Folklore/Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Culture

Folklore/Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Culture

Mikel J. Koven

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0874216737

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Interest in the conjunctions of film and folklore is stronger and more diverse than ever. Ethnographic documentaries on folk life and expression remain a vital genre, but scholars such as Mikel Koven and Sharon Sherman also are exploring how folklore elements appear in, and merge with, popular cinema. They look at how movies, a popular culture medium, can as well be both a medium and type of folklore, playing cultural roles and conveying meanings customarily found in other folkloric forms. They thus use the methodology of folklore studies to “read” films made for commercial distribution.

The contributors to this book look at film and folklore convergences, showing how cinema conveys vernacular—traditional and popular—culture. Folklore/ Cinema will be of interest to scholars from many fields—folklore, film studies, popular culture, American studies, history, anthropology, and literature among them—and will help introduce students in various courses to intersections of film and culture.

In the Realm of the Senses (BFI Film Classsics)

The Anatomy of Harpo Marx

American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema)

Terrence Malick and the Thought of Film



















study of popular fictional cinema that may include elements of the documentary folkloric film. As Zhang defines it, Filmic folklore, by definition, is an imagined folklore that exists only in films, and is a folklore or folklore-like performance that is represented, created, or hybridized in fictional film. Taken out of the original (social, historic, geographic, and cultural) contexts, it functions in similar ways to that of folkloristic films. Filmic folklore imposes or reinforces certain

embarrassment and political criticism may function as both hero and antihero. The Making of a Potential Hero Over the course of six months, I interviewed, formally and informally, French and English Canadians on the subject of the Elvis Gratton films and how they perceived the works of Falardeau. I asked interviewees if they could define, in their own terms, hero and antihero with examples. In general, and in accordance with the data collected, they perceived a hero as a person who is admired

narrative, and politics in Borges, Puig, and Piglia. Comparative Literature Studies 40 (4): 351–71. Walker, John. 2003. The digital imprimatur: How big brother and big media can put the Internet genie back in the bottle. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 16 (3): 24–78. 112 MARK ALLEN PETERSON Wall Street Journal. 2003. The genie is out of the bottle. Eastern edition 242 (112), Dec. 8, A14. Westermarck, Edward. 1930. Wit and wisdom in Morocco. London: Routledge and Sons. Younis, Yahia O. 2000.

metaphor for women’s war experiences but also as an effective distancing (Verfremdung) technique (Moehrmann 1980, 156).5 The folktale not only interrupts the fictional narrative as a story-within-a-story but also comments on the film’s visuals, including a soldier’s corpse, a smokestack, an oven, documentary footage of a bombed-out Berlin, and Lene’s rape, all of which establish a connection between the folktale and its historical context (McCormick 1993, 201). Consequently, the Märchen sequence

not guilt­­—confusion. Mari retches behind them, then launches into the whispered prayer of a child: “Now I lay me down to sleep.” The ineffectuality of their bid to reclaim power shows as they attempt to wipe the blood off their hands, then follow Mari as she shambles down the water’s edge as if to wash the horror off herself. The killers at last resort to shooting her submerged body, unable to bring themselves to once more meet her flesh to flesh. Vengeance for his daughter’s death seems

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