ticularly interesting because his work stands in a oppositional relationship to conventional art cinema rather as the French New Wave did to the 'quality tradition' in the 1960s. It is in fact arguable that there are now two forms of international art cinema. On the one hand there is the official kind, very close to the mainstream both in its cinematic values and in its distribution. Under this head one would need to include not just European art films but films such as those from the Chinese 'fifth-generation' film-makers such as Zhaug Yimou and Chen Kaige which receive international acclaim for their artistic qualities. And on the other hand there are low-budget independent films coming from a variety of countries, including the United States, which offer a different sort of experience. Film-makers such as Jim Jarmusch ( Mystery Train, 1989) or David Lynch ( Blue Velvet, 1986) have at least as much a claim to belong in this category as do their European counterparts such as Wenders or Kaurismäki. Some directors, including the Spanish Pedro Almodóvar, with his bold explorations of sexual politics, and even Wenders himself, occupy positions midway between the two categories, making films which are artistically original but also reach a mainstream audience. There is also an overlap between directors like Lynch, working imaginatively with classic film (and television) genres, and the more exotic fringe of Hollywood exploitation pictures.
More than ever, therefore, art cinema has become a portmanteau term, embracing different ideas of what cinema can be like, both inside and outside the mainstream. What it reflects, above all, is the fact that there is still room for difference, even in a world of reconsolidated monopoly power.
Browne, Nick ( 1990), Cahiers du cinéma, vol iii.
Harvey, Sylvia ( 1977), May '68 and Film Culture.
Hillier, Jim (ed.) ( 1983, 1984). Cahiers du cinéma, vols. i and ii.
Solanas, Fernando, and Getino, Octavio ( 1969). "Towards a Third Cinema".
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Oxford History of World Cinema. Contributors: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 575.
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