By contrast with Polafiski, Forman is by temperament a gentle director. His first film in the United States, Taking off ( 1971), attempted to study American family life and teenage rebellion with the same delicacy of observation he had shown in his Czech films. Thereafter he was to tackle an assortment of themes and subjects. An interest in the fragile borderline between sanity and madness sustains both One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest ( 1975) and Amadeus ( 1984), but otherwise he found it difficult to recover the consistency of style that had marked his early work.
Following the political changes of 1989, the cinemas of Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak republics, and the fast disintegrating Yugoslavia entered an entirely new phase. Political censorship was done away with, but the shift to a market economy led to drastic cuts in state subsidy for the cinema, particularly in the Czech Republic and Hungary, and a massive drop in indigenous film production. In the component parts of the former Yugoslavia (with the exception of Slovenia) production underwent a catastrophic decline as the country was plunged into civil war.
Polish cinema is relatively speaking in the best shape, being still partly subsidized by the state. Over thirty feature films were made in Poland in 1992, and this level of output was sustained through 1993. In Hungary and the Czech and Slovak republics, however, the decline in subsidized production left massive facilities lying idle and collapse was averted only by renting out studio space and services to film and television companies from the west.
The cinemas of all the post-Communist countries have come to depend increasingly on co-production for their survival. Co-production with both east and west was not uncommon in the past, but it always left space for a core of production which was national at heart. Now it has become a necessity and, as such, a mixed blessing. While providing a lifeline for struggling industries, it brings with it the risk of standardization and homogenization of film production, and a consequent threat both to individual creativity and to national specificity. The internationalization of film production is changing the character of the films produced and threatening their cultural identity in a world where the commercial-entertainment cinema genres prevail.
Films of eminent artistic quality still continue to be produced on a national basis or as international co-productions by the leading directors of central and eastern Europe. One might mention here The Double Life of Veronica ( 1991) by Krzysztof Kiešlowski, Virginia ( 1991) by Srdjan Karanović , Europe, Europe ( 1991) by Agnieszka Holland, Meeting Venus ( 1991) by István Szabó, The Silent Touch ( 1992) by Krzysztof Zanussi, and Arizona Dream ( 1991), made with French money by Emir Kusturica. Paradoxically, the Bosnian émigré Kusturica made his film abroad at the very time the French documentarists Thierry Ravalet and Alain Ferrari were making their disturbing documentary Un jour dans la mort de Sarajevo in Bosnia. Will the future spare the cinemas of central and east Europe such paradoxes? Knowing the range of talent of which these countries dispose, and the strong national traditions developed, some sort of revival can be predicted. But, as the smaller countries of western Europe have already learnt, film production without protection or subsidy is hard to maintain when serving only a small domestic market and exposed to the blast of foreign competition.
Goulding, Daniel J. (ed.) ( 1989), Post New Wave Cinema in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Liehm, Mira, and Liehm, Antonin J. ( 1977), The Most Important Art: Eastern European Film after 1945.
Michałek, Boleslaw, and Turaj, Frank ( 1988), The Modern Cinema of Poland.
Although the Communist Party's and Stalin's personal control over cinema clearly had a highly deleterious effect on cinema as an art form from the 1930s to the mid-1950s, Soviet cinema developed into a large-scale industry in the 1930s primarily because of the serious attention paid to it by the government and the resources which were channelled to the major studios. Cinema became not only a political and ideological tool for mass indoctrination, but also a medium of mass entertainment modelled on Hollywood. Some of the most popular films ever made in the Soviet Union are classics from the 1930s such as the Vas ilievs ' Chapayev ( 1934) and Grigory Alexandrov's Volga -- Volga ( 1938). During the era of 'few films' in the last years of Stalin's rule, these, along with Western 'trophy' films,