The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

production company to direct his own films. After the release of his most famous film Hadaka no shima ('The naked island', 1960) he tried, often unsuccessfully, to bring some experimental elements to his work.

Television broadcasting began in Japan in 1953, and to cope with this new competition Japanese film companies moved towards the adoption of colour and the widescreen format. Nikkatsu made its first colour film in 1955, and Toei made the first widescreen film in 1957. By the late 1950s colour and widescreen were prerequisites for a film's commercial success.

In the Japanese cinema of the 1930s the coexistence of sound and silent film had continued for many years due to insufficient capital and special cultural circumstances. The 1940s cinema can be divided into two completely opposing periods; the Fascist ideology films of the war years and the films of democracy from the second half of the decade. The ideological changes established by the occupation did not add anything fundamentally new to the form of Japanese cinema, as the assimilation of the American cinema style had already been achieved by the 1930s. The majority of film art in post-war Japan was created by directors with an occidental vision, like Kurosawa. However, at the same time Mizoguchi and Ozu, two important, if very different, directors from the pre-war period, could carry on developing their Japanese aesthetic in the post-war era. The war and liberation gave Japanese cinema the opportunity to foster both occidental and Japanese sensibilities.


Anderson, Joseph L., and Richie, Donald ( 1982), The Japanese Film: Art and Industry.

Hirano, Kyoko ( 1992), Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo.

Nolletti, Arthur Jr., and Desser, David (eds.) ( 1992), Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre and History.

Sato, Tadao, et al. (eds.) ( 1986), Koza Nihon Eiga, vols. iii-v.

Tanaka, Junichiro ( 1976), Nihon Eiga Hattatsu Shi, vol. iii.

The Emergence of Australian Film



Projected films were first commercially exhibited in Australia on 22 August 1896 by an American magician, Carl Hertz, using British films and apparatus obtained from (R. W.) Paul's Animatograph Works, Ltd. If this event may be considered the 'birth' of Australian cinema, the infant's parentage is both unquestioned and significant. Like other parents, the United States and Britain came to be simultaneously loved and hated by the film industry they fostered, and to serve their progeny as models of patronage and exploitation, to be imitated and overcome.

The film business in Australia was at first chiefly a business of exhibition. Many of the 'pioneer' Australian exhibitors T. J. West, Cozzens Spencer, and J. D. Williams (all of whom branched into production in some way) were British or American. For the first thirteen years the most successful and influential exhibitor and producer, however, was the Salvation Army, whose Limelight Division toured the country with shows featuring non-fiction and fiction films, slides, lectures, and live music. Birmingham-born Joseph Perry conceived, produced, and organized these elevating evenings of entertainment, becoming in the process Australia's premier, if not absolutely its first, filmmaker.

Perry's evening-long programmes sometimes contained more than one hour of footage on a single non-fiction topic -- what today would be called 'feature-length documentaries' -- and in 1904 he made a short fiction film about Australian bushranging, almost undoubtedly the earliest example of 'an Australian cinema par excellence', blending movement, landscape, and mythology in a kind of counterpart to the American Western. Within two years William Gibson, Millard Johnson, and John and Nevin Tait had combined Perry's multi-reel documentaries and the bushranging legend into The Story of the Kelly Gang, a show featuring four reels of film tableaux glorifying the bandit rebel Ned Kelly along with a lecture commentary, musical accompaniment, and sound effects.

The critical and commercial success of the Salvation Army and The Story of the Kelly Gang provided the impetus for six years of local multi-reel production before such lengthy films were common in most of the rest of the world, and set the pattern for the peculiarly Australian genre of bushranging films, which flourished until such films were banned by the state government of New South Wales in 1912 for their supposed pernicious (social and political) influence. Bushranging films have continued to be produced sporadically, at times secretly, to the present day.

The vogue for bushranging films seems to have contributed to a short-lived boom in early Australian production. Between the release of John Gavin's bushranging melodrama Thunderbolt in November 1910 and July 1912 some seventy-nine titles were released, at least nineteen


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The Oxford History of World Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Contents xi
  • Special Features xv
  • List of Colour Illustrations xvii
  • General Introduction xix
  • 1 - Silent Cinema 1895-1930 1
  • Origins and Survival 6
  • Early Cinema 13
  • Transitional Cinema 23
  • The Hollywood Studio System 43
  • The World-Wide Spread of Cinema 53
  • The First World War and the Crisis in Europe 62
  • Tricks and Animation 71
  • Comedy 78
  • Documentary 86
  • Cinema and the Avant-Garde 95
  • Serials 105
  • French Silent Cinema 112
  • Italy- Spectacle and Melodrama 123
  • British Cinema from Hepworth to Hitchcock 130
  • Germany- The Weimar Years 136
  • The Scandinavian Style 151
  • Pre-Revolutionary Russia 159
  • The Soviet Union and the Russian émigrés 162
  • Yiddish Cinema in Europe 174
  • Japan- Before the Great Kanto Earthquake 177
  • Music and the Silent Film 183
  • The Heyday of the Silents 192
  • 2 - Sound Cinema 1930-1960 205
  • The Introduction of Sound 211
  • Hollywood- The Triumph of the Studio System 220
  • Censorship and Self-Regulation 235
  • The Sound of Music 248
  • Technology and Innovation 259
  • Animation 267
  • Cinema and Genre 276
  • The Western 286
  • The Musical 294
  • Crime Movies 304
  • The Fantastic 312
  • Documentary 322
  • Socialism, Fascism, and Democracy 333
  • The Popular Art of French Cinema 344
  • Italy from Fascism to Neo-Realism 353
  • Britain at the End of Empire 361
  • Germany- Nazism and after 374
  • East Central Europe before the Second World War 383
  • Soviet Film under Stalin 389
  • Indian Cinema- Origins to Independence 398
  • China before 1949 409
  • The Classical Cinema in Japan 413
  • The Emergence of Australian Film 422
  • Cinema in Latin America 427
  • After the War 436
  • Transformation of the Hollywood System 443
  • Independents and Mavericks 451
  • 3 - The Modern Cinema 1960-1995 461
  • Television and the Film Industry 466
  • The New Hollywood 475
  • New Technologies 483
  • Sex and Sensation 490
  • The Black Presence in American Cinema 497
  • Exploitation and the Mainstream 509
  • Dreams and Nightmares in the Hollywood Blockbuster 516
  • Cinéma-Vérité and the New Documentary 527
  • Avant-Garde Film- The Second Wave 537
  • Animation in the Post-Industrial Era 551
  • Modern Film Music 558
  • Art Cinema 567
  • New Directions in French Cinema 576
  • Italy- Auteurs and after 586
  • Spain after Franco 596
  • British Cinema- The Search for Identity 604
  • The New German Cinema 614
  • East Germany- The Defa Story 627
  • Changing States in East Central Europe 632
  • Russia after the Thaw 640
  • Cinema in the Soviet Republics 651
  • Turkish Cinema 656
  • The Arab World 661
  • The Cinemas of Sub-Saharan Africa 667
  • Iranian Cinema 672
  • India- Filming the Nation 678
  • Indonesian Cinema 690
  • China after the Revolution 693
  • Popular Cinema in Hong Kong 704
  • Taiwanese New Cinema 711
  • The Modernization of Japanese Film 714
  • New Australian Cinema 722
  • New Zealand Cinema 731
  • Canadian Cinema/Cinéma Canadien 731
  • New Cinemas in Latin America 740
  • New Concepts of Cinema 750
  • The Resurgence of Cinema 759
  • Index 785
  • List of Picture Sources 823


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