Sei sulla pagina 1di 43
1880s Throughout the nineteenth century, a series of 'magic lantern' optical toys (such as the

1880s

Throughout the nineteenth century, a series of 'magic lantern' optical toys (such as the Phenakistoscope, the Zoetrope, and the Biophantic Lantern) presented short, repetitive animations exploiting the eye's persistence of vision (a phenomenon first reported by Peter Mark Roget in 1824). Emil Reynaud, the inventor of one such device (the Praxinoscope), converted it into a projector and was thus able to present animated images, drawn on celluloid strips, to large audiences. Reynaud called his modified device a Theatre Optique, and used it to project Pantomimes Lumineuses presentations featuring films such as Un Bon Bock (1888). His first public screening was a projection of Pauvre Pierrot (1892). Similarly, in 1886, William Friese-Greene collaborated with John Arthur Roebuck Rudge on a Biophantascope capable of projecting magic lantern slides in rapid succession.

of projecting magic lantern slides in rapid succession. Motion Photography Eadweard Muybridge used a series of

Motion Photography

Eadweard Muybridge used a series of Zoopraxiscope cameras, operated in rapid succession, to photograph the movements of a horse's legs; his results, published in 1878, seem retrospectively to be prototypical (albeit horizontal) film strips.

Etienne-Jules Marey developed Muybridge's technique, creating a single camera capable of capturing a series of rapid exposures which he called Chronophotographie. Marey, whose images were a major inspiration for the Futurismo art movement, used Chronophotographie to make a short film in 1889, demonstrating the movements of the human hand. Otto Anschutz invented a device capable of projecting Chronophotographie images in rapid sequence; he first demonstrated this Electrotachyscope in Berlin in 1894.

The very first moving photographic images were filmed in 1888. Louis LePrince, using a camera he had invented himself, recorded approximately two seconds of Actuality footage known as Roundhay Garden Scene in Leeds, England. He is also thought to have projected the footage, from a paper filmstrip at twelve frames-per-second, in the same city. (Projection speeds for silent films were not standardised, though twenty-four frames-per-second became the standard speed for all sound films.)

became the standard speed for all sound films.) 1890s Thomas Edison, inventor of the cylinder phonograph,

1890s

Thomas Edison, inventor of the cylinder phonograph, also experimented with cylindrical film recordings, using a Kinetoscope camera developed with his assistant, WKL Dickson; the first such film was Monkeyshines I, recorded in 1890. Dickson then modified the Kinetoscope, producing the horizontal, three-second film Dickson Greeting (1891). In 1893, the device was consolidated as a hand-cranked machine displaying celluloid filmstrips to individual viewers, known as a Kinetograph; the first film shown to the public in this manner was Blacksmith Scene (1893).

In Berlin, Germany, the brothers Max and Emil Skladowsky designed a Bioskop camera which recorded and projected two simultaneous images, each at eight frames-per-second therefore creating the illusion of sixteen frames-per-second projection. The Bioskop was demonstrated to the public in 1895, though it is another pair of brothers, who also projected moving images in that same year, that history has remembered as the pioneers of film projection.

From Film To Cinema The brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere, from France, are generally credited

From Film To Cinema

The brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere, from France, are generally credited (despite numerous antecedents) as the inventors of projected film. Using their Cinematographe camera/projector, moving images could be viewed on a large cinema screen rather than through a Kinetograph view-finder. The first film the Lumieres projected was La Sortie De L'Usine Lumiere A Lyon, in Paris in 1895. The Lumiere's early films were all brief Actualites, documentaries detailing events from everyday life, sole exception being their short comedy Le Jardinier: L'Arroseur Arrose, also from 1895, technically the first film with a fictional narrative. The significance was not the content of these films but rather the medium itself. Like still photography, x-rays, air travel, and high speed land travel, all popularised at the turn of the twentieth century, the cinema offered a new perspective from which to view the world.

When the Lumieres' films were screened in Japan, they were accompanied by live narration performed by 'benshi', and each sequence was projected on a continuous loop (a technique known as Tasuke). The benshi originally introduced each film by providing an explanation of its exposition, though later their performances became more sophisticated. Actors would stand behind the screen, interpreting the film as a live drama, known as Kagezerifu. (History came full-circle in 2003, when Anastasia Fite developed 'movieoke', a variant of karaoke in which the public performed dialogue to accompany mute film projections. While collective interactive experiences emphasise karaoke-style participation, interactive film-making for individual viewers has been developed for computer games such as Fahrenheit (David Cage, 2005), in which the player's actions affect the progression of the narrative.)

1900s Cinema's exponential technological advancement was demonstrated in 1900 by Raoul Gromoin-Sanson, who unveiled

1900s

Cinema's exponential technological advancement was demonstrated in 1900 by Raoul Gromoin-Sanson, who unveiled his Cineorama system. Cineorama featured an enormous panoramic screen, onto which were projected ten simultaneous images side by side. The result was certainly spectacular, though the flammability of nitrate film reels, coupled with the logistics of synchronising ten projectors, curtailed the system's commercial potential. It would later influence Abel Gance's Napoleon and Hollywood's Cinerama process.

Primitive cinema initially consisted of Actualities (from the Lumieres) and Photoscenes (simple recordings of popular entertainers, released by Gaumont), though French stage magician Georges Melies sought to fully explore the camera's potential for illusion. He used editing and trick photography to create films in which objects and people appear, disappear, multiply, explode, grow, and shrink. These stop-motion effects influenced early cartoon animators such as James Stuart Blackton (Humorous Phases Of Funny Faces, 1906; The Haunted Hotel, 1907) and Emile Cohl (Fantasmagorie, 1907).

Sustained Narratives Melies's masterpiece was a science-fiction tale about a group of curious Victorians exploring

Sustained Narratives

Melies's masterpiece was a science-fiction tale about a group of curious Victorians exploring the lunar surface, Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902). It was based on a story by Jules Verne, who inspired many such narratives of fantastical journeys. (Retrospectively, it has also been adopted as a prototype of the Steampunk genre, in which consciously anachronistic, futuristic technology is introduced into narratives set in the Victorian period.) Le Voyage was more than ten times longer than any previous film, a remarkable attempt at a sustained narrative which predates Edwin S Porter's early western The Great Train Robbery (1903). The first feature-length film was made in Australia, Charles Tait's The Story Of The Kelly Gang (1906).

(1903). The first feature-length film was made in Australia, Charles Tait's The Story Of The Kelly

1910s

DW Griffith's early short films, such as The Lonely Villa (1909), for Biograph Studios, were the first to combine all the new narrative devices, including cross-cutting, multiple camera positions, inter-titles, and close-ups. Griffith can thus be seen as the first 'modern' director, whose greatest achievements were the historical epics The Birth Of A Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916; subtitled A Sun-Play Of The Ages: A Drama Of Comparisons and Love's Struggle Throughout The Ages).

It was, however, the Italian studios that produced the very first epic films, including Quo Vadis? (Enrico Guazzoni, 1913) and the stunning Cabiria Visione Storica Del Terzo Secolo AC (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914). In contrast to these historical epics was a short- lived cycle of films influenced by the Italian Futurismo art movement, such as Anton Giulio Bragaglia's Perfido Incanto and Arnaldo Ginna's Vita Futurista (both 1916), directed according to the cinema manifesto published by FT Marinetti in L'Italia Futurista (1916).

Screen comedian Charlie Chaplin emigrated from London to Hollywood. There, he directed and starred in a series of single-reel silent comedies, notably The Tramp (1914), which made him the most recognisable film star in the world. Together with DW Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, Chaplin founded the independent studio United Artists in 1919. The studio was eventually sold in 1952, and later merged with MGM.

The world-famous stage actress Sarah Bernhardt starred in the Elizabethan costume drama Les Amours De La Reine Elisabeth (Louis Mercanton, 1912), one of France's Film D'Art productions. The first example was L'Assassinat Du Duc DeGuise (1908), directed by Andre Calmettes and Charles LeBargy. Films D'Art were significant for their extended running-times, though their static camerawork and stage-like sets were more regressive than innovative.

The brief period between 1908 and 1911 was seen as a 'bela epoca' for Brazilian cinema, among the most popular productions being Fitas Cantatas films accompanied by live singers. Similar to Brazil's Fitas Cantatas were the Japanese Rensa-Geki films, in which each sequence would be followed by a short dramatic scene (an innovation first introduced in 1916). Other Japanese genres of the period were: Nonsensu-Mono (comedies), Matatabi-Mono (films about wandering outlaws), Bunka Eiga (documentaries, later called Kiroku Eiga), and Jiji Eiga (also documentaries, though specifically jingoistic).

Avant-Garde Cinema The cinematic avant-garde can be traced back to Abel Gance's short, experimental La

Avant-Garde Cinema

The cinematic avant-garde can be traced back to Abel Gance's short, experimental La Folie Du Dr Tube (1915), and the extraordinary horror masterpiece Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari (Robert Weine, 1919), the first film of the German Expressionismus movement (though the American avant-garde has much later origins: Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid's Meshes Of The Afternoon from 1943). Caligari was a Film D'Art production in all but name, with its painted scenery and static camera, though its angular sets were designed with complete disregard for realism. This resulted in a film which stylistically echoed the unbalanced psychology of its sinister central character and his somnambulistic assistant.

sinister central character and his somnambulistic assistant. 1920s Erich VonStroheim emigrated from Austria to America,

1920s

Erich VonStroheim emigrated from Austria to America, and soon gained a reputation for over-indulgence. His film budgets quadrupled, and the excessive running-times of his films were drastically cut before distribution. Greed (1924), for example, lasted over nine hours in rough-cut. French director Abel Gance's films (notably La Roue from 1923 and the 'biopic' Napoleon from 1927) were similarly extravagant. Napoleon had a running- time of over five hours, and was projected using the Polyvision system: three screens were used, enabling incredible panoramic images to be presented.

