The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

1983, and The Blue Exile ( 1993), which relied on mystical expression, proved highly influential. Omar Kavur studied film production at IDHEC in Paris, and developed an amazing visual style, which he used to narrate stories centred around (self-)investigation: Yusuf and Kenan ( 1979), Oh Beautiful Istanbul ( 1981), A Broken Love Story ( 1982), The Merciless Road ( 1985), The Hotel Anayurt ( 1986), and The Secret Face ( 1991).

The 1980s and 1990s saw several new tendencies emerge in the mainstream of Turkish cinema production. Throughout the 1980s, so-called 'women's films' were extremely popular. These mostly told the stories of marginal women (prostitutes) who do not actually live within accepted Turkish society. Towards the end of the decade the Turkish cinema began to produce films which have benefited from the country's traditional narrative forms, and visual and artistic culture. Innovative and promising examples of this trend are: Halit Refi≥'s two most recent films, The Lady ( 1988) and Two Strangers ( 1990); several television mini-serials by Yücel Çakmakli and Salih Diriklik; ismail Gíne§'s Drawing ( 1990); Reha Erdem's ' A . . . ay!' ( 1990); Osman Sinav's The Last Day of the Sultan ( 1990); ömer Kavur 's The Secret Face ( 1991); Erdin Kiral's The Blue Exile ( 1993); and Yavuz Turgul's Shadow Play ( 1993).

A nation has to develop its own cinematography, its own film language, by relying on its visual culture, narrative traditions, and capacity for artistic experiments. Turkish film-makers have proved that they are beginning to discover a distinctive way of story-telling which will enable them to create a truly national cinema.


Armes, Roy ( 1987), Third World Film Making and the West.

Kaplan, Yusuf ( 1994), Türk sinemasi: pathos ve retorik ('The Turkish cinema: pathos and rhetoric').

özön, Nijat ( 1968), Tiirk sinemasi Kronolojisi: 1895-1966 ('The chronology of Turkish cinema: 1893-1966').

Scognamillo, Giovanni ( 1987-8), Tiirk sinemasi tarihi ('The history of Turkish cinema'), 2 vols.

Woodhead, Christine (ed.) ( 1989), Turkish Cinema: An introduction.

The Arab World


At the turn of the century, social and economic conditions throughout the Arab world were totally different from those in Europe and the United States, where the development of cinema had been closely linked to the growth of industrialization. The cinema was exploited in Europe and the United States as a commercial entertainment for a largely working- and lower middle-class audience now with money to pay for its entertainment needs, and, even when exported, it remained a secular, commercial entertainment quite unrelated to traditional forms of Arab leisure activity. In the Arab world the end of the nineteenth century was an era of colonization and European domination, so that many of the very early film showings were arranged by and for foreign residents.

Thus, in Egypt and Algeria, screenings of the Lumières' Cinématographe were organized as early as 1896 in the back rooms of cafés, but only in those cities with large numbers of foreign residents: Cairo and Alexandria, Algiers and Oran. Where screenings were arranged for a wider audience, those responsible tended to be local entrepreneurs with links to the west. In Tunisia, for example, Albert Samama, also known as Chikly, had already imported other western novelties, such as the bicycle, still photography, and the phonograph, when he introduced the cinematograph to Tunis audiences in 1897. Chikly, indeed, is a true pioneer, since he subsequently directed the first Tunisian short film, Zohra, in 1922 and a first feature, Ain al-Gheza( The Girl from Carthage), in 1924. Both starred his daughter Haydée Chikly, who also appeared in Rex Ingram's 1924 feature The Arab, which starred Ramon Navarro and Alice Terry.

Elsewhere in the Arab world public screenings of films were delayed for social or religious reasons: the first public shows did not occur until 1908 in Aleppo, arranged by some Turkish businessmen, and 1909 in Baghdad, when films of unknown origin were shown at the al-Shafa house. Occasionally local scenes were shot by the Lumiére operators, partly to add to the attraction of their programmes for local audiences, but principally to be offered as exotic novelties to western audiences. In time, screenings for an élite audience -- foreign residents and members of a westernized bourgeoisie -- came to be supplemented by film shows for a popular audience. A two-tier system of distribution -- new imported films in luxurious but expensive air-conditioned cinemas and cheap trashy productions shown in poor conditions to the popular audience -- remains common in many parts of the Arab world.

Usually in the Arab world the first film productions, like the first screenings, were the work of foreigners. In Egypt the Frenchman De Lagarne commissioned a foreign cameraman to shoot scenes in Alexandria in 1912. More authentic national productions usually followed within


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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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