Chapter

Beyond Anti-Americanism, Beyond Euro-Centrism: Locating Bruno Dumont's <i>Twentynine Palms</i> in the Context of European Cinematic Extremism

Neil Archer

in The New Extremism in Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641604
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651221 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641604.003.0005
Beyond Anti-Americanism, Beyond Euro-Centrism: Locating Bruno Dumont's Twentynine Palms in the Context of European Cinematic Extremism

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This chapter looks at Bruno Dumont's reworking of the American road movie, Twentynine Palms (France, 2003). It identifies and explores one of the key aspects of a European cinema of new extremism — the manipulation of popular genre and generic motifs in a high art, philosophical context. In reconsidering the extent to which Dumont can be seen to subvert the values and conventions of the road movie, the chapter sounds an important cautionary note about the latent Eurocentrism at work in Twentynine Palms, which veers at times toward an implicit endorsement of (European) high-cultural values. At its most complex and engaging, however, the chapter suggests that the cinematic particularity of the images in Dumont's film call such cultural binaries into question, inviting us to contemplate issues of space and the violence of human presence and, finally, perhaps, the very idea of “centrist” cultural models in general, and the human-centric assumptions of knowledge and truth in particular.

Keywords: Bruno Dumont; road movie; Twentynine Palms; new extremism; Eurocentrism; cinematic particularity; violence; cultural binaries

Chapter.  5156 words. 

Subjects: Film

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