Polyvision was influenced by the ten-projector panoramas of Cineorama, and it inspired the American Cinerama process of the 1950s. However, the most important technical innovation of the 1920s related not to the screen but to the soundtrack: the sporadic lines of spoken dialogue in Alan Crosland's 'talkie' The Jazz Singer in 1927 caused an instant sensation. However, The Jazz Singer was retrogressive rather than progressive; it's 'soundtrack' was recorded not on the film itself but on a separate disc. True optical sound had in fact been demonstrated as early as 1921, by Charles Hoxie.

American film production in the early 1920s was increasingly consolidated around a small number of film studios, all based in Hollywood, which became synonymous with the American film industry. This system of classical Hollywood studio production survived until the 1960s, when it would be challenged by the increasing popularity of television and the rise of independent film production.

Charlie Chaplin's silent comedy shorts of the 1910s developed into feature-films in the 1920s, such as The Gold Rush (1925). Buster Keaton's The General (1927, directed by Keaton and Clyde Bruckman) is another enduring silent comedy. Other Hollywood stars of the era included sex-symbol Rudolph Valentino, whose most popular leading role was in the exotic drama The Sheik (George Melford, 1921). In contrast to the decadence of Hollywood's emerging star and studio systems was Robert Flaherty's humanist documentary Nanook Of The North (1922).

humanist documentary Nanook Of The North (1922). Weimar Expressionism German Expressionismus produced such

Weimar Expressionism

German Expressionismus produced such diverse films as the Gothic horror Nosferatu:

Eine Symphonie Des Grauens by FW Murnau (1921) and the expensive science-fiction epic Metropolis (1926), directed by former sculptor Fritz Lang. Lang specialised in spectacular superproductions for Germany's premier studio, UFA; he directed the contemporary Dr Mabuse Der Spieler (1922) and the historical Die Nibelungen (1924;

released in two parts: Siegfried and Kriemhild's Rache). Murnau and Lang both emigrated to Hollywood: Lang left Germany after filming his psychological masterpiece M in 1931 and later directed the American thriller The Big Heat (1953); Murnau directed the naturalistic Kammerspielfilm Der Letzte Mann (1924) in Germany and Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans (1927) in America, only to be killed in a road accident a few years later.

In contrast to Expressionismus's extreme stylisation was a series of German Neue Sachlichkeit films, beginning with Die Strasse (Karl Grune, 1923) and Die Freudlose Gasse (GW Pabst, 1925). Whereas the Neue Sachlichkeit art movement introduced what would later be regarded as Magical Realist elements, the films of the period were concerned with poverty-stricken life on the streets (hence they are sometimes called Street films).

the streets (hence they are sometimes called Street films). Japanese Cinema With the introduction of sustained

Japanese Cinema

With the introduction of sustained narratives to Japanese cinema, the country's film industry began to polarise into two distinct styles: Gendai-Geki (dramas with contemporary settings, initially influenced by German Expressionismus and also known as Gendai-Mono) and Jidai-Geki (period dramas influenced by Kyu-Geki historical films, also known as Jidai-Mono).

Kichizo Chiba's Onoga Tsumi (1909) is one of the earliest examples of Gendai-Geki, though the most famous are Kenji Mizoguchi's Chi To Rei (1923) and Minoru Murata's Rojo No Reikon (1921). In the mid-1920s, there was a noticeable stylistic shift in the Gendai-Geki genre: the films began to draw more influence from American cinema and less from German Expressionismus. Yutaka Abe's Ashi Ni Sawatta Onna (1926) is a typical example, its director having previously worked as an actor in Hollywood.

One of the earliest Jidai-Geki films is Chushingura (1907), by Ryo Konishi. Others include Tomiyasu Ikeda's Sonno Joi (1926) and Bansho Kanamori's Yuki-Yoe Shi:

Murasaki Zukin (1923). The latter film is also an early example of the Ken-Geki genre (Samurai sword-fighting films, also known as Chambara). Daisuke Ito's 1927 Chuji Tabi Nikki trilogy (Goyo Hen, Shinshu Kessho Hen, and Koshu Tate Hen) represents the pinnacle of early Jidai-Geki cinema and is also a prototype Yakuza-Geki film.

Yasujiro Ozu, initially influenced by American cinema, directed Shomin-Geki films (comedies of social observation about lower-middle-class life, also known as Shoshimin- Geki) such as Daigaku Wa Deta Keredo (1932) and Tokyo No Onna (1933). At the time, the most famous Shomin-Geki director was Yasujiro Shimazu, who directed Otosan

(1923) and Tonari No Yae-Chan (1934). The Shomin-Geki social comedies led to a series of satirical comedies known as Modan-Mono, such as Yutaka Abe's Ashi Ni Sawatta Onna (1926).

A group of overtly Marxist films, known as Keiko-Eiga, were swiftly suppressed by the Japanese authorities. Amongst them was Kenji Mizoguchi's Tokai Kokyogaku (1929). One of the final Keiko-Eiga films was Shigekichi Suzuki's Nani Gakanojo Wo So Saretaka (1930), the highest-grossing film in Japanese silent cinema. Sadly, the vast majority of Japan's silent films are now no longer extant.

of Japan's silent films are now no longer extant. Surrealism And Abstraction In France, Luis Bunuel

Surrealism And Abstraction

In France, Luis Bunuel (with minimal assistance from artist Salvador Dali) gained entry into the Surrealist group with Un Chien Andalou (1928), an iconoclastic masterpiece of enigmatic, shocking, and deliberately provocative dream imagery. This truly unique film features a woman's eye being sliced open with a razor, ants crawling from a hole in a man's hand, and dead donkeys lying on pianos. Bunuel followed it with the Surrealist blasphemy of L'Age D'Or (1930), featuring a priest thrown out of a window, a young boy shot in the head, and an implicitly Sadean Christ. The other key Surrealist film-maker was the poet Jean Cocteau, whose debut Le Sang D'Un Poete (1930) was surpassed by his Poetic Realist La Belle Et La Bete (1946) and Orphee (1950).

So-called Absolute films, influenced by the Dada art movement, included Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter, 1921), Diagonalsymphonien (Viking Eggeling, 1921), Entr'acte (1924, by Rene Clair, who directed Paris Qui Dort in 1925), Lichtspiel Opus I (Walther Ruttmann, 1921; the first abstract film screened to the public), and the 'city symphony' documentary Berlin: Die Symphonie Einer Grosstadt (Walther Ruttmann, 1927). The Dada artists Marcel Duchamp (Anaemic Cinema, 1925) and Man Ray (La Retour A La Raison, 1923; L'Etoile De Mer, 1928) also made experimental films at this time.

Many of these semi-abstract art films, along with Germaine Dulac's La Souriante Mme Beudet (1923), are examples of cinematic Impressionisme, juxtaposing images to give them new meanings as the Montazh theorists in Russia would later advocate. Fernand

Leger's Le Ballet Mecanique (1924) was another experimental semi-abstract film, specifically influenced by Russian Montazh editing. Total abstraction was achieved by Henri Chomette, the French director whose works of Cinema-Pur included Cinq Minutes De Cinema-Pur (1925), depicting abstract patterns of light.

De Cinema-Pur (1925), depicting abstract patterns of light. Soviet Montage Impressionisme in film was made possible

Soviet Montage

Impressionisme in film was made possible by the work of Lev Kuleshov, the Russian director who investigated the psychological impact of Montazh, the juxtaposition of images. In an untitled experimental film circa 1919, Kuleshov intercut a picture of Ivan Mozhukhin's expressionless face with images of a bowl of soup, a dead body in a coffin, and a little girl. After the shot of the soup, audiences perceived the face as appearing hungry; it was perceived as mournful after the shot of the coffin; finally, it was viewed as happy after the little girl. Thus, Kuleshov discovered that editing could alter the meaning of images.

Following in the tradition of the agit-trains which projected Agitka political propaganda to Russian peasants, theorist Sergei Eisenstein harnessed the political potential of Kuleshov's Montazh. Eisenstein published several essays on Montazh, the first being Montazh Attraktsionov in 1923. He was then commissioned by the Russian government to produce cinematic commemorations of the Russian Revolutions: Stachka (1925), Bronenosets Potyomkin (1925), and Oktyabr (1928). Bronenosets Potyomkin, which dramatised the 1905 naval revolt at Odessa, contains arguably the most celebrated sequence in silent cinema: the massacre on the Odessa Steps.

Following the German invasion during World War II, Russian cinema was again harnessed for propagandist purposes, with a series of short films known collectively as Kinosborniki. The first of these anti-Nazi shorts was Boyevoy Kinosbornik I, directed by Sergei Gerasimov, I Mutanov, and Y Nekrasov in 1941. The Russian public, however, were eager for escapism rather than propaganda, and the most successful films were glamorous Kolkhoz musicals such as Tsirk (Grigori Aleksandrov, 1936).

While Eisenstein used Montazh to simulate and heighten reality, Dziga Vertov's Kino- Oki philosophy saw it as a tool for the manipulation of realism. Vertov (and his Kinoks group) published a series of manifestos (such as My: Variant Manifesta, 1922) and produced a newsreel series (Kino-Pravda) between 1922 and 1925, though his

outstanding contribution to cinema is Chelovek S Kinoapparatom from 1929. The film is essentially a City Symphony documentary about everyday life in Moscow, though it uses techniques such as split-screen, double-exposure, trick editing, stop-motion, and freeze- frames to constantly remind the audience of the camera's presence.

The innovations of Russian Montazh and the French avant-garde were part of a general modernist movement throughout the arts, and Marcel L'Herbier's L'Inhumaine (1923) is a clear example of this trend - it is resolutely modernist in its set design, though its outstanding artistic radicalism (like that of the overtly Expressionistic Caligari) inevitably made it commercially unsuccessful.

Caligari ) inevitably made it commercially unsuccessful. 1930s Jean Vigo's Zero De Conduite (1933) and

1930s

Jean Vigo's Zero De Conduite (1933) and L'Atalante (1934), and Julien Duvivier's Pepe Le Moko (1936), were the first films in France's Realisme Poetique movement, a style that would encompass some of France's greatest films and influence American Films Noirs. Realisme Poetique's most significant director was Marcel Carne, whose greatest films are Le Quai Des Brumes (1938), Le Jour Se Leve (1939), and Les Enfants Du Paradis (1945). Jean Gabin, the star of Pepe Le Moko and Quai Des Brumes (and Jean Renoir's La Bete Humaine, 1938), became the movements's greatest icon, and appeared with Eric VonStroheim in Jean Renoir's masterpiece La Grande Illusion (1937).

