Orphans, a work of minor cinema from post-devolutionary Scotland

Martin-Jones, D. (2004) Orphans, a work of minor cinema from post-devolutionary Scotland. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 1(2), pp. 226-241. (doi: 10.3366/JBCTV.2004.1.2.226)

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Abstract

This work uses a methodology derived from the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari to examine Orphans (Peter Mullan, 1997). This approach illustrates some of the ways in which the current political and industrial situation in post-devolutionary Scotland has effected the cinematic representation of Scottish national identity. Although I am not suggesting that all recent films produced in Scotland construct national identity in the way that Orphans does, it will be shown that its aesthetic renegotiation of social realism (an aesthetic derived from the British documentary-realist tradition) reflects the current renegotiation of identity in which both Scotland, and the Scottish film industry, are involved. Deleuze's theory illustrates how Mullan's film performs a minor action on an aesthetic which has previously been used to create an Anglo-centric, consensual view of British national identity, and how, in doing so, it aids the recreation of Scottish national identity after devolution. Thus, Orphans' textual renegotiation of social realism parallels the nation's, and the film industry's, attempts to recreate a sense of Scottish national identity, in relation to the vestiges of "Britain".

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Martin-Jones, Professor David
Authors: Martin-Jones, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Journal of British Cinema and Television
ISSN:1743-4521
Published Online:01 November 2004

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