The Emergence of Film Culture by Malte Hagener

28594d2537518d3-261x361.jpg Author Malte Hagener
Isbn 1785333542
File size 3.4MB
Year 2014
Pages 392
Language English
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Category art


The Emergence of Film Culture Film Europa: German Cinema in an International Context Series Editors: Hans-Michael Bock (CineGraph Hamburg); Tim Bergfelder (University of Southampton); Sabine Hake (University of Texas, Austin) German cinema is normally seen as a distinct form, but this series emphasizes connections, influences, and exchanges of German cinema across national borders, as well as its links with other media and art forms. Individual titles present traditional historical research (archival work, industry studies) as well as new critical approaches in film and media studies (theories of the transnational), with a special emphasis on the continuities associated with popular traditions and local perspectives. The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopedia of German Cinema General Editor: Hans-Michael Bock Associate Editor: Tim Bergfelder Dismantling the Dream Factory: Gender, German Cinema, and the Postwar Quest for a New Film Language Hester Baer International Adventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s Tim Bergfelder Belá Balázs: Early Film Theory. Visible Man and The Spirit of Film Bela Balazs, edited by Erica Carter, translated by Rodney Livingstone Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910–1933 S.S. Prawer Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany Edited by John Davidson and Sabine Hake A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder’s American Films Gerd Gemünden Destination London: German-speaking Emigrés and British Cinema, 1925–1950 Edited by Tim Bergfelder and Christian Cargnelli Screening the East: Heimat, Memory and Nostalgia in German Film since 1989 Nick Hodgin Peter Lorre: Face Maker. Constructing Stardom and Performance in Hollywood and Europe Sarah Thomas Turkish German Cinema in the New Millennium: Sites, Sounds, and Screens Edited by Sabine Hake and Barbara Mennel Postwall German Cinema: History, Film History and Cinephilia Mattias Frey Michael Haneke’s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image Catherine Wheatley Homemade Men in Postwar Austrian Cinema: Nationhood, Genre and Masculinity Maria Fritsche Willing Seduction: The Blue Angel, Marlene Dietrich, and Mass Culture Barbara Kosta The Emergence of Film Culture: Knowledge Production, Institution Building and the Fate of the AvantGarde in Europe, 1919–1945 Edited by Malte Hagener The Emergence of Film Culture Knowledge Production, Institution Building and the Fate of the Avant-Garde in Europe, 1919–1945 Edited by Malte Hagener berghahn NEW YORK • OXFORD First published in 2014 by Berghahn Books © 2014 Malte Hagener All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission of the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The emergence of film culture: knowledge production, institution building and the fate of the avant-garde in Europe, 1919-1945 / edited by Malte Hagener.    p. cm. -- (Film Europa: German cinema in an international context)   Includes bibliographical references and index.   ISBN 978-1-78238-423-6 (hardback: alk. paper) -- ISBN 978-1-78238424-3 (ebook)   1. Experimental films--Europe--History and criticism. 2. Motion pictures--Europe--History--20th century. I. Hagener, Malte, 1971editor author.   PN1995.9.E96E44 2014  791.43’61109409041--dc23 2014009540 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Printed on acid-free paper ISBN: 978-1-78238-423-6 (hardback) ISBN: 978-1-78238-424-3 (ebook) Contents List of Figuresvii Acknowledgementsix Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture Malte Hagener 1 I.  Formations of Knowledge   1. Policing Race: Postcolonial Critique, Censorship and Regulatory Responses to the Cinema in Weimar Film Culture  Tobias Nagl   2. The Visible Woman in and against Béla Balázs Erica Carter   3. Encounters in Darkened Rooms: Alternative Programming of the Dutch Filmliga, 1927–31 Tom Gunning   4. When Was Soviet Cinema Born? The Institutionalization of Soviet Film Studies and the Problems of Periodization Natalie Ryabchikova 21 46 72 118 II.  Networks of Exchange   5. Eastern Avatars: Russian Influence on European AvantGardes143 Ian Christie   6. Early Yugoslav Ciné-amateurism: Cinéphilia and the Institutionalization of Film Culture in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the Interwar Period 162 Greg de Cuir, Jr. vi Contents   7. Soviet–Italian Cinematic Exchanges: Transnational Film Education in the 1930s Masha Salazkina   8. The Avant-Garde, Education and Marketing: The Making of Non-theatrical Film Culture in Interwar Switzerland Yvonne Zimmermann 180 199 III  Emergence of Institutions   9.  Interwar Film Culture in Sweden: Avant-Garde Transactions in the Emergent Welfare State 227  Lars Gustaf Andersson 10.  