Renoir's deep-focus photography, constantly moving camera, long takes, and tragi-comic narratives were all used to greatest effect in La Regle Du Jeu (1939), and the film is still acclaimed as European cinema's greatest achievement. European cinema's most questionable achievement is perhaps the Nazi documentary Triumph Des Willens (Leni Riefenstahl, 1934): an outstanding technical accomplishment, though also a lionisation of Adolf Hitler.

Riefenstahl had previously starred in several of the popular mountainside films (known as Bergfilme) by Arnold Fanck, including Der Heilige Berg (1926), though she did not

appear in Fanck's first example of the genre (Das Wunder Des Schneeschuhs, 1921). Alongside the Bergfilme during the 1920s were a series of educational documentaries, made primarily by the UFA studio, known as Kulturfilme. The first significant example was Wege Zu Kraft Und Schonheit in 1925, directed by Nicholas Kaufmann and Wilhelm Prager.

in 1925, directed by Nicholas Kaufmann and Wilhelm Prager. The Classic Hollywood System: Studios, Genres, And

The Classic Hollywood System:

Studios, Genres, And Stars

The 1930s is regarded as Hollywood's 'golden age', in which the hardships of the Depression were temporarily replaced by the glamour of Technicolor. Gone With The Wind (produced by David O Selznick for his own studio) and The Wizard Of Oz (from MGM), both directed by Victor Fleming in 1939, are the greatest films of this period. Gone With The Wind is a sumptuous, epic romance, resplendent in Technicolor. Three- strip Technicolor was used for the first time in Becky Sharp (Rouben Mamoulian, 1935), following the hand-colouring of the 1900s, the tinting of the 1910s, and the two-strip Technicolor of the 1920s. The first feature-length Technicolor film was The Gulf Between (Wray Bartlett Physioc, 1917), though it is no longer extant.

The Wizard Of Oz is particularly memorable for the moment when its sepia-tinted prologue in Kansas is transformed into the Technicolor paradise of the land of Oz. Also significant are the Technicolor 'swashbucklers' Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938), both by Michael Curtiz. In Britain, Things To Come (William Cameron Menzies, 1936), though filmed in black-and-white, was a similarly spectacular production (in contrast to the cheap 'quota quickies' churned out following a 1927 Act requiring a proportion of all exhibited films to be dosmestically produced).

The Hollywood studio system, by now at the height of its artistic and commercial success, began more than ever to produce films formulated according to specific genres. For example, many hundreds of westerns (known as 'horse operas', 'sagebrushers', and

'oaters') were made during the decade, the best of which was John Ford's Stagecoach (1939), starring John Wayne. Wayne would later star in many of Ford's greatest westerns, including his 'cavalry trilogy', though Henry Fonda starred in Ford's archetypal My Darling Clementine (1946).

Universal produced many horror films in the 1930s, notably Frankenstein (1931), Bride Of Frankenstein (1935), and the wonderful The Old Dark House (1932), all by British director James Whale. The cycle was initiated in 1931 by the popular yet stilted Dracula (directed by Tod Browning), though the most unusual example is Edgar G Ulmer's bizarre The Black Cat (1934). Of all the Universal horror films, Bride Of Frankenstein is the most significant, being both a prototypical horror film and a blackly comic parody of the genre's conventions. It is an incredibly subversive film, with barely disguised gay and blasphemous subtexts.

Alongside horror, the gangster genre also established itself in the early 1930s. Mervyn LeRoy's somewhat dated Little Caesar (1930) was the first of the cycle, though far more powerful is William Wellmann's The Public Enemy (1931), released shortly afterwards. Both films, made by Universal, were swiftly surpassed, however, by Howard Hawks's Scarface (1932) starring Paul Muni, produced by Howard Hughes.

The popularity of horror and gangster pictures, and Mae West's innuendo-filled comedies such as She Done Him Wrong (Lowell Sherman, 1933) and I'm No Angel (Wesley Ruggles, 1933), was a cause of concern for the Catholic Legion of Decency and the Motion-Picture Producers and Distributors Association. The president of the MPPDA, Will Hays, drew up a Production Code forbidding excessive cinematic sex and violence.

The musicals 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon), Gold-Diggers Of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy), and Footlight Parade (Lloyd Bacon), all choreographed by Busby Berkeley for Warners in 1933, were popular with audiences eager for escapism. (They also inspired Brazil's Chanchada musicals such as Carnaval No Fogo by Watson Macedo, 1949.) Warners also produced a series of social realist films, the best of which is Mervyn LeRoy's I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang from 1932, though the greatest example of 1930s social realism is Lewis Milestone's All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) for Universal.

Western-style Rancheras films were hugely popular in Mexico, with the most successful being Fernando DeFuentes's Alla En El Rancho Grande (1936). Another Mexican genre from the period, Cabaretera, involved innocent women venturing into sleazy nightclubs and being seduced into lives of wanton debauchery, with Alberto Gout's Aventurera (1949) being the acknowledged classic of this cult exploitation genre.

The Screwball comedy sub-genre made a star of Cary Grant, who appeared in Leo McCarey's The Awful Truth (1937) and Howard Hawks's Bringing Up Baby (1938). Screwball comedies, from Frank Capra's It Happened One Night and Howard Hawks's Twentieth Century (both 1934) onwards, were characterised by their fast-paced dialogue and 'battle of the sexes' humour. Screwball films were essentially frenetic variants of 'rom-com' romantic comedies, and a more startling variation, the 'rom-zom-com' romantic

zombie comedy Shaun Of The Dead (Edgar Wright) would arrive in 2004. Traditional rom-coms were cited, somewhat dismissively, as films for women, also known as 'chick flicks', epitomised by the melodramatic Now Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942).

The most popular stars of the period were Swedish icon Greta Garbo and Teutonic legend Marlene Dietrich. Garbo had been a silent film star since the early 1920s, notably in Flesh And The Devil (Clarence Brown, 1926), and she later appeared (and, famously, spoke) in Clarence Brown's Anna Christie (1930) and Edmund Goulding's creaky Grand Hotel (1932). Dietrich starred in a series of films directed by Josef VonSternberg, including Der Blaue Engel (1930) in Germany and The Scarlet Empress (1934) in America. She was equally famous as an actress and singer, and her most memorable song is Ich Bin Vom Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt from Der Blaue Engel.

Garbo and Dietrich were great rivals, though had actually appeared together in the same film (Die Freudlose Gasse) in 1925. In the 1930s, they tried to out-do each other with increasingly exotic and opulent roles, culminating in Garbo's regal Queen Christina (Rouben Mamoulian, 1933) and Dietrich's extravagant The Scarlet Empress. Both stars eventually became recluses: in Garbo's case this happened rather suddenly in 1941, though Dietrich was a film and cabaret star until the 1970s.

though Dietrich was a film and cabaret star until the 1970s. 1940s The most important film

1940s

The most important film of the decade was unquestionably Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles in 1941. With its deep-focus photography, stylised lighting, overlapping dialogue, and roaming camera, Kane is perhaps America's most significant contribtion to the development of the cinema. Furthermore, it was Welles's cinematic debut, directed when he was a mere twenty-six years old. Previous to directing and starring in Kane, Welles had directed and starred in The War Of The Worlds, often cited as the world's

greatest radio production. He followed Kane with The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), though the film was re-edited and partially reshot by the studio behind his back. Several of his later films, including The Lady From Shanghai (1948) suffered a similar fate.

In Carol Reed's British classic The Third Man (1949), the anticipation of Welles's character Harry Lime rivals that of Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger co-directed a series of British masterpieces in the 1940s, including the celestial fantasy A Matter Of Life And Death (1946), the sexual frustration of Black Narcissus (1947), and the balletic The Red Shoes (1948), produced by their company The Archers (launched in 1943, with a five-point unpublished manifesto). Also in Britain, Ealing perfected their niche for delightful and satirical comedies with Kind Hearts And Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1948), starring Alec Guinness.

During World War II, producer Walt Disney's animated features, including Pinocchio (Ben Sharpsteen, 1940), Dumbo (Ben Sharpsteen, 1941), and Bambi (David Hand, 1942), provided much-needed escapism, as Technicolor had done during the Depression in the 1930s. They consolidated Disney's position at the forefront of animation, following the success of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (David Hand, 1937). The self- mythologising Disney studio claims Snow White as the first feature-length animated film, however that honour actually belongs to the Argentine film El Apostol by Quirino Cristiani (1917, no longer extant).

El Apostol by Quirino Cristiani (1917, no longer extant). Film Noir After the War, directors turned

Film Noir

After the War, directors turned increasingly towards social realism and reverted to monochrome cinematography. This visually, thematically, and psychologically dark style was known as Film Noir, influenced by German Expressionismus, the French Realisme Poetique films of the 1930s, and the B-movie Stranger On The Third Floor (Boris Ingster, 1940). (Fritz Lang's downbeat You Only Live Once from 1937 has also been cited as a key Noir influence.) Recurrent motifs of Film Noir include world-weary detectives, sultry femmes-fatales, and urban crime narratives. Classic Films Noirs include Billy

Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944), Edgar G Ulmer's Detour (1945), Jacques Tourneur's Out Of The Past (1947), and John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

Films Noirs were named after a series of French crime novels, and a cycle of German films derives its name from a similar source: Krimi films, including Der Frosch Mit Der Maske (Harald Reinl, 1959) were named after a series of German crime novels. Ted Tetzlaff's The Window (1949) has been termed Kid Noir, as its central protagonist is a young boy. Tech Noir and Psycho Noir subgenres were initiated in the 1980s by, respectively, Blade Runner and Blue Velvet. Another Noir offshoot, Film Blanc, has been utilised to describe Noir's ideological and visual opposites. Whereas Films Noirs are realistic and pessimistic, Films Blancs such as Beyond Tomorrow (A Edward Sutherland, 1940) portray supernatural forces which resurrect the spirit of human optimism. Dark, chiaroscuro Noir cinematography finds its opposite in brightly lit Films Blancs (or Films Clairs) such as Fargo (Joel Coen, 1996).

