The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

Michael Powell directed another comedy in Australia, Age of Consent ( 1969), but Mangiamele did not get the opportunity to make another feature. Yet what he had begun, others took up. The Pudding Thieves ( 1967), Time in Summer ( 1968), and, especially, Two Thousand Weeks ( 1969) drew, as Clay had, on European models of art cinema and, in so doing, established a new understanding of what film in Australia might become-not British, not American -- and laid the foundation for the important films of the next decades.


Bertrand, Ina (ed.) ( 1989), Cinema in Australia: A Documentary History.

Cunningham, Stuart ( 1991), Featuring Australia: The Cinema of Charles Chauvel.

Long, Chris ( 1994), Australia's First Films.

Pike, Andrew, and Cooper, Ross ( 1980), Australian Film, 1900-1977. A Guide to Feature Film Production.

Shirley, Graham, and Adams, Brian ( 1989), Australian Cinema: The First Eighty Years.

Tulloch, John ( 1981), Legends on the Screen: The Narrative Film in Australia 1919-1929.

Cinema in Latin America



Moving pictures first reached Latin America with representatives of the Lumiére brothers, who sent out teams around the world on planned itineraries designed to capitalize on the fascination which the new invention created everywhere; two teams went to Latin America, one to Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires, the other to Mexico and Havana. The Lumiére Cinématographe served as both projector and camera and men like Gabriel Veyre, who arrived in Mexico in the middle of 1896 and Cuba the following January, were also briefed to bring back scenes from the countries they visited. Hard on their heels came the Biograph men from New York and other adventurers, from both the United States and Europe. The North Americans tended not to penetrate very far south, where European immigration was at its height, and in Argentina and Brazil the pioneers were French and Belgian, Austrian and Italian. The earliest moving images of Latin America were thus mostly taken by European immigrants or residents, possessing both the minimum expertise needed to set up a film business and the contacts in the Old World to ensure a supply of films for exhibition. The varying dates of these first films-1896 in Mexico, 1897 in Cuba, Argentina, and Venezuela, 1898 in Brazil and Uruguay, 1902 in Chile, 1905 in Colombia, 1906 in Bolivia, 1911 in Peru-bespeak the steady penetration of film across the continent, for they usually follow the dates of first exhibition fairly quickly.

The scenes that were shot follow the expected trends: they picture official ceremonies and presidents, with their families and entourages; military parades and naval manoeuvres; traditional festivities and tourist scenes, including views of city architecture, picturesque landscapes, and pre-Columbian ruins. The Brazilian film historian Salles Gomes ( 1980) reckoned that the work of the first Latin American cineastas was roughly divided between depicting 'the splendid cradle of nature' and 'the ritual of power'. A good proportion consisted in the kind of exotic scenes popularized by nineteenth-century photographers; in the words of Susan Sontag, 'the view of reality as an exotic prize . . . tracked down and captured by the diligent hunter-with-a-camera'. Adopting the point of view of the outsider, who gazes on other people's reality with curiosity, detachment, and professionalism, the photographer behaves as if the captured view transcended class interests, 'as if its perspective is universal' ( Sontag 1977). In the condition of dependency which characterizes an underdeveloped continent like Latin America, this not only served to gratify the audience -- which in Latin America was initially the upper and middle classes-with flattering images, but also to secure finance-by advancing the cause of publicity. And if in Mexico newspapers sponsored free film shows which they financed by including colour slides carrying advertisements, in Havana in 1906 an entertainment park commissioned the Cuban film pioneer Enrique Díaz Quesada to make a film for its publicity campaign in the United States. Early attempts at narrative often followed in the same ideological mould by taking up safe patriotic subjects, like the Argentinian film El fusilamiento de Dorrego ('The shooting of Dorrego') of 1908.

There is no necessary connection, however, between these early endeavours and subsequent developments. Cuba, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, and Bolivia saw no significant film production for several decades, only a few sporadic attempts. In the smallest countries, like Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and those of Central America, there is still no significant production of featurelength fiction today, though documentary and video production are now in evidence. A continuous history of production with significant contributions in successive periods can only be found in the larger countries -- Mexico,


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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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