Building the Institution: Luigi Chiarini and Italian Film Culture in the 1930s 249 Francesco Pitassio and Simone Venturini 11. A New Art for a New Society? The Emergence and Development of Film Schools in Europe 268 Duncan Petrie 12. Institutions of Film Culture: Festivals and Archives as Network Nodes 283 Malte Hagener 13. The German Reich Film Archive in an International Context306 Rolf Aurich Notes on Contributors339 Select Bibliography343 Index365 Figures   1.1 Ambiguous positionalities: Chinese-German actor Henry Sze and Mia May in the lost The Mistress of the World episode, Der Rabbi von Kuan-Fu (1919/20). [Deutsche Kinemathek]29   2.1 Béla Balázs with Georg Lukács and Edith Hajós in Balázs’s flat, 1915/16. [Georg Lukacs archive] 51   2.2 Postcard from the Sunday Circle (photo by Olga Mate), from left: Karl Mannheim, Béla Fogarosi, Erno Lorsy, unknown, Elza Stephani, Anna Hamvassy, Edith Hajós, Béla Balázs; c.1916. [Petofi Iroldami Museum F.1745] 54   3.1 Dynamic compositions in a ‘conscious laboratory work’: De Brug [The Bridge] (1928, Joris Ivens). [Deutsche Kinemathek]106   4.1 Nikolai Lebedev. [Laboratory for the history of Russian cinema in VGIK] 121   4.2 Veniamin Vishnevskii. [Laboratory for the history of Russian cinema in VGIK] 127   5.1 Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes created a vogue for Russian avant-garde art in Paris before the First World War, which helped the young Jean Cocteau to launch his multi-media career with a series of ballet scenarios for the impresario, including Parade (1917). [Author’s collection] 149   5.2 Ivan Mozzhukhin was a leading star of Russian cinema before he emigrated after the revolutions of 1917, and lent glamour to ‘White Russian’ productions such as Feu Mathias Pascal [The Late Mathias Pascal] (1926), based on a novel by Luigi Pirandello and directed by one of the key figures in the French avant-garde, Marcel L’Herbier. [Author’s collection] 152 viii Figures  6.1 Tokin’s Film. [Marinko Sudac Collection] 169   6.2 Zenithist Manifesto. [Marinko Sudac Collection] 171  8.1 Die Börse als Barometer der Wirtschaftslage [The Stock Exchange as a Barometer of the Economic Situation] (1939, Hans Richter). [Ciné] 205   8.2 Paradigmatic dispositif of non-theatrical film exhibition. Illustration published in the SSVK brochure Rationelle ­Film-Propaganda, 1929. 213   8.3 Fip-Fop audience in cinema Oriental in Vevey, 26 October 1938. [Archives historiques Nestlé, Vevey] 216   9.1 The working committee of Svenska Filmsamfundet during one of their first meeetings, in autumn 1933: Nils Beyer, Ragnar Allberg, Arne Bornesbusch, ‘Robin Hood’ (Bengt Idestam-Almquist), Gustaf Molander, Per-Axel Branner and E.W. Olson. [Swedish Film Institute] 240 10.1 Building the pedagogical apparatus: Luigi Chiarini (Rome, 1930s) surrounded by CSC students. [Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Archivio Fotografico, Rome] 254 10.2 Building the conceptual apparatus – sober book covers for a film theory and history on the rise: Francesco Pasinetti, Storia del cinema dalle origini a oggi (1939), left; Luigi Chiarini, Cinematografo (1935), right. 261 12.1 Poster for the Kino- und Photoausstellung (Kipho) in Berlin, from 25 September to 5 October 1925. [Deutsche Kinemathek]287 12.2 Lotte Eisner and Henri Langlois at the opening of the Deutsche Kinemathek in 1963. [Deutsche Kinemathek] 300 13.1 Portrait of Frank Hensel (1935). [Deutsche Kinemathek] 308 13.2 Portrait of Richard Quaas (1946). [Hans-Rainer Quaas, Gröbenzell]312 13.3 Iris Barry during her Berlin visit in 1936. [Museum of Modern Art] 315 Acknowledgements This book has been helped by a number of people along the way, who listened to ideas, answered questions, made suggestions and gave advice. Thanks are due to Tim Bergfelder, Peter Bloom, Peter Decherney, Christian Cargnelli, Christophe Dupin, Sabine Hake, JanChristopher Horak, Charles Musser, Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Dana Polan, Julia Riedel, Jamie Sexton, Matthias Steinle and Haidee Wasson for answering to queries I had, assisting with illustrations and generously sharing their knowledge and contacts. The process of preparing the manuscript was aided at different stages by Manuel Schnabel and Bernhard Runzheimer. Most of all, though, I have to thank the authors for generously sharing their ideas, research and writing with me, and for putting up with an editor who was not as fast as he hoped in finishing this project. Their tolerance and brilliance has made putting this book together such a worthwhile endeavour. Hopefully, the transnational network visible in the collaboration will continue to grow and spur further results. Introduction : The Emergence of Film Culture Malte Hagener When film became a technological reality in the late nineteenth century, its future shape and role was far from obvious. Discussions regarding the theoretical nature, the aesthetic function and the social role of