Humphrey Bogart played the archetypal Noir detectives Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941) and Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946). Marlowe was also played by Dick Powell in Murder My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk, 1944) and by Robert Montgomery in Lady In The Lake (1947, directed by Montgomery). The latter film is shot entirely from a first-person-perspective, thus Montgomery is only ever seen by the audience when he is reflected by a mirror.

Bogart was perhaps the biggest star of the 1940s, and appeared in Michael Curtiz's wartime romance Casablanca (1942) in addition to his Film Noir roles. Other major stars of the time were James Stewart in Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and Cary Grant in Howard Hawks's brilliant Screwball comedy His Girl Friday (1940).

A Wonderful Life (1946) and Cary Grant in Howard Hawks's brilliant Screwball comedy His Girl Friday

Neo-Realism

Throughout the Fascist regime in Italy, one method of avoiding political censorship was simply to concentrate on producing escapist, non-political cinema. These opulent, glamorous films were known as Telefoni Bianchi, as they all seemed to include white telephones amongst their props (although actually identifying such films amongst the many Italian comedies of the 1930s is not always easy). After the collapse of Fascism and Italy's defeat in World War II, and the resultant lack of funds for its national film industry, the opulent escapism of the past was impossible. Instead, Luchino Visconti's Ossessione (1943) and La Terra Trema: Episodio Del Mare (1947) took Italian cinema in a new direction: Neo-Realismo.

Ossessione was filmed on location, bypassing the need for expensive studio sets. It also used non-professional actors and relied upon donated film-stock. Neo-Realismo came to international attention with the release of Roberto Rossellini's Roma: Citta Aperta in 1945 and Paisa in 1946. Equally significant are the films of Vittorio DeSica, especially Sciuscia (1946), Ladri Di Biciclette (1948), and Umberto D (1952). Ossessione is also regarded as the first Giallo film, a genre later dominated by superior exploitation director Mario Bava.

In the early 1950s, the Italian government funded film production only selectively, denying funds to overtly political films. Thus, elements of escapist comedy were introduced into Neo-Realismo films, to make them more politically acceptable. This new style was known as Neo-Realismo Rosa, and is typified by films such as Due Soldi Di Speranza (Renato Castellani, 1952). The comic element soon eclipsed the Neo-Realismo components altogether, and a distinctive Italian comedy style, Comedia All'Italiana, was born with the films of Mario Monicelli, notably his I Soliti Ignoti (1958).

The location-shooting of Neo-Realismo was replicated by Hollywood in the latter half of the decade. Noir themes such as urban crime were given more naturalistic treatments in a number of films both set in and filmed on the city streets. The first of these documentary- style, 'police procedural' thrillers was The House On 92nd Street (1945) by Henry Hathaway, who also directed Kiss Of Death (1947) and Call Northside 777 (1948), though the most well-known example is Jules Dassin's The Naked City (1948). Elia Kazan directed two of the best documentary-style thrillers, Boomerang (1947) and Panic In The Streets (1950).

In contrast to the prevailing Noir and Neo-Realismo aesthetic, producer Val Lewton's series of horror films for RKO were more notable for their atmospheric, suspenseful style. Jacques Tourneur directed Cat People in 1942 and I Walked With A Zombie the following year, both of which were produced by Lewton. Film Noir's most striking antithesis was the Hollywood musical, which Vincente Minnelli reinvented with Meet Me In St Louis (1944) by integrating songs directly into the melodramatic narrative.

1950s The 1950s were overwhelmed by a cycle of science-fiction B-movies, some good, some bad,

1950s

The 1950s were overwhelmed by a cycle of science-fiction B-movies, some good, some bad, and some so bad they're good: The Thing From Another World (Christian Nyby, 1951; produced by Howard Hawks), the Japanese Gojira (an exercise in cryptozoology by Inoshiro Honda, 1954, spawning the Kaiju Eiga genre of Japanese monster films), The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1956), and Invasion Of The Body-Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956).

There are many more examples of these films, featuring deadly alien invasions (with anti- Communist subtexts) and monsters awakened and/or mutated (exploiting anxiety about atomic radiation), though their lurid posters are often more interesting than the films themselves. The cycle was initiated by Irving Pichel's documentary-style Destination Moon (1950), produced by George Pal (who also produced War Of The Worlds and When Worlds Collide), though the more exciting Rocketship XM (Kurt Neumann, 1950) was rushed into production to compete with it. The most lamentable science-fiction films of the period were directed by Ed Wood, often cited as the world's worst director. Wood's films, including the notorious camp classic Plan Nine From Outer Space (1956), were certainly incompetent, though they were never dull. Wood's bizarre sex-change melodrama Glen Or Glenda? (1953) is an early example of 'mockumentary'/'docudrama' film-making: a fictional (though, in this case, basically autobiographical) narrative presented as if it were a documentary.

MGM made a long series of Technicolor musicals produced by Arthur Freed in the 1940s and 1950s, including Meet Me In St Louis and, most famously, Singin' In The Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952). Often acclaimed as the greatest musical film ever made, Singin' In The Rain was a comedy based on Hollywood's transition to sound in the 1920s. The other key Hollywood-on-Hollywood film of the era was the Gothic melodrama Sunset Blvd, which starred two figures from the silent era: actress Gloria Swanson and director Erich VonStroheim.

Alfred Hitchcock relocated from London to Hollywood in the 1940s. (His greatest British films were The Man Who Knew Too Much from 1934, The 39 Steps from 1935, and The Lady Vanished from 1938.), and directed several films (including Foreign Correspondent

in 1940, and Notorious in 1946) under contract to David O Selznick. Hitchcock directed his most acclaimed films during the 1950s, after extricating himself from the Selznick contract: Strangers On A Train (1951), Rear Window (1956), Vertigo (1958, arguably over-rated), and North By Nortwest (1959). Hitchcock's greatest film, the shocking Psycho, was released in 1960, and influenced horror films such as Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974) and John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). Hitchcock's last great film was The Birds (1963).

Isidore Isou, founder of the Lettriste avant-garde art movement, directed Traite De Bave Et D'Eternite in 1950. The film was deliberately asynchronous, a technique Isou called Cinema Discrepant. Other Lettriste films featured spoken soundtracks though no images (known as Cinechronic films), the first being Gil J Wolman's Atochrone (1950). Wolman's L'Anticoncept (also 1950) consists of intermittent light projected onto a balloon. Isou and Wolman both contributed to Guy Dubord's Cinechronic Hurlements En Faveur DeSade (1952).

In protest at the lack of social realism in British films, a Free Cinema group was established, with a short manifesto published in 1956. The group initially produced three short documentaries which focused on working-class culture and recreation: O Dreamland (Lyndsay Anderson, 1953), Momma Don't Allow (Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, 1955), and Together (Lorenza Mazzetti, 1956). The Free Cinema directors then progressed from documentaries to feature-films: 'kitchen sink' dramas about Northern 'angry young men', such as Room At The Top (Jack Clayton, 1959) and Look Back In Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959), true to the social realist origins of the movement.

Britain's other great contribution to 1950s cinema was the series of comedies produced by Ealing, the best of which being The Ladykillers (1955) directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guiness. Mackendrick would later direct the acclaimed melodrama Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) in Hollywood.

The greatest star of the decade was undoubtedly Marilyn Monroe, who, like Marlene Dietrich before her, is remembered for her singing and acting in equal measure. In Monroe's case, her renditions of Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953) and I Wanna Be Loved By You in Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) are her career highlights.

The Threat From Television The increasing popularity of television forced Hollywood to introduce numerous technological

The Threat From Television

The increasing popularity of television forced Hollywood to introduce numerous technological innovations in order to compete for audiences. The most successful of these innovations were widescreen and 3-D formats based, ironically, on experiments conducted since the 1890s.

The first widescreen process of the 1950s, the triptych Cinerama format used for This Is Cinerama (Merian C Cooper, 1952), was directly inspired by the Polyvision system used in the 1920s, though it added a curved screen to provide a feeling of immersive depth. 20th Century Fox's CinemaScope anamorphic widescreen system soon replaced the more cumbersome Cinerama. CinemaScope was based directly on Henri Chretien's Hypergoner system, which he had first demonstrated in Construire Un Feu (1929). Hypergonar enabled not only horizontal panoramic projection but also unique vertical widescreen images. The first film in the CinemaScope format was the rather dull epic The Robe (Henry Koster, 1953). In order to fully demonstrate the panoramic potential of the new widescreen formats, a number of biblical epics of the 1920s were remade in widescreen Technicolor splendour, including Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ (William Wyler, 1959) and Cecil B DeMille's remake of his own 1923 The Ten Commandments in 1956. Since the 1950s, ultra-wide formats have only rarely been utilised for narrative films, relegated instead to novelty attractions such as Imax (Tiger Child by Donald Brittain, 1970), Omnimax (Garden Isle by Roger Tilton, 1973), and Showscan (New Magic by Douglas Trumbull, 1983).

Another gimmick used by Hollywood to lure audiences away from TV was 3-D, which had been used previously in isolated experimental films though was first deployed as a mainstream attraction in Bwana Devil (Arch Oboler, 1952). 3-D lent itself most naturally to science-fiction films such as It Came From Outer Space (Jack Arnold, 1953). Director William Castle (The Tingler, 1959) was the undisputed king of gimmicks in the 1950s, though his inventive marketing schemes were far more memorable than the films they promoted.

