerns emerged that twist the genre's familiar tropes in accord with local culture and history, not to mention the ideological demands of the Cold War.

These 'Red Westerns' sometimes play as uproarious parodies of the genre and sometimes as sincere examples of it; they sometimes adapt Western narratives to local histories and settings, and sometimes fabricate an American West with the help of lookalike European locations. If, say, Yugoslavia's 'Gibanica' Westerns spin genre thrills out of that country's wartime Partisan struggles, then East Germany's /Indianerfilme/ take place in a recognisable 'West' - albeit a radically reimagined one where the Indians are good and the American settlers bad.

Our one-day symposium will chart this fascinating episode in European popular cinema and address such questions as where these films stand in the history of the Western: how might they connect to post-classical, revisionist, demystifying modes of the genre as embodied by Peckinpah or Leone? This topic also enables us to explore broader, marginalised realities of Eastern Bloc film. With their Hollywood borrowings and frequent dependence on co-production, these films reveal the centrality of the transnational to this region's cinema. Their often Bloc-busting commercial success further affords consideration of popular pleasures in the people's democracies.

Confirmed speakers include *Professor Tim Bergfelder* (University of Southampton), author of the groundbreaking /International Adventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s/, and *Professor Dina Iordanova* (University of St Andrews), renowned expert on East European and transnational cinema.

The event will include screenings of notable 'Red Westerns', including Jir(í Trnka's animated pastiche /Song of the Prairie/ (1949).

Dr Stefanie Van de Peer
Research Coordinator
Editorial Assistant
Department of Film Studies
University of St Andrews
99 North Street
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9AD

Email: (sevdp /at/ <mailto:(sevdp /at/>
Tel: 01334 467 476

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