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World cinema

Parents: world - cinema

By region: American cinema - British cinema - European cinema - French cinema - film - German cinema - Italian cinema - Japanese cinema


World cinema is a reference to the films and cinema industries of non-English language speaking countries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_cinema [Aug 2005]

Foreign films [...]

In English-speaking countries, a foreign film is usually one made in a language other than English.

In North America foreign film is often used instead of foreign language film, and isn't usually applied to British, Australian or other films made in English. Foreign films are generally shown in art houses that also show independent films and art films. Foreign films generally have only limited releases and modest grosses. Most are subtitled, which discourages some potential viewers. The differences in style and tone between foreign and domestic films also affects attendance. Some foreign films have wider releases and make a great deal of money. Recent examples include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Amelie. The first foreign film to top the North American box office was Hero in the fall of 2004. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_film [Nov 2005]

Anything not made in Hollywood

Do you love world cinema (a.k.a. foreign films, or international movies, or auteur cinema, or just about anything that's not made in Hollywood)? Then you've no doubt noticed, as I have, how difficult it is to find information on the Internet about these films. That's why I've created this webpage devoted to international films, directors, and actors. (There are also pages of articles and other stuff which you might want to check out.)

The scope of this site may be somewhat limited, based largely upon areas of my own personal interest. Furthermore I have also attempted to focus, for the most part, on films and artists who are not already covered on the 'Net. I hope that you will find this page useful. (I do apologize, however, for the Eurocentric bias of this site. I'm not European, but most of the foreign films available to me are. I can't apologize, however, for focussing on foreign-language cinemas, to the virtual exclusion of English-language ones. At this time, it seems that even the least-worthy English-language films have a better chance of being seen—in North America, at least—than anything that might be subtitled.) --http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Metro/9384/intro.htm

World film at the peak of the silents

But even [in the late 1910s and the 1920s], the dominance of mainstream Hollywood entertainment wasn’t as strong as it would be, and alternatives were still widely seen and influential.

Germany was America’s strongest competitor. Its most distinctive contribution was the dark, hallucinatory worlds of German Expressionism, which advanced the power of anti-realistic presentation to put internal states of mind onscreen, as well as strongly influenced the emerging horror genre.

The newborn Soviet cinema was the most radically innovative. There, the craft of editing, especially, surged forward, going beyond its previous role in advancing a story. Sergei Eisenstein perfected the technique of so-called dialectical or intellectual montage, which strove to make non-linear, often violently clashing, images express ideas and provoke emotional and intellectual reactions in the viewer.

The cultural avant gardes of a number of countries worked with experimental films, mostly shorts, that completely abandoned linear narrative and embraced abstraction, pure aestheticism and the irrational subconscious, most famously in the work of Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel. In some ways, in fact, this decade marked the first serious split between mainstream, "popular" film and "art" film.

But even within the mainstream, refinement was rapid, bringing silent film to what would turn out to be its aesthetic summit. The possibilities of cinematography kept expanding as cameras became more mobile (thanks to new booms and dollies) and film stocks more sensitive and versatile. Screen acting came into its own as a craft, leaving behind its earlier theatrical exaggeration and achieving greater subtlety and psychological realism. As visual eloquence increased, reliance on intertitles decreased; the occasional film, such as F.W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh (Germany, 1926) even eschewed them altogether. Paradoxically, at about this point, the silent cinema came abruptly to an end. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_film#World_film_at_the_peak_of_the_silents [Nov 2005]

The production code and foreign films [...]

In addition to the threat of television, there was also an increasing threat from foreign films, like Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief (1950). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Production_Code#The_1950s_and_early_1960s [Nov 2004]

BBC Four World Cinema Award

Belleville Rendez-Vous, directed by Sylvain Chomet, is the winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award.

Jury members Bjork, Robert Carlyle, Alex Cox and Mike Figgis joined Jonathan Ross to vote for the winning film. --BBC Four

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_cinema [Sept 2004]

Is European cinema now part of world cinema ? [...]

The European cinema – that of auteurs, national styles and new waves – has traditionally been identified with a dual cultural legacy: that of the 19th novel and of the 20th century artistic avant-gardes. It helped draw a boundary between the work of the great directors, representing the nation, and domestic star and genre cinema, entertaining the masses, while also helping to set off the ‘Europe’ of film art against the ‘Hollywood’ of commerce.

It is a commonplace to note that these legacies and distinctions have proven increasingly untenable over the past decades. But what has replaced the European art- and auteur-cinema, what has become of independent cinema, and how can we best discuss these changes? Is European cinema now part of world cinema in the age of globalisation? Between the festival circuit and late-night television, is there an audience for European films? Has it become a cinema of cities: Paris, Berlin, London, Warsaw, Madrid, Rome, Marseille? Is it the medium for a multicultural Europe and its migrating Multitudes? A cinema of history, place and memory? Cinema in Europe: Networks in Progress aims to explore the new connections, network and nodal points that have emerged in the wake of boundaries overcome and hierarchies overturned. But every re-drawing of the map delineates new divides and demarcations. --http://www.hum.uva.nl/asca/object.cfm?objectID=74C5BB3F-D1E7-402D-AC41AB9F3173B8DB [Sept 2004]


  1. The Film Encyclopedia, 4th Edition : The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume - Ephraim Katz, Fred Klein [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This is the basic reference guide to the international cinema. Put it next to your TV and VCR and you'll be able to answer the questions that inevitably arise when you watch a movie: "What other films has she been in?"; "Haven't I heard that director's name before?"; and "What in tarnation is a gaffer?" The Film Encyclopedia contains biographies and filmographies of actors, directors, producers, and cinematographers, as well as screenwriters, editors, musical directors, production designers, and critics. You can look up films by nationality and find a history of a given country's contribution to the art. Technical data is also indexed, so you can read not only about film stock and the apparatus of the camera, but also about the duties of the gaffer, the key grip, and the best boy. The book's introduction states that Ephraim Katz, who died in 1992, set out to write "the most comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia of world cinema ever published in the English language." The Film Encyclopedia contains more information than any other single-volume film reference and is also the best written movie guide of its kind. Because most of the entries were written by Katz himself, reading this book is like talking to a witty and learned film historian who has devoted his life to understanding--and loving--the cinema.

  2. The Oxford History of World Cinema - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Most histories of the international cinema focus on the careers of prominent directors. But the authors of The Oxford History of World Cinema set cinematic genres, trends, and national themes at the fore, composing a history of the cinema that is equally a history of our multifarious world culture. Still, in deference to the older historical style, the text of this hefty book is dotted with hundreds of minibiographies on individual filmmakers. The result of this hybrid approach is one of the most comprehensive film histories ever, allowing insight into its complex subject from a number of different perspectives. --Amazon.com

Mondo Macabro : Weird & Wonderful Cinema Around the World (1997) - Pete Tombs

  • Mondo Macabro : Weird & Wonderful Cinema Around the World (1997) - Pete Tombs [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    See entry for Pete Tombs.

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