To provide a unique alternative to television, American drive-in cinemas began screening sensationalist, melodramatic exploitation films, directed according to new genre

formulas. There were many new exploitation genres, aimed largely at a teenage audience:

WIP (Women-In-Prison) films such as Caged (John Cromwell, 1949), JD ('juvenile delinquent') films such as High School Confidential! (Jack Arnold, 1958), and biker films such as Motorcycle Gang (Edward L Cahn, 1957).

biker films such as Motorcycle Gang (Edward L Cahn, 1957). The Method Though most 1950s exploitation

The Method

Though most 1950s exploitation films were low-budget, absurdly moralistic, and instantly out-of-date, there are two clear exceptions: The Wild One starring Marlon Brando and Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean. Brando was one of a number of young male actors who starred in juvenile delinquent films about youth rebellion, the prototypical example being Brando's own performance in The Wild One (Laslo Benedek, 1953). James Dean starred in the yet more iconic Rebel Without A Cause (Nicholas Ray) in 1955 (the film was actually released after Dean had been killed in a car accident). These films sought to condemn the teenage lifestyle yet also to appeal to a teenage audience, thus Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks, 1954), for example, problematised youth violence though also introduced Rock 'n' Roll into cinema for the first time. A parallel trend existed in Japanese cinema, with a genre known as Taiyozoku inaugurated by Takumi Furukawa's Taiyo No Kisetsu (1956).

In A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951), Marlon Brando introduced a new acting style to the cinema: the Method. Trained at the Actors' Studio, he brought an unprecedented intensity to screen acting, notably in On The Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954). Director Kazan named names to senator Joe McCarthy during the Communist witch-hunts, and On The Waterfront, in which Brando's character testifies against organised criminals, can be seen as self-justification for Kazan's actions.

The new realism of Brando and Dean's acting style was complemented by a new generation of directors who produced their own films and thus bypassed the studio system. Stanley Kramer, for example, was the director and producer of a series of 'social conscience' films, including The Defiant Ones (1958, starring Sidney Poitier). He was also the producer of The Wild One and High Noon.

Stanley Kubrick also produced his own films, directing independently since the early 1950s. Arguably, no other director has matched Kubrick's perfectionism or his consistent genius. In the 1960s, he relocated to England, where he directed the satirical masterpiece Dr Strangelove Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) and the stunning science-fiction epic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

The most determined of the independent producer-directors was Otto Preminger, who released The Moon Is Blue (1953) and The Man With The Golden Arm (1955) without Production Code approval. (He also directed one of the best documentary-style Noir thrillers, Where The Sidewalk Ends, in 1950.) James Stewart exposed the flaws in America's justice system in Preminger's Anatomy Of A Murder (1959). Sidney Lumet's Twelve Angry Men (1957) was an equally perceptive and meticulous critique of the courtroom.

equally perceptive and meticulous critique of the courtroom. World Cinema In India, Satyajit Ray directed the

World Cinema

In India, Satyajit Ray directed the 'Apu trilogy' (Pather Panchali in 1955, Aparajito in

1956, and Apur Sansar in 1959), in stark contrast to the musical decadence of Bollywood films such as Alam Ara (Ardeshir Irani, 1931), Kismet (Gyan Mukherjee, 1943) and Bharat Mata (Mehboob Khan, 1957). The Apu trilogy marked a temporary shift away from populist Bollywood fantasies, helping to foster an Indian culture of non-populist films known broadly as Parallel Cinema, including art films (Kalamatka) and experimental cinema (Prayogika).

A decade later, New Indian Cinema was fully established as an alternative to formulaic

mainstream populism, led by Mrinal Sen (Bhuvan Shome, 1969) and Mani Kaul (Uski

Roti, 1969). With Arun Kaul, Mrinal Sen wrote a Manifesto Of The New Cinema Movement, criticising traditional Indian musical films, in 1968.

Other new wave movements were soon established in the region, notably further south in Kannada (Pattabhi Rama Reddy's film influenced by the Navya literary movement, Samskara, 1970; Girish Karnad's Kaadu, 1973) and Marathi (Satyadev Dubey's Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe, 1971).

In Sweden, Smultronstallet, the masterful religious allegory Det Sjunde Inseglet (both 1957), and later Persona (1966), marked director Ingmar Bergman as one of world cinema's greatest artists. He later directed the emotionally harrowing Viskningar Och Rop, in 1972. Bergman's Scandinavian compatriot, the Danish director Carl Theodore Dreyer, is equally acclaimed, and directed Ordet in 1955. (Dreyer's first masterpiece was La Passion De Jean D'Arc, filmed in France in 1928.)

In Italy, Federico Fellini directed La Strada (1954), which was compared to French Realisme Poetique, in contrast to Italy's prevalent Neo-Realismo style. Italian cinema was gradually moving away from the social worthiness of Neo-Realismo, and populist genres such as the Spaghetti western, the Giallo, and the Peplum would all flourish in the 1960s. Peplum films began with Le Fatiche Di Ercole (Pietro Francisci, 1958), co-directed by Mario Bava.

During the 1950s, directors such as Satyajit Ray, Federico Fellini, and Ingmar Bergman all established international reputations for the cinema industries of their respective countries, and the most significant example of this internationalisation was Japan's master director Akira Kurosawa. His Rashomon (1950) and his epic Ken-Geki film Schinin No Samurai (1954), both starring Toshiro Mifune, brought the Japanese film industry to the forefront of international attention. His other siginificant films of the period include Ikiru (1952), Kumonosu Jo (1957), Kakushi Toride No San Akunin (1958), and Yojimbo

(1961).

Japan's other greatest film-makers, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu, had, unlike Kurosawa, been directing ever since the silent era, though their greatest films were also made in the 1950s. Mizoguchi's work - Ugetsu Monogatari (1953) and Sansho Dayu (1954) - has been compared to the work of French director Jean Renoir, as he shares Renoir's use of deep-focus photography, constantly moving camera, and tragi-comic narrative. By contrast, Ozu's Noriko trilogy (Banshun from 1949, Bakushu from 1951, and Tokyo Monogatari from 1953) contains virtually no camera movement at all.

Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari is an example of Japan's Kaidan Eiga, films featuring ghost stories (an early example of which is Mizoguchi's own Kyoren No Onna Shisho, 1926). The dramatic realism of Ugetsu Monogatari is atypical of the genre, however, as most examples are supernatural horror stories. The most famous Japanese Kaidan story is Yotsuya Kaidan, which was first filmed in 1949 as Shinshaku Yotsuya Kaidan by Keisuke Kinoshita and remade in 1959 by Nobuo Nakagawa as Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan. Nakagawa, the greatest of all Japanese horror directors, produced an Obaneneko-Mono

film about a ghostly cat (Borei Kaibyo Yashiki) in 1958, and the sadistic Jigoku in 1960. In 1964, Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan was the first Kaidan film to gain international recognition (it was probably made with an international audience in mind, offering a convenient compilation of classic Kaidan scenarios). The genre's real breakthrough came decades later, in 1998, when Hideo Nakata's J-Horror Ringu - following in the wake of Korea's K-Horror ghost film Yeogo Goedam (Park Ki-Hyung, 1998) - became the first worldwide Kaidan blockbuster.

1998) - became the first worldwide Kaidan blockbuster. Genre Revisionism Hollywood genre cycles from the 1930s

Genre Revisionism

Hollywood genre cycles from the 1930s were revisited in the 1950s, notably the gangster film and the western. James Cagney starred in White Heat (Raoul Walsh, 1949), equalling and perhaps even exceeding the achievements of his original 1930s classic The Public Enemy. The western underwent considerable revision, influenced by the surprisingly radical High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952). John Wayne, who starred in Howard Hawks's Red River (1948) and John Ford's 'cavalry trilogy' (Fort Apache, 1948; She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, 1949; Rio Grande, 1950), gave arguably his greatest performance in Ford's The Searchers (1956), introducing a new psychological complexity to the genre and presenting the traditional western hero as an anachronistic outcast. In contrast, Shane (George Stevens, 1953), was a self-consciously archetypal classical western.

The dark and amoral world of Film Noir reached its logical conclusion with the apocalyptic Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955). Orson Welles, director of Citizen Kane, began his Noir masterpiece Touch Of Evil (1958) with a sequence that rivals Bronenosets Potyomkin's 'Odessa Steps' as the greatest sequence ever filmed. Its opening shot is a stunning and seemingly never-ending tracking sequence. Like The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch Of Evil was butchered by the studio against Welles's wishes.

Like the 1920s, the '50s represent a golden age for Japanese cinema. In the 1930s, a series of literary adaptions (Bungei Eiga) were produced, including Izu No Odoriko (Heinosuke Gosho, 1933) and Wakai Hito (Shiro Toyoda, 1937); in the 1940s, there were jingoistic

war dramas (Kokusaku Eiga) such as Hawaii-Mare Oki Kaisen (Kajiro Yamamoto, 1942); however, in terms of variety and quantity, the 1920s and, especially, the '50s, remain unmatched in Japan.

The short-lived Keiko Eiga films of the 1920s inspired a new genre of social-realist Japanese cinema, known as Shakai-Mono. The director who dominated this genre was Tadashi Imai, whose films include Pen Itsuwarazu: Boryoku No Machi (1950) and Taiyo No Nai Machi (1954). Imai was well-known for the unsentimental nature of his films (called 'nakani'), such as Himeyuri No To (1953). By contrast, most Japanese films were highly melodramatic ('namida chodai'), typified by Kinoyu Tanaka's Chibusa Yo Ein Nare (1955).

Another 1920s Japanese genre, Shomin-Geki, was also revived in the 1950s, branching into several new sub-genres. Mikio Naruse's Meshi (1951), for instance, was an example of the Tsuma-Mono sub-genre (films about wives). Keisuke Kinoshita's Nihon No Higeki (1953) represents the Haha-Mono sub-genre (films about mothers). The most popular of these Neo-Shomin-Geki films was Heinosuke Gosho's Entotsu No Miero Basho (1953).

was Heinosuke Gosho's Entotsu No Miero Basho (1953). The New Wave In a break away from

The New Wave

In a break away from the prevalent French Realisme Poetique, film critics writing for Cahiers Du Cinema magazine (edited by Andre Bazin) began making their own films, in a movement that became known as the Nouvelle Vague. Cahiers writers such as Jean- Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut recognised the individualism of directors such as Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, and this realisation led to the 'politique des auteurs' - the notion, popularised by Alexandre Astruc, that a director has artistic control over a film in the same way as an author has over a novel. They key text in the formation of the Nouvelle Vague was Francois Truffaut's Une Certaine Tendance Du Cinema Francais, published in Cahiers in 1954 and decrying what he saw as the retrogressive state of French cinema (he dismissively renamed the popular 'cinema de qualite' as 'cinema du papa').

