The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

producing films over two decades, notably Surfacing on the Thames ( 1970). In the east, groups of film-makers centred around the Funnel and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre in Toronto have been working within a more personal context as in Phil Hoffman's passing through/torn formations ( 1990) about personal origin, or Midi Onodera's Ten Cents a Dance ( 1985) about sexual orientation. The latter theme is prevalent across all levels of film-making in Canada from mainstream features as in Léa Pool's Anne Trister ( 1986) through NFB documentaries like Forbidden Love ( 1992) by Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman, to the underground work of John Greyson, whose recent feature Zero Patience traces the origin of the AIDS virus in cult musical form.


In Canada today the Parti québécois has won another election victory and promises a second referendum on separation from the rest of Canada -- plus fa change ... -- and world recession has bitten deeply into cultural programmes. But the policies have not changed as the Federal Government continues to maintain its public subsidies for film through its organs Telefilm. Canada, the National Film Board, and the Canada Council. Support for film is strong at all levels: for film festivals, for film exhibition programmes, for visiting film-makers, and, through the embassies and high commissions, for external film programmes and touring film packages in major cities throughout the world. The culture versus commerce debate, always a problem for protectionists where mass entertainment is concerned, has been resolved by hybridization-film is now part of a sector known as the cultural industries, its place in the political arena strengthened by the suggestion of an unquantifiable dollar value. As other national film industries collapse, as in the UK, or falter, as in France, the Canadian model, based on stubbornness of purpose and commitment, is one to watch.


Desbarats, Carole, et al. ( 1993), Atom Egoyan.

Garel, Sylvain, and Pâquet, André (eds.) ( 1992), Les Cinénas du Canada.

Handling, Piers (ed.) ( 1983), The Shape of Rage: The Films of David Cronenberg.

Lowder, Rose (ed.) ( 1991), The Visual Aspect: Recent Canadian Experimental Films.

Morris, Peter ( 1978), Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema 1895-1939.

---- ( 1984), The Film Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to More than 650 Canadian Films and Filmmakers.

New Cinemas in Latin America


In the late 1950s a new cinema began to appear in Latin America, carving out spaces for itself wherever it found the slightest chance, growing up even in the most inimical circumstances, indeed thriving upon them, for this was a cinema largely devoted to the denunciation of misery and the celebration of protest. In the space of ten or fifteen years, a movement developed which not only reached from one end of the continent to the other, but brought the cinema in Latin America to world-wide attention for the first time. It began with discrete and diverse initiatives in different countries, ranging from the Documentary Film School of Santa Fe in Argentina and the emergence of Cinema Novo in Brazil, to the creation of a new Film Institute in Havana. The dates and places are those of the recent history of Latin America. In Argentina and Brazil, growth and retrenchment have corresponded to the wax and wane of democracy. Cuban cinema is synonymous with the Cuban Revolution, Chilean cinema is another name for Popular Unity movement which elected Salvador Allende at the start of the 1970s. Ten years later came Nicaragua and El Salvador and the reflorescence of the idea of militant cinema which first developed in the 1960s, the decade of Che Guevara.

Some of the earliest initiatives occurred in out-of-theway places, like Cuzco in Peru, where a film club was set up in 1955 and Manuel Chambi and others started making short documentaries on ethnographic and socio-cultural themes. The 1950s saw the spread of film societies throughout the continent, the proliferation of filmmaking courses and contests, and the publication of magazines. It was in the pages of titles like Hablemos de cine in Peru and Cine al día in Venezuela that in the 1960s and 1970s the movement debated its values and sense of identity.

Many of these groups were linked to social movements, like the cultural club Nuestro Tiempo run by the Young Communists in Havana in the early 1950s, which harboured several future Cuban directors. The first international meeting-place for the young film-makers was a film festival in Montevideo set up in 1954 by the SODRE, Uruguay's national radio station and a progressive cultural promoter. Among the film-makers attending in 1958,


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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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