The Piano : Excavating National Cinema ' Desire ' Essay
The concept of a national cinema is one that speaks to a discourse of a particular state or nation. However, the definition of what the constructs of this cinema is inherently problematic. Andrew Higson (1989:52) discusses the implications of the terminology asserting that “... the parameters of a national cinema should be drawn at the site of consumption as much as at the site of production of films”. Higson attempts to underline and further tie speculation to the characterization of national cinema illustrating that the site of production, of course does define the nationality of cinema in terms of locality, but furthermore, the consumption and subsequently the conditions through which audiences process and cognize such national cinema films needs to be thoroughly explored and accounted for.
Jane Campion’s film, The Piano (1992), can be described as a national cinema whose discourse explores both a feminist exploration of sexuality and desire as well as the anxieties of white identity in postcolonial New Zealand. Whilst perhaps categorized as national cinema, Campion explores a complex multifaceted discourse, often the subject of vigorous debate, extending its significance to a broader international cinema viewing.
Assertive of Higson’s speculations, Genevieve Faust (2009:1) in her journal piece, The Piano: Defining the “National”, explores the diverse readings of The Piano assessing that a national cinema may be…