Godard's A Bout De Souffle (1959), with its hand-held camerawork, location-shooting, and jump-cut editing, the first sensation of the Nouvelle Vague film, signalled a reinvigoration of French cinema. The movement's other early masterpieces are the enigmatic collage-film Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959) and Truffaut's Les 400 Coups (1959), though Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob Le Flambeur from 1955, which predates all of them, is regarded as a key influence on the group.

Aside from the Nouvelle Vague, French cinema of the period is remembered for its suspenseful and atmospheric horror films. Specifically, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Les Diaboliques (1954) and Georges Franju's Les Yeux Sans Visage (1959) were both significant influences on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

significant influences on Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho . 1960s Jean Rouche's Cinema-Verite documentary Chronique

1960s

Jean Rouche's Cinema-Verite documentary Chronique D'Un Ete (1961) moved away from Godard's Brechtian and alienating devices, in an attempt to achieve a more realistic vision. The political documentary Primary (Robert Drew, 1960) and 'rockumentary' ('rock documentary') Don't Look Back (DA Pennebaker, 1967) were part of a Direct Cinema movement, also known as Living Cinema, influenced by Cinema-Verite. La Battaglia Di Algeri (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965) was a Verite-style reconstruction of the Algerian Revolution, and Algerian director Mohamed Bouamari (El Faham, 1973) called for a new Cinema Djidid movement to respond to the problems facing the ordinary people of the country.

British cinema continued its realist aesthetic with films such as Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960), A Kind Of Loving (John Schlesinger, 1962), This Sporting Life (Lyndsay Anderson, 1963), and Ken Loach's Kes (1969). Their polar opposite was Lawrence Of Arabia (1962), one of David Lean's most spectacular British epics.

In Italy, Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) began with a technically perfect sequence in which a statue of Christ is carried by helicopter over the streets of Rome. The decadent lifestyles of the characters in Fellini's La Dolce Vita and Otto-E-Mezzo (1963),

and in Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960) effectively mark the end of Neo- Realismo. A new kind of stylish, violent (and often exploitative) Italian cinema, which lasted throughout the 1970s, can be traced back to the horror films I Vampiri (Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava, 1957) and La Maschera Del Demonio (Mario Bava, 1960), and to Mario Bava's Giallo thrillers La Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo from 1963 and Sei Donne Per L'Assassino from 1964.

The 'man with no name' trilogy of Spaghetti westerns (Per Un Pugno Di Dollari in 1964, Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu in 1965, and Il Buono Il Brutto Il Cattivo in 1966) was made in Italy by Sergio Leone, later eclipsed by his epic C'Era Una Volta Il West (1969). Spaghetti westerns were influenced by German Spatzle westerns such as Der Schatz Im Silbersee (Harald Reinl, 1962) and later satirised by the Japanese comedy Tampopo (Juzo Itami, 1985), a self-styled Noodle Western. In Japan, Takashi Miike directed a Sushi Western, Sukiyaki Western Django (2007). Predating Italy's Spaghetti westerns, production of Eastern European and Russian revisionist westerns (Osterns) was thriving thanks to the success of Samson Samsonov's Ognenni Versti (1957).

New Waves

The French new wave movement, which began in the 1950s, expanded significantly in the 1960s. Alain Resnais directed L'Annee Derniere A Marienbad (1961), which challenged the formal conventions of the cinema like almost no other film. The Nouvelle Vague was still dominated, however, by Jean-Luc Godard. In Godard's Pierrot Le Fou (1965) and Week End (1967, the last film before his later, somewhat pretentious period), the jump-cuts and hand-held cameras of A Bout De Souffle gave way to increasingly alienating devices, such as inter-titles and direct-to-camera monologues, which broke away from the illusion of realism. The apocalyptic, satirical Week End was released the year before the May 1968 student riots in Paris, though it certainly captured the mood of the time.

In 1962, a new wave of young directors in Brazil collaborated on the portmanteau film Cinco Vezes Favela. The film was divided into five sections, each with a different director: Ze Da Cachorra by Miguel Borges, Escola De Samba Alegria De Viver by Carlos Diegues, Um Favelado by Marcos Farias, Pedreira De Sao Diego by Leon Hirszman, and Couro De Gato by Joaquim Pedro DeAndrade. Though Cinco Vezes Favela introduced a new generation of Brazil's young directors, it was the Cinema Novo movement that drew international attention to the country's most impoverished people and to its most accomplished director, Glauber Rocha.

Rocha directed Barravento (1962, inspired by Neo-Realismo), the mythological Deus E O Diablo Na Terra Do Sol (1964), and the frenetic Terra Em Transe (1967). His manifesto La Estetica Del Hambre (1965) defined the Cinema Novo movement, though it was anticipated by Nelson Pereira Dos Santos with Rio Zona Norte (1957, a film about the Rio 'favelas') and Vidas Secas (1963).

In 1968, Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino formed a group called Cine Liberacion,

with a manifesto (Hacia Un Tercer Cine, 1969) calling for a new Tercer Cine linking the emerging cinemas of South America and Africa. They also co-directed a film of their own in 1968: La Hora De Los Hornos.

In Japan, Oshima Nagisa's early films Ai To Kibo No Machi (1959) and Nihon No Yoru

To Kiri (1960) marked him out as the most radical of that country's Nuberu Bagu of young directors, all working for the Shochiku studio. Shochiko withdrew Nihon No Yoru To Kiri and denounced the director's subsequent films as incoherent, prompting him to form his own production company.

In 1955, a conference was held in the Spanish town of Salamanca. The Conversaciones

Sobre La Cinematografia conference, which praised Italian Neo-Realismo, called for contemporary Spanish cinema to openly defy the political censorship of the Francoist regime. Juan Antonio Bardem co-wrote Luis Garcia Berlanga's Bienvenido Mr Marshall (a Neo-Realismo parody of Espanolada exoticism, 1951) and directed the bitterly anti- Franco Muerta De Un Ciclista (1955). With Berlanga, he came to symbolise a new generation of radical film-makers whose work constituted a Nuevo Cine Espanol. The group's international figurehead was Carlos Saura, who directed La Caza (1966). Spaniard Luis Bunuel returned to his Surrealist roots (though not to his homeland) with the social satire El Angel Exterminador (1962) and the sexual fantasy Belle De Jour

(1967).

A Czechoslovakian new wave was led by Milos Forman's Konkurs (1963) and Lasky

Jedne Plavovlasky (1965), Jiri Menzel's Ostre Sledovane Vlaky (1966), and Obchod Na Korze (1965) by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos. Forman went on to direct One Flew Over

The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) in America. In Yugoslavia, Aleksandar Petrovic, Zivojin Pavlovic, and Dusan Makavejev initiated a Novi Film movement that came to be known

as the Crni Talas, its milestone films being Petrovic's Dvoje, (1961), Tri (1965), and

Skupljaci Perja (1967). Pavlovic directed Kada Budem Mrtav I Beo and Makavejev directed the sexually radical Ljubavni Slucaj Ili Tragedija Sluzbenice PTT, both in 1967.

Mrtav I Beo and Makavejev directed the sexually radical Ljubavni Slucaj Ili Tragedija Sluzbenice PTT ,

Counter-Culture

Jonas Mekas, director of Guns Of The Trees (1964), wrote increasingly about the new generation of American underground film-makers influenced by the earlier avant-garde films of Maya Deren. He coined the term New American Cinema and wrote The First Statement Of The New American Cinema Group in 1962.

New American Cinema was an umbrella term describing the works of, amongst others, the formalist Michael Snow and the voyeuristic artist Andy Warhol. Snow was a key figure in the Structural film movement, drawing attention to the movement of the camera rather than to any narrative content (his Wavelength from 1967, for example, is a long, slow, continuous zoom). On the fringe of the New American Cinema was Tony Conrad, whose The Flicker (1964) introduced the concept of the Flicker film, a film whose editing is so rapid that its images appear for only a single frame.

Using a similar technique to the Flicker films, Austrian director Kurt Kren documented Aktionist performance art events using a technique he called Flash editing. Kren's films, such as Mama Und Papa (1964), often present abject and obscene imagery, though they are edited so rapidly that the viewer is unable to fully register what they have seen. This bombardment of distasteful images results in a frenetic and unsettling viewing experience, comparable to the chaotic excesses of the original Aktionist performances themselves.

Such radical experiments with film form are largely limited to avant-garde and underground cinema. When similar attempts are made by narrative film-makers the results appear gimmicky rather than innovative. For instance, Wicked Wicked (Richard L Bare, 1973) was filmed entirely in a split-screen process called Duovision, The Door In The Wall (Glenn H Alvey, 1956) utilised a technique called Dynamic Framing which involved masking various sections within the frame, Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948) was filmed in a series of reel-length single takes, and Russkiy Kovcheg (2002) was filmed entirely in a single take on a digital hard-drive. Rather than simply drawing attention to itself, the formal experimentation of Chris Marker's La Jetee (1962) actually enhances the film's emotional impact, especially in its climactic transition from still images (Photo- Roman) to fleeting movement. Likewise, Derek Jarman's Blue (1993) is formally inventive (consisting of a soundtrack accompanied by a blank, blue screen) yet also profoundly moving.

The most famous name in 1960s American underground cinema was Andy Warhol, who directed (or at least supervised) a series of long, static films in which motionless subjects were filmed for several hours (such as an eight-hour film of the Empire State Building:

Empire, 1964). Warhol's early films link him to the Minimalist film movement, de- emphasising narrative and technique, and his more ambitious later works (such as The Chelsea Girls, 1966) were actually directed by Paul Morrissey.

