and the rise of auteurism in
THE 1950S REPRESENTS an upheaval in European ﬁlm history. The ﬁnancial losses of the Europeans, as compared to the Americans on the popular market, caused drastic changes within the European ﬁlm industries, leading up to the continental government-subsidised ﬁlm industries of the present. Even if the historical reasons for the changes in European ﬁlm policies were mainly socio-economic, they were at the time mostly discussed and dealt with in aesthetic terms, and we saw eventually the emergence of the European art cinema, a new kind of ﬁlm, speciﬁcally aimed at the literate and professional middle classes.
One of the most important European contributions to the ﬁlm history of the 1950s was, thus, undoubtedly the sudden rise of the auteur, the ﬁlm director extraordinaire and the notion of the authored art ﬁlm. Sweden had Ingmar Bergman, Italy had, for instance, Fellini, Rossellini, Visconti, and Antonioni, France had the Cahiers du Cinéma generation, towards the end of decade represented by the breakthrough of the nouvelle vague, with Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer and Chabrol. Traditionally, Britain has been said to have missed out on the development of auteurism and art cinema in the 1950s, instead clinging to its traditional industrial policies of trying to (albeit unsuccessfully) compete with the Americans on the popular market. (Peter Wollen's essay on 1980s British ﬁlms as `The Last New Wave' is a good illustration of this attitude.) 1 Even if this was true for the ﬁlm industry, it is not entirely so for ﬁlm culture as a whole, since Britain was at least intellectually at the very core of the foundation of the European art cinema in the 1950s, even if the art ﬁlms as such — in the Bordwellian sense of personal vision, loose narrative structure, ambiguity and various levels of heightened realism — were not really to emerge until the 1960s (perhaps with the exception____________________