cinema began as soon as commentators took note of the medium, but conceptualizations remained fluid for the first decades. It was not until the 1920s that knowledge about film and cinema was systematically, consistently and reflexively articulated, gathered and disseminated on a broader basis. Over the course of two decades, the 1920s and 1930s, institutions, practices and arguments arose which have been crucial for any serious engagement with cinema ever since. There are many aspects that can be said to have aided this ‘emergence of film culture’ in the interwar period: the beginnings of film festivals; the formation of canons; the point at which film became recognized as a subject of study at institutions of higher education; the consolidation of film criticism and archiving as serious occupations; and the recognition accorded to the relevance of film history and film theory. Cinema as a discursive field of its own began to emerge slowly but steadily over the course of the 1920s. In the following decade across Europe, many film-related institutions and organizations were founded and achieved stability, such as archives, festivals and film institutes. The ‘emergence of film culture’ implies that the medium was starting to be taken seriously as an aesthetic object and social force, and this has to be taken into account when trying to understand the political, 2 Malte Hagener social and aesthetic modernity that came to dominate industrialized ­countries before the Second World War. While the first steps towards the institutionalization of film culture were taken within the decidedly transnational film culture of the 1920s, many activities continued in the increasingly nationalist atmosphere of the 1930s, even though these developments were often far from smooth or unidirectional. A history which is in no small part European in nature remains largely hidden and buried. This volume aims to start uncovering the outlines of this configuration. There are effectively three major strands one has to keep in mind when drawing a preliminary map of the field: the trajectory of the avant-garde, the influence of the nation state, and the role of the industry. First of all, the avant-garde developed and grew over the course of the 1920s, articulating countless ideas and arguments as to why and how cinema was making a valuable and productive contribution to the modern world. Theoretical discussions as well as practical initiatives shaped film as an aesthetic and political force to be reckoned with. Nevertheless, the avant-garde constituted a miniscule, fragmented and fragile formation that was more geared towards temporary interventions and tactical skirmishes than durability and longevity. Thus, the avant-garde provided insights and inspirations, but other entities had to turn these forays into ­permanence and stability. Secondly, the nation state has a long and complex history in relation to film and media.1 Well into the 1920s, cinema was regularly seen as transgressive, dangerous and in need of regulation, yet state officials had also begun to realize that modern mass media, such as cinema and radio, could be an effective platform for governing and controlling a mass society. Various official initiatives in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Soviet Union under Stalin bear witness to this active engagement of national state policy with cinema, but in a different ideological configuration, this desired symbiosis of cinema and social engagement also characterized John Grierson’s activities in Great Britain. While in the 1910s, the state had frequently resorted to mechanisms of suppression and censorship, subsequent developments are more in line with what Michel Foucault has termed ‘governmentality’, the regulation and control of large populations not through coercion or negative sanctioning, but by way of guiding the individual (or groups) towards desired behaviour and reaction. The third factor in this configuration is the industry, both the film ­industry in the narrow sense, but also industry at large, represented by  sectors such as manufacturing, electricity, and consumer goods. Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture 3 Cinema’s emergence paralleled that of Western consumer societies which quickly gained ground throughout the first decades of the twentieth century. Film became both a mirror reflecting this social transformation, and an engine that pushed it forward. Projects such as the foundation of a film school, a national film archive or a film festival required not only state support, but also the cooperation of the industry in providing financial backing and access to commissions and resources if these institutions were expected to become a productive part of the circulation of images and films in the society at large. As might be expected from the interaction of such different force fields and interests, the ‘emergence of film culture’ was a complex