Warhol may also have been the first video artist. In 1965, he borrowed a prototype video camera to make some experimental videos, incorporating some of his early video footage

into the film Outer And Inner Space (1965). This was shortly before the 'official' birth of video art, when, in 1965, Nam June Paik video-taped the Papal procession of Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini. Nam June Paik was primarily a Fluxus artist, and produced one of their first Fluxfilms, Zen For Film (1962). Warhol may be the underground's most famous name, though its greatest influence was the prolific and radical Stan Brakhage, whose most widely-known film is Dog Star Man (1964). In the 1980s, Nick Zedd (under the pseudonym Orion Jeriko) would establish a new American underground movement: the Cinema of Transgression. Zedd published a Cinema Of Transgression Manifesto (1985) in his zine The Underground Film Bulletin and directed the Transgressive film Police State (1987).

Mainstream American cinema began to embrace the radical counter-culture of underground cinema with subversive films such as The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) and Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969), and the increasing radicalisation of the mainstream eventually led to the collapse of the old Hollywood studio system. Compare, for instance, the revitalising innovation of The Graduate with the lavish emptiness of Joseph L Mankiewicz's Cleopatra (1963). Television also played its part, as an increasingly significant medium for film distribution and even production: the first made- for-TV film, See How They Run (David LOwell Rich), was broadcast in 1964.

The release of two Hollywood films with unusually violent climaxes, Arthur Penn's Bonnie And Clyde (1967) and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), precipitated the collapse of the Production Code. Bonnie And Clyde's amoral account of a young outlaw couple would later influence Terrence Malick's road movie Badlands (1973).

Easy Rider marked the mainstream breakthrough of actor Jack Nicholson, who had spent many years making low-budget exploitation films for Roger Corman, including The Wild Angels (1966, the first of the 1960s biker films) and The Trip (1967, the definitive LSD film). Nicholson also starred in Hell's Angels On Wheels (Richard Rush, 1967), which rivalled Corman's Wild Angels at the box-office. During the 1960s, exploitation films were more popular then ever in America, with films such as Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer, 1965) playing to drive-in audiences. Exploitation trends include 'Mexploitation' (Mexican Lucha Libre wrestler-hero films such as Benito Alazraki's Santo Contra Los Zombies, 1961) and 'nunsploitation' (Ken Russell's profane orgy The Devils, 1971.

1970s Films such as Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) and Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) dominated

1970s

Films such as Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) and Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) dominated the mainstream American box-office, setting new profit records and initiating the now-familiar 'blockbuster'/'event movie' phenomenon. Star Wars, like the later Raiders Of The Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981), was an updated version of 1930s adventure serials such as Flash Gordon (Frederick Stephani, 1936). (The first film series, with self-contained yet individual episodes, was Victorin Jasset's Nick Carter from 1908; serials, with episodic narratives and 'cliffhanger' endings, were typified by What Happened To Mary? (Charles Brabin) from 1912, The Adventures Of Kathlyn (Francis J Grandon) from 1914, and The Perils Of Pauline (Donald MacKenzie and Louis J Gasnier) from 1914.)

Woody Allen with Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979), and Martin Scorsese with Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976), directed arguably their greatest works during this decade. Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) heralded a revival of the Film Noir detective films from the 1940s. More precisely, Chinatown has been cited as an example of Film Soleil, a sub-genre featuring Noir narratives coupled with sun-drenched locations. Plein Soleil (Rene Clement, 1960) may qualify as the original Film Soleil, predating Chinatown by more than a decade, though the film credited with instigating the movement is actually the later Blood Simple.

Method actor Marlon Brando gave his greatest performances since the 1950s, in The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), and particularly the breath-taking Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979). His performance in Apocalypse Now has been criticised as incoherent and self-indulgent, though, in fact, such traits are entirely consistent with the character he plays. The long build-up to his character's eventual shadowy appearance evokes The Third Man from the 1940s, and Brando's performance in Apocalypse Now is the equal of Orson Welles's in that earlier film.

Robert DeNiro, arguably the greatest screen actor since Brando, starred in Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, in what would become one of the greatest actor/director partnerships. He later appeared in Scorsese's gangster epics GoodFellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino were also key actors of the 1970s.

Nicholson starred in Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970), after working for years on Roger Corman exploitation films. Pacino is most famous for his operatic histrionics as a gangster in Scarface (Brian DePalma, 1983), a remake of the original 1930s Howard Hughes production. DeNiro and Pacino both appeared in The Godfather II (1974), Coppola's Godfather sequel.

In Japan, Tadashi Sawashima had introduced more chivalrous characters into the Yakuza- Geki gangster genre with his Jinsei Gekijo: Hisha Kaku in 1963, creating a sub-genre known as Ninkyo Eiga. Ninkyo Eiga films aimed to subvert traditional Yakuza stereotypes, a tactic most demonstrably employed by Kinji Fukasaku in his series of five Jingi Naki Tatakai films (Jingi Naki Tatakai, 1973; Hiroshima Shito Hen, 1973; Dairi Senso, 1973; Chojo Sakusen, 1974; Kanketsu-Hen, 1974). Fukasaku's work marks the origin of the Jitsuroku Eiga sub-genre of violent, documentary-style Yakuza films.

Eiga sub-genre of violent, documentary-style Yakuza films. Exploitation Cinema Enter The Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973)

Exploitation Cinema

Enter The Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973) cashed in on the 1970s vogue for kung-fu by giving actor Bruce Lee his first American role. Like Rebel Without A Cause, it was released after its main star had died. While Hong Kong kung-fu (or 'chop-socky') stars such as Lee demonstrated impressive though largely realistic martial-arts skills, the stars of another form of martial-arts cinema (Chinese Wuxia Pian films, also known as Mo Hap Pin) were endowed with supernatural and mythological powers. The first Wuxia film was the serial Huo Shao Hong Lian Si (Shichuan Zhang, 1928), though the genre's modern form was established by King Hu's Long Men Ke Zhen (1966).

The interminable Airport (George Seaton and Henry Hathaway, 1970) launched a mercifully short-lived genre cycle: the Disaster film, featuring fires, earthquakes, and other catastrophies. The key films of the cycle are The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, 1972), Earthquake (Mark Robson, 1974), and The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin and Irwin Allen, 1974).

Equally short-lived was the 'blaxploitation' cycle, which started with Cotton Comes To Harlem (Ossie Davis, 1970). While many blaxploitation films were as exploitative as their name suggests, there were several intelligent examples, such as Shaft (1971), directed by Gordon Parks. (Like Stanley Kubrick, Parks was formerly a professional magazine photographer.) Melvin VanPeebles critiqued the blaxploitation cycle with his incendiary film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song in 1971. The following year, John Boorman's Deliverance (1972) introduced what became known as 'hixploitation': films with menacing yokels and foreboding backwoods.

films with menacing yokels and foreboding backwoods. New Waves In Germany and Australia, new wave movements

New Waves

In Germany and Australia, new wave movements promoted international interest in the respective nations' film industries. A large group of young German directors had signed a manifesto at Oberhausen in 1962, calling for a revival in German cinema. They formed the Junger Deutscher film group, and the central focus of their manifesto was to replace the nostalgic, nationalistic, and escapist Heimat films popular in Germany throughout the 1950s (a style they dismissively labelled 'Papa's Kino').

Heimat films served to boost German national feeling following World War II, and can be compared to the Technicolor escapism of Hollywood during the American Depression. 1956 was the high point of the Heimat film, with Ulrich Erfurth's Drei Birken Auf Der Heide being a typical film from that year: a man returning to the village of his birth realises the importance of his idyllic rural homeland.

In 1966, the Junger Deutscher group released two important anti-Heimat films: Volker Schlondorff's Der Junge Torless and Alexander Kluger's Abschied Von Gestern. They were, however, eclipsed by an internationally-acclaimed group known as Neue Kino, led by Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog. Wenders was fascinated by open spaces, as his 'road movie' Im Lauf Der Zeit (1976) demonstrates. Specifically, he was fascinated by the wide open spaces of the American outback, as seen in Paris Texas (1984), though with his fantasy Der Himmel Uber Berlin (1987) he returned to his native Germany. Herzog's extravagant, mythological epics Aguirre Der Zorn Gottes (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982) both star the manic Klaus Kinski, whom an exasperated Herzog tried to kill on one occasion.

Government subsidy of the Film Development Corporation in Australia financed such films as Picnic At Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975), The Last Wave (Peter Weir, 1977), My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong, 1979), and Breaker Morant (Bruce Beresford, 1980), though the revival of Australia's film industry is credited to a more unlikely source - puerile yet popular Ocker comedies such as Stork (Tim Burstall, 1971) and The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (Bruce Beresford, 1972).

The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (Bruce Beresford, 1972). New Hollywood A new generation of directors from

New Hollywood

A new generation of directors from film-schools, including Scorsese and Coppola, established a New Hollywood following the collapses of the Hays Code and the studio system. Indeed, Coppola established his own studio, American Zoetrope, with George Lucas in 1969 (though sold it in 1984).

The New Hollywood directors introduced an unprecedented authenticity into American cinema, evident, for example, in the interwoven narratives and overlapping dialogue of Robert Altman's M*A*S*H (1970) and Nashville (1975), and in the no-holds-barred language and violence of Scorsese's Taxi Driver. This unrestrained attitude, free from the previous Production Code restrictions, was also demonstrated by William Friedkin in his urban crime thriller The French Connection (1971) and his shocking supernatural horror film The Exorcist (1973).

The Exorcist is especially noteworthy, not for its gory excesses but for its subliminal, split-second shots of demonic faces, which provoke fear on a purely subconscious level. This technique was first utilised in 1958, when it was known as Psychorama: Harold Daniels included subliminal shots of spiders and snakes in his otherwise unimaginative horror film My World Dies Screaming.

1980s The Chinese government's restrictions on access to western films were finally lifted in the

1980s

The Chinese government's restrictions on access to western films were finally lifted in the early 1980s, and the first Chinese film-makers to benefit from this were the Fifth Generation group, graduates of the reopened Beijing Film Academy. Fifth Generation films, such as Huang Tudi (Kaige Chen, 1984) focussed on the history of rural China.

