Download 100 Years of European Cinema: Entertainment or Ideology? by Alison Smith, Diana Holmes PDF

By Alison Smith, Diana Holmes

Cinema is leisure that still communicates a collection of values and a imaginative and prescient of the area. This publication explores the advanced dating among leisure, ideology, and audiences from the Stalinist musicals of the Nineteen Thirties via cinematic representations of masculinity less than Franco, to fresh French motion pictures and their Hollywood remakes. It covers movie from the previous Soviet Union, Germany East and West, Czechoslovakia, France, and Spain, and the connection among Europe and Hollywood.

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The question of how police are presented in the genre must be individually treated since each film displays differences, however minute. As with other aspects of the genre, one needs, for example, to make the large distinction whether the depiction of the police is part of an attempt to reflect reality or whether it is dominated by other—moral, aesthetic, or human—concerns. The difficulties of adequate assessment may be represented by the following example. The identical insert of a police dragnet appears in He Walked by Night (1948), Gun Crazy (1949), and The Big Combo (1955), but it conveys different meanings and feelings in each case that are determined by the general context of the film and the immediate context of what precedes and follows the insert.

The gangster becomes a charmless bully, a bundle of negative traits that merits annihilation. Hollywood probably thought it best to make him a really rotten bastard, perhaps to pacify Hoover, whose job was being made more difficult by the public’s sympathy for real-life, just-folks desperadoes like Dillinger and others, more worth backing than Hoover’s much ballyhooed but ineptly performing FBI. There is no place for Rico’s dumbfounded awe of his own mortality (you need to have developed some pretty funny notions of yourself for that), a moment which clearly privileges his defiantly foolish but admirably persistent effort to challenge both society and Fate (his threatening bark the outward sign of his deep need to make something of himself) despite the film’s prevailing ironies.

Top to bottom, the genre’s conventions, major or minor, have been more or less toward the downbeat. Productions of the 1930s and 1940s, especially, had a likable blend of innocence and depravity. They didn’t mind jolting you, but they also wanted to win you over. Today’s films like to grind your face in all kinds of unpleasantness. Why? Because they can, and that’s the easiest, most visible arena where innovation can be displayed. The appeal of the illicit is strong, and this genre specializes in the creation of illicit worlds, or demonstrates how our world of barbecues and bus stops is one and the same.

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