The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

New Zealand Cinema


New Zealand cinema has never established a strong production base, but nevertheless has produced several distinguished film-makers who have had an important impact on world film culture. These range from Len Lye, who developed innovative animation practices in the 1930s, to Jane Campion.

Early feature film production in New Zealand was sporadic at best. From 1940 to 1970, for example, only three New Zealand features were made, all by John O'Shea, whose Pacific Films survived into the boom to come Interest, and production, picked up in the 1970s perhaps spurred on by the 'film renaissance' in Australia at the time. A film. commission began operation in 1977 and tax incentives were introduced to stimulate production. The result was better than anyone would have predicted: features of exceptional quality from Roger Donaldson, Geoff Murphy, Vincent Ward, and others.

The original tax incentives were wound up in 1984, and production faltered but did not entirely cease. Latterly, the internationally prominent work of Ward and Jane Campion has been produced in a context which also supports a strong middlebrow liberal cinema in the work of Ian Mune, Sam Pillsbury, and Barry Barclay, the gorecomedies of Peter Jackson and a kind of poverty-row art film perhaps most easily recognized currently in Alison MacLean 's Crush ( 1993). By the end of 1994, New Zealand had made a strong international impression with Jack son 's fourth feature, Heavenly Creatures, and Lee Tamahori's first, Once Were Warriors.

If Jane Campion is currently the best-known New Zealand film-maker in the world, Ian Mune is the most important historically. Mune has acted, written, and directed with some distinction since 1977, but his actual significance lies in his tireless championing of film production in and of New Zealand, through which he has set himself the heart of the contemporary industry.

The future of a small industry is difficult to predict because so much depends on so few films. New Zealand's recent record of critical and box office success has thus been unexpected, but it is possible that exception rules this country's film industry.


Reid, Nicholas ( 1986), A Decade of New Zealand Film: Sleeping Dogs to Came a Hot Friday.

Sowry, Clive ( 1984), Film Making in New Zealand.

Canadian Cinema/Cinéma Canadien


Like the United States, the Canadian nation was formed by the dispossession of an original native population by successive waves of immigration from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries onwards. But unlike its southern neighbour, Canada never successfully rebelled against colonial tutelage; nor (at least until recently) has it been a melting-pot of various ethnicities. It is principally composed of two distinct and erstwhile warring national elements -- the French and the English -- and the international conflicts of the past remain in the form of a bitter, internal division between the separatist-minded Quebec and the traditional, loyalist-minded rest of Canada. The repatriation of the Canadian Constitution, finally achieved in 1982, brought definitive independence from Britain but left Canada overshadowed by the neighbouring United States in a relationship described by Canada's former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as 'like sleeping next to an elephant'.

THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD AND THE DOCUMENTARY Within the Canadian context culture was wielded as a tool rather than a weapon, as exemplified in the mandate of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) which was created in 1939 'to interpret Canada to Canadians and the rest of the world'. The NFB has been an unqualified success story. Set up after the virtual collapse of the Canadian film industry, wiped out by the powerful, vertically integrated, Hollywood machine, the NFB was the result of an inspired piece of federal legislation. Recognizing the impracticality of competing directly with Hollywood, the architects of the NFB instead created a national institution within which Canadians were able to develop a parallel and alternative film culture. Equally inspired was the first choice of Film Commissioner, John Grierson, whose work at the GPO and Crown Film Units in Britain in the 1930s had already established both him and the emerging documentary form as a new force in world cinema.


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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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