and contested process. Moreover, even where p ­ rojects were undertaken in the name of the nation state, many of the protagonists involved in these initiatives had a decidedly transnational outlook, a legacy of the cosmopolitan avant-garde of the 1920s and the various initiatives towards achieving a European film. Taking these uneven and contradictory contexts into account, the chapters in this volume attempt to sketch a history of how film culture emerged, and how various strands developed into the 1930s and beyond. The overall argument of the book is that the initiatives of this period laid the groundwork on which film culture, and hence also the discipline of film studies, still rests today. An Entangled Story of Encounters and Exchange: The Avant-Garde and its Historiography In some respects, this book is a collaborative attempt to begin writing a histoire croisée (entangled history) of the avant-garde, its legacy and aftermath; it is a story of encounters and exchange, of translation and interference.2 Traditional national history  – and this holds true for most of film history that exists – sees the nation state as the key frame of reference, a container with very few contact zones to the outside world. Movements and regulations, markets and aesthetics, production and reception are all first and foremost conceived of in terms of the national. A comparative history, a step towards leaving the nation behind, establishes a singular point of view which then determines the categories of comparison. In this vein, one can compare the national characteristics of universities and armies, of social security systems and trade regulations, of film subsidy and media policy. Transnational (or entangled) history goes further as it develops ideas first broached under labels such as connected or shared history into 4 Malte Hagener a focus on interaction, interdependence and complexity. The implicit aim is to multiply perspectives in order to shatter any one dominant reading, and to open up historiography to the potential limitless infinity of empirical reality. It is a misunderstanding to see a transnational approach as antithetical to regional, national or global histories; instead it complements the latter by understanding the reciprocity and interaction of developments at different speeds and in different places. Harking back to earlier approaches such as the Annales school, and sharing many concerns with postcolonial history, histoire croisée is necessarily reflexive as it denies to take one single point of view from which to survey a field. In order to make this multiplication of perspectives productive, one needs to see each of them in relative terms. Michael Werner and Bénédicte Zimmermann, two French historians who have championed this approach, describe the fundamental ­premises upon which entangled history rests: Histoire croisée belongs to the family of ‘relational’ approaches that, in the manner of comparative approaches and studies of transfers (most recently of ‘connected’ and ‘shared history’) examines the links between various historically constituted formations. But, while these approaches mainly take the perspective of ‘reestablishment/rehabilitation’ of buried reality, the stress laid by histoire croisée on a multiplicity of possible viewpoints and the divergences resulting from languages, terminologies, categorizations and conceptualizations, traditions, and disciplinary usages, adds another dimension to the inquiry. In contrast to the mere restitution of an ‘already there’, histoire croisée places emphasis on what, in a self-reflexive process, can be generative of meaning.3 In order to make visible the non-synchronicity of culture, the complex temporal and spatial disparities and displacements so typical of material culture circulating on a global scale such as film, one needs to constantly change perspective. One could point to any number of examples to highlight the temporal breaks and ruptures, the glitches in concepts and definitions. Let it suffice to give but two examples here, as the book offers many more. The theoretical debate about the status of cinema (as an art form and a medium), that was current in France, Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1920s, only arrived in Italy in the 1930s. By that time, the political, technological and cultural framework had shifted considerably, and therefore ideas and terms acquired a different meaning.4 The distinctively modernist ideas about cinema resonated in 1930s Italy and, after a turn towards narration and figuration (prefigured in the films and writing of Vsevolod Pudovkin), helped to develop Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture 5 what would become ‘neorealism’ in the 1940s. Subsequently, the reception and adaptation of neorealism, first mediated through French film culture (via André Bazin and the Nouvelle Vague [new wave]), took a decidedly political and even militant turn towards ‘Third Cinema’ in the 1960s and 1970s. In these instances, we can map an entangled history of mutual influence as much as of misunderstanding and adaptation over the course of several decades, ranging across different countries and institutional regimes.5 A second example for the kind of histoire croisée that informs the approach of this book can be provided by the shifting meaning of a term such as ‘montage’ through the interwar period. In the late 1920s this term was employed by Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov and other Soviet filmmakers in very specific ways to characterize their editing style and the different registers of montage. For Eisenstein, montage in 1929 was a psychotechnique with which spectators could be manipulated in a precise manner towards desired reactions. By 1939 the same term implied pathos and organicity – a wholeness derived from nature and not anymore committed to conflict and contrast. Now, this is as much a result of the political changes as transformations in the cultural landscape that also bear witness to the international dimension of intellectual transfer.6 Both examples might illustrate how ideas, terms and concepts are never stable, but dependent on context and usage, as well as prone to change, especially if translated and transferred. The changes from the 1920s to the 1930s were indeed significant as they coincided with a number of factors, both related and unrelated: the decades (very roughly) separate silent from sound cinema, the internationalism of the 1920s gave way to increasing nationalization in the 1930s, and the onslaught of the economic crisis in the early 1930s had repercussions all through the decade, not least in the way it helped to restructure the management and production routines of the film industry. In the standard histories of European cinema, the 1930s are somewhat uneasily sandwiched between the late blossoming of classic silent film in the 1920s and the stirrings of neorealism in the 1940s, which is often seen as the harbinger of the new waves dominating European cinema (at least in retrospect) well into the 1980s. Therefore, in terms of film history tout court, the 1930s seem to belong firmly to the United States where a mature oligopoly had taken hold of the film business with fixed routes for distribution and exhibition, set routines for production, and an institutionalized form of censorship.7 The untimeliness and non-synchronicity of the European situation on the other hand is far more difficult to map, as it lacks regularity and 6 Malte Hagener stability. Even though this book only details limited aspects of 1920s and 1930s European cinema, it nevertheless focuses on how knowledge was produced and disseminated, how processes of institution building and stabilization took hold, how different temporal registers led to (productive) misunderstandings and adaptive behaviour, why specific initiatives proved to be successful while others vanished (almost) without a trace. The way in which this volume proposes to understand the 1930s is to see the decade as the ‘incubator’ of developments that became influential much later. Many of today’s insights and critical methodologies in film and media studies can be traced back to ideas and arguments in 1930s Europe, and their rivalling and often mutually exclusive claims continue to shape critical debates to this very day. David Bordwell’s and Kristin Thompson’s neo-formalist approach, for example, combines a psychological Gestalt theory influenced by Rudolf Arnheim and others with Russian neo-formalist vocabulary and an attention to the intricacies of montage as learned from Eisenstein and Vertov. Equally, much of current media theory is unthinkable without Walter Benjamin’s and Siegfried Kracauer’s interventions which took shape through their encounter with 1920s alternative film culture. In particular, Kracauer’s model of writing a national history of German cinema, and Benjamin’s approach to the mediality of film, have provided the classical templates for numerous subsequent analyses.8 On a general level, this book is concerned with the migration and traffic of images, ideas and people within the institution cinema in its widest sense. This is of course a topic that is all too familiar and current, as we today partake in the global circulation of film images via digital networks. In this sense, the collection can be understood as a genealogical investigation into how certain practices, institutions and assumptions took hold in the 1930s on a transnational level. But we should not lump all instances of border crossing together under a single term, but instead differentiate between phases and usages. Dudley Andrew has, in a discussion of contemporary film culture, proposed a historical schema of how the ‘vast geographical flow of images, as well as the time-lag that inevitably accompanies it’ has passed through various phases since the beginnings of film in