Similarly, a new generation of film-makers in Taiwan was concerned at the increasing urbanisation of their society, and the Taiwanese Central Motion-Picture Corporation received government funding which supported their work. The leading figures of this Hsin-Jui movement were Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who directed the autobiographical Tong Nien Wang Shi (1985) and the historical epic Beiqing Chengshi (1989), and Yang Dechang (also known as Edward Yang), whose Guling Jie Shaonian Sha Ren Shijian (1991) is an epic evocation of 1960s street life. Yang's later Yi Yi (2000) is another combination of intimate narrative and epic scope.

Following the Soviet Union's newfound tolerance of freedom of speech ('glasnost'), its films ('otechestvennye filmy') were predominantly bleak examinations of life's harsh realities. These somewhat depressing films were known as Chernukha, the dominant aesthetic of 1980s Soviet cinema as seen in films such as Malenkaya Vera (Vasily Pichul, 1988). A small group of Kazakh directors, given the opportunity to study at the VGIK film insititute in Moscow, sought to counteract the grim realism of Chernukha with a Kazakh new wave beginning with Yermek Shinarbayev's Sestra Moya Lyusya (1985). The movement's leading director, Serik Aprimov, is best known for Gipnotizer (1988) and Konechnaya Ostanovka (1990).

In Japan, Anime films (also known as 'Japanimation') such as Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1987) and Kokaku Kidotai (Mamoru Oshii, 1995) were adapted from the country's popular comic magazines (the Akira Manga comic was drawn by Katsuhiro Otomo himself). Arguably the most important animation artist since Walt Disney, Hayao

Miyazaki directed many enchanting Anime films, released by Ghibli, the studio he co- founded in 1985. Miyazaki's first critical success came with Kaze No Tani No Naushika (1984, based on his own Manga), and his Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (2001) features a magical lyricism comparable to The Wizard Of Oz. (Before directing his own films, Miyazaki was part of the animation team for Isao Takahata's Taiyo No Oji: Horusu No Daiboken in 1968.)

The Anime industry in Japan has existed since the 1960s, producing countless animated series and serials aimed at children, with specific genres catering for boys (Shonen) and girls (Shojo). There are also Anime genres for young women (Josei) and adolescents (Seinen). Cartoons featuring attractive boys are known as Bishonen, while those featuring pretty girls are called Bishojo. Cartoons featuring superheroes are known as Sentai. Maho Shojo is a genre featuring girls with magical powers. Anime with especially cute characters are known as Moe. The Mecha genre features giant robots.

Anime is not only produced for children and adolescents, however: there is also a market for bawdy (Ecchi) and pornographic (Hentai) Anime, which can be sub-divided into several specific genres. For example, Yaoi cartoons feature gay characters (though are aimed at a female audience), Shonen-Ai are gay cartoons aimed at a male audience, Yuri and Shojo-Ai feature lesbian characters, Shota are erotic cartoons featuring young boys, and Lolicon are similarly erotic Anime featuring young girls.

Lawrence Kasdan's steamy Body Heat (1981), Joel Coen's debut Blood Simple (1982), James Cameron's Tech Noir The Terminator (1984), and Ridley Scott's Cyberpunk Blade Runner (1982) were all part of a revival of the Film Noir style, known as Neo-Noir or, alternatively, Apres-Noir. Scott, like many directors of the 1980s, began his career in advertising, and feature-films of the period began discernably to adopt the rapid editing and overt stylisation of advertisements and music videos. This tendency, which came to be known as Cinema du Look, was most evident in Jean-Jacques Beineix's Diva (1981). The high-concept films produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer also share this fast-paced MTV aesthetic; 1980s icon Tom Cruise starred in their blockbuster Top Gun in 1986, directed by Tony Scott.

Kung-fu films, and softcore Fengyue exploitation such as Fengyue Qitan (Li Hanxiang, 1972), dominated Hong Kong cinema in the 1970s. However, in 1979, director Tsui Hark made his debut with the dazzling and hallucinatory Die Bian, leading a new wave of commercial Hong Kong cinema. Tsui, who was criticised for the increasing populism of his films, was also a successful producer, working with fellow Hong Kong director Wu Yusen (also known as John Woo). The epic gangster films Yingxiong Bense (1986) and Die Xue Shuang Xiong (1989) were instant blockbusters, produced by Tsui Hark, directed by Wu Yusen, and starring Chow Yun-Fat. Du Sheng, starring Chow Sing Chi (also known as Stephen Chow) in a parody of Chow Yun-Fat, introduced a new Hong Kong comedy style known as Mo Lei Tau, and was directed by Chun-Wai Lau (also known as Jeffrey Lau) and Corey Yuen in 1990.

American cinema in the 1980s, despite a glut of bombastic Hollywood action movies (typified by Rambo in Ted Kotcheff's First Blood, 1982), did generate two clear masterpieces: Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980) and David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986). Raging Bull stars Robert DeNiro as a brutal middle-weight boxer, and Blue Velvet examines the corruption behind the immaculate exterior of suburban America. Tim Burton directed a number of modern Gothic films in the 1980s, though his greatest film is the dark fairy-tale Edward Scissorhands (1990). The successes of Spike Lee's independent films She's Gotta Have It (1986) and Do The Right Thing (1989) led to the label New Black Cinema.

The Brat Pack, a group of young American actors (Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy) starred in The Outsiders (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983), St Elmo's Fire (Joel Schumacher, 1985), and The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985). After the Brat Pack came the Frat Pack (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, and Luke Wilson), stars of juvenile comedies such as Ben Stiller's Zoolander (2001) and Old School (2003) by Todd Phillips. Furthermore, a group of TV comedians (Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and David Spade) formed the Slap Pack and starred in low-brow comedy films such as Airheads (Michael Lehmann, 1994).

comedy films such as Airheads (Michael Lehmann, 1994). Video Domestic video players created a new market

Video

Domestic video players created a new market for old films, and for unpromising new ones: distribution companies could now release films DTV ('direct-to-video') if they felt that a theatrical release would be uncommercial. In Japan, where direct-to-video films were not regarded in such pejorative terms, they were known as V-Cinema. Also in Japan, many Anime series deemed too short for television transmission were instead released direct-to-video as OVAs ('original video animations'), the first example being Darossu (Mamoru Oshii, 1983). Once DVDs replaced videos as the domestic medium of choice, DTVs became DVDPs ('DVD premieres').

1990s After Hong Gao Liang (his debut film) in 1987 and Ju Dou (banned in

1990s

After Hong Gao Liang (his debut film) in 1987 and Ju Dou (banned in China) in 1990, Fifth Generation film-maker Yimou Zhang produced his masterpiece, Dahong Denglong Gaogao Gua (1991), a film whose sumptuous cinematography is contrasted with its themes of repression and jealousy. His fellow Fifth Generation director, Kaige Chen, made the lavish Ba Wang Bie Ji in 1993.

With the collapse of the military dictatorship in South Korea in the early 1990s, restrictions on foreign media were lifted. This led to an influx of Hollywood films, with which the country's national film industry could not compete. After securing corporate sponsorship, a new wave of South Korean films such as Sopyonje (Im Kwon-Taek, 1993) and Cheob-Sok (Jang Yoon-Hyun, 1997) achieved increasing success. It was the instant and unprecedented box-office success of Swiri (Kang Je-Gyu, 1999), however, that reasserted the dominance of South Korea's film industry within Asia, a trend known as Hallyu.

1997 was a breakthrough year for the cinema of Iran. The country's long history of exploitative 'filmfarsi' productions had occasionally been punctuated by worthier films such as Gaav (Dariush Mehrjui, 1969), though the international acclaim garnered by two films in 1997 instigated a new wave led by two key directors: Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Gabbeh) and Abbas Kiarostami (Ta'm E Guilass). Kiarostami had previously directed Khane-Ye Doust Kodjast? (1987) and written Jafar Panahi's Badkonake Sefid (1995); his Bad Ma Ra Khahad Bord (1999) and Makhmalbaf's later Safar E Ghandehar (2001) took Iranian cinema, by now at the forefront of international appreciation, into the next century. Safar E Ghandehar, which follows a woman travelling in the Afghan desert, was released at the same time as Afghanistan's Taliban regime was overthrown. Bahman Ghobadi's Zamani Baraye Masti Asbha (2000) and Lakposhtha Ham Parvaz Mikonand (2004) present a Kurdish perpective on conflict in the Middle East. This new cinema of

Iran was the most prominent example of a new wave of Muslim film-making, such as the Palestinian Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005).

A group of Danish directors formed Dogme '95, and agreed to a Vow Of Chastity manifesto (1995) pledging never to use artificial lighting, post-synchronised sound, camera tripods, or studio sets. In an anti-auteurist gesture, they also refused to allow themselves directorial credits. Each Dogme '95 film was prefaced with a title-card certifying its accordance with the Dogme code. The first such film was Thomas Vinterberg's Festen (1998).

Such ultra-realism was challenged by The Matrix (Andy and Larry Wachowski, 1999), which was concerned with the mutli-layered and illusory nature of reality itself, a more technologically sophisticated version of earlier 'virtual reality' films such as Steven Lisberger's Tron and David Cronenberg's Biopunk Videodrome (both 1982).

British cinema was given a (literal) shot in the arm by Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996), a successful cult film about a group of Scottish heroin addicts. In France, La Haine (Matieu Kassovitz, 1995) was arguably the film of the decade, highlighting police brutality, racial tension, and youth alienation in 'banlieu' ghettos.

American cinema began incorporating digital imagery into its blockbuster films, notably morphing metal in James Cameron's Terminator II: Judgement Day (1991) and incredible digitally-generated dinosaurs in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993). The next step, total digital animation, was taken by the Pixar studio with Toy Story (John Lasseter,

1995).

A major new studio, Dreamworks SKG, was established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. After several years of construction delays, Dreamworks began active film production in 1997 and quickly became one of the most successful film studios in Hollywood. Its greatest commercial successes were the digital animations it produced to compete with Pixar, including Shrek (Andrew Adamson, 2001). Shrek was notable for its conscious attempts to appeal to both children and adults, and it also contained several thinly-disguised Disney parodies (following Jeffrey Katzenberg's split with Disney and several Pixar/Disney collaborations). Dreamworks was sold in 2005, