The Cinema of Tunde Kelani: Aesthetics, Theatricalities and Visual Performance
This book is the first definitive publication on Tunde Kelani, and represents a mine of divergent scholarly approaches to understanding his authorial power. A collection of articles on the cinematic oeuvre of one of the important and finest filmmakers in Africa, it addresses diverse areas that are crucial to Kelani’s filmic corpus and African cinema. Contributors articulate Kelani’s visual crafts in detail, while providing explications on significant markers. The book offers an understanding of how Kelani’s works represent the African worldview, science, demonstrative law, politics, gender, popular culture, canonized culture and history.
Tunde Onikoyi teaches African Cinema and Literature at Adeleke University Nigeria and a film review editor for African Studies Reviews. He has published articles in various books and journals including Journal of African Cinemas, African Notes, and African Theatre and Journal of Pan African Studies. His article “Self-Regulation and the Nollywood Industry: Some Comments” appeared in Regulating Nollywood in a Global Economy (2020).
Taiwo Afolabi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Regina, Canada, and a representative for the ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts. He has published articles in various books and reputable journals such as Research in Drama Education, The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Performing Ethos, and Canadian Theatre Review, among others. He also served as the West Africa editor for The Routledge Companion to Applied Performance (2021).
“This compelling multi-disciplinary collection of essays offering a pluri-focal journey into the world and work of one of Nigeria's leading veteran filmmakers is unquestionably an important contribution to film studies, and to African film studies in particular. Its timely celebration of this pioneering and pivotal figure, who bridges the generations and styles from the celluloid era of the 1970s to the ubiquitous Nollywood of present, is a salutary reminder of the diversity of Nigerian cinema. Most propitious too is the editors’ choice to privilege the critical voices of an array of scholars culturally embedded in the very Yorùbá aesthetics, language and world view that characterize Kelani’s unique and rich cinema, destabilizing asymmetries of knowledge production in what is truly a decolonial gesture and proposing a wealth of original, complexifying frames of analysis and layered readings, insightfully complemented by Kelani’s own voice.”
Independent Researcher and Translator
“This collection of fifteen essays explores the biographical and artistic profile of one of Africa’s leading filmmakers, Tunde Kelani. Expansive in scope and extensive in depth, the essays collectively testify to the commanding stature of the prolific auteur whose career spans decades of modern African cinema. The volume contributes significantly to the much-needed bio-critical studies of Nigeria’s trailblazing cultural producers, especially in Nollywood.”
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Supervisor, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada
“This collection of essays on the works of one of Africa’s most influential moviemakers is a major addition to the debates and studies on Nigerian and African cinema. Tunde Kelani, through his Yorubacentric masterpieces, has used his films to contribute to burning issues in Nigeria, Africa and by extension, the world as a whole. Reading the foreword, introduction and, eventually, the essays gives the reader a sense of being at a conference where these works are being dissected, for the first time, to reveal their philosophical, aesthetic, political and humanistic underpinnings. Although critical opinions on Tunde Kelani are scattered in theses, dissertations and scholarly essays, this is, perhaps, the first book that discusses him as a true African auteur whose works can compete, favourably, with those of auteurs in other climes. There is no doubt that anyone interested in film, teachers, students, practitioners and the general public will find this book refreshingly illuminating.”
Professor of Theatre, Film and Cultural Studies, Lagos State University, Nigeria
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