the late nineteenth century. For him an ontological slippage lies at the heart of cinema, a ‘décalage … between “here and there” and “now and then”’9 that distinguishes cinema from television with its incessant liveness and direct address. Whether one wants to follow Andrew in his Bazinian media ontology or not, an outline of five phases through which the cinema has passed Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture 7 in rough succession, but which are nevertheless not a teleological path in the sense that they necessarily follow one another, is helpful for our purposes. Andrew terms these successive stages as cosmopolitan, national, federated, world and global. The cosmopolitan is typical of early cinema up to the 1920s, when films circulated regardless of national production, and stars were not necessarily identified by their origin – at the time Asta Nielsen, Pola Negri and Louise Brooks could all become stars in Germany, while Ewald André Dupont made films in England, Carmine Gallone directed in Germany, and Carl Theodor Dreyer worked in France. A national refocusing had already taken root by the end of the First World War (Andrew sees 1918 as a watershed in this respect), but I would argue that the avant-garde as well as the Film Europe m ­ ovement10 kept the cosmopolitan spirit of early cinema alive well into the late 1920s. The national phase becomes more clearly prominent in the developments f­ollowing the introduction of sound, when voices and the bodies from which they emanated became firmly tied to specific linguistic communities and therefore specific territories. While this process was far from smooth, the 1930s were nevertheless characterized by an intensification of the bonds between nation state and film. Andrew identifies the third, federated, phase, with postwar developments in film festivals and criticism, but also in other international and intergovernmental organizations beyond film (UNESCO, EC) which coincided with the heyday of European modernist art cinema. However, it is worth noting that the first steps towards a federated structure had already been taken in 1938 with the foundation of FIAF, the international federation of film archives. The last two categories, world and global, do not need to concern us here, as they hinge on later developments from the 1970s onwards. The chapters collected in this anthology follow but also complicate the shifts between the first three phases when a transnational and cosmopolitan film culture became nationalized and tied in one way or another to the state, successively giving way to international cooperation. This cannot be conceptualized as a unilinear story of loss and decline or of triumph and victory, but rather has to be reconfigured as a complex development in which gains in one field went hand in hand with loss in another. The avant-garde of the 1920s was cosmopolitan in the way films and ideas circulated, but also in the way that national belonging did not play any significant role. Viking Eggeling was not primarily seen as a Swede or as a German at the time, but as a fascinating filmmaker who happened to be working in Berlin, just as Eisenstein, a Latvian Jew, born in Riga to a family of German-Swedish descent, 8 Malte Hagener fluent in many languages, educated in St Petersburg and hailing from Moscow, could become the most celebrated film artist of the late 1920s. The national paradigm of clearly separated and circumscribed spheres, of specific aesthetics and thematic preoccupation began to hold sway in the 1930s, as can be seen in the first books on film history which introduced a logic of national schools, as well as in the birth of competitive spaces such as film festivals.11 After the introduction of sound, the separate linguistic communities with their recognizable sounds and typical actors appeared to divide the former cosmopolitan space into nationally ­circumscribed entities. In this respect, Andrew’s temporal argument about how time lags and delays are to be accounted for should be complemented by a spatial one, a dimension he only hints at in passing. Here it is relevant to point to the relation of centre and periphery, as these relational terms are in constant flux and transformation.12 In the 1920s, the avant-garde (whether individuals, films or ideas) moved easily between Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Amsterdam and London, but these metropolitan centres also provided hubs for the national and regional spaces around. Whereas the 1920s saw artists move and connect relatively easy and on an informal basis, in the 1930s this was often predicated on official state visits such as Joris Ivens’ trips to the Soviet Union or Iris Barry’s European journey as an official mission on behalf of the Museum of Modern Art in the mid-1930s. It is the emergence of festivals as an arena for the competition of the nation that might show most clearly how institution building was