III. Negocjacje: transnarodowość / kino gatunków / bohater - Turyści, podróżnicy i współczesne europejskie kino transnarodowe

Ewa Mazierska, Laura Rascaroli


Today – at a time when Europe’s dramatic transformations are at the centre of key political, economic, and cultural discourses, and when so many European films are multinational co-productions – the concept of transnationality offers new metaphors to redefine continental cinema, and to explore its mutating productive and distributing contexts, as well as artistic practices. And yet, the transnational is a problematic notion, and its application to the cinema as a theoretical and investigative tool still awaits full clarification. Sometimes simply used in its sense of ‘involving or operating in several nations’, or as a synonym of ‘international’, the term ‘transnational’ introduces at least two ideas that can be usefully applied to contemporary cinema: the notion of industrial or aesthetic situations in which the nationality of a film is annulled, or no longer matters; and the status of films that involve and problematize cross-border practices and identities. However, many questions are left unanswered – for instance, the rationale of the production and reception of transnational cinema; or the ways in which contemporary transnational films differ from prior practices of co-production and international collaboration. At the purpose of advancing our understanding of the notion of the transnational in a cinematic context, this paper explores cultural, economic, ideological, and aesthetic facets of contemporary European cinema, taking as its object of study two different genres, both of which are naturally inclined to international, multinational or transnational dimensions – the portmanteau film and the road movie.

We focus first on the portmanteau film, and especially the recent example, Paris, Je t’aime (France/Liechtenstein/Switzerland 2006). By situating it in a number of contexts, including earlier films on Paris such as Paris vu par…(1965) and Paris vu par… vingt ans après (1984), and by discussing its productive, artistic, and thematic features, we test the assumption that Paris, Je t’aime is a quintessential transnational film, and discuss those elements of national identity that were either transcended or preserved by the filmmakers. Then we ask what happens when a European film travels beyond the national borders, and goes on the road at the specific purpose of testing the limits of national and cultural identities. Our examples are Robert Guédiguian’s Le Voyage en Arménie (France 2006) and Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Le Grand Voyage (France/Morocco 2004) – two recent road movies that depart from the heart of Old Europe and travel to or beyond its margins.