predicated upon the nation state being a partner to provide stability and durability. Film Studies: The Origins of a Discipline In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of publications detailing the beginnings of film studies in the Anglo-American world, dealing with the history of relevant institutions such as journals, museums, archives and university departments, but also encompassing questions such as canon formation that helped to create a stable configuration and therefore a subject that one could study and research. Dana Polan’s monograph Scenes of Instructions details the early efforts towards establishing film studies at institutions of higher education in the United States.13 In her study Museum Movies, Haidee Wasson illustrates how the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the 1930s became a central node for the appreciation and study of the cinema Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture 9 as a recognized aesthetic form.14 Peter Decherney complements these insights with an examination of the collaboration between Hollywood and institutions such as universities, museums and archives, from the end of the First World War to the start of the Cold War,15 while Lee Grieveson’s and Haidee Wasson’s anthology announces nothing less than the Invention of Film Studies.16 Meanwhile in Britain, Terry Bolas examines the trajectory from the early attempt at film appreciation within the framework of the emergent British Film Institute in the 1930s to the high theory of 1970s Screen.17 While all these studies are highly valuable and make important contributions to our understanding of the development of the discipline, their outlook is overwhelmingly and almost exclusively Anglo-American. Within the wider force fields under consideration here, investigators have also addressed the non-entertainment uses of film18 and the intersection of the cinema with the colonial project,19 adjacent fields where the industry, the avantgarde and the nation state intersected in specific configurations. This volume aims to expand on the existing scholarship by widening and broadening the field, and to chart the European film culture of the interwar period, taking into account that timing, intensity and inflection were open to many influences and depended on numerous factors. While the individual chapters may cover specific national contexts, they also highlight transnational connections; they consider the circulation of material (films, texts, ideas, people) and the foundation and stabilization of institutions. The contributions to this book examine how knowledge about the cinema was produced and disseminated, how film canons were constructed and enforced, how institutions of film culture were built and maintained – but also how many of these early efforts turned out to be dead ends. As stated previously, the avant-garde which blossomed in the 1920s played an important part in this complex history of institution building and nationalization. It took root in the 1920s as a radical movement aimed at transforming life and art by way of aesthetic, political and social interventions. It was in no small part thanks to the avant-garde that the configurations of film culture would blossom in the 1920s. Screening societies and ciné-clubs, magazines and pamphlets, exhibitions and gatherings laid the groundwork for film schools and archives, for art house cinemas and journals, and for festivals and exhibitions. Contrary to received wisdom which sees the avant-garde as a shortlived and ultimately failed attempt at establishing an alternative film aesthetics, this book considers it as a social and political force aimed at transforming the very essence on which our discipline still depends.20

Author Malte Hagener Isbn 1785333542 File size 3.4MB Year 2014 Pages 392 Language English File format PDF Category Art Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Between the two world wars, a distinct and vibrant film culture emerged in Europe. Film festivals and schools were established; film theory and history was written that took cinema seriously as an art form; and critical writing that created the film canon flourished. This scene was decidedly transnational and creative, overcoming traditional boundaries between theory and practice, and between national and linguistic borders. This new European film culture established film as a valid form of social expression, as an art form, and as a political force to be reckoned with. By examining the extraordinarily rich and creative uses of cinema in the interwar period, we can examine the roots of film culture as we know it today.     Download (3.4MB) Redefining Adaptation Studies The Changing Face of Korean Cinema: 1960 to 2015 European Cinema and Television Educating Film-Makers: Past, Present and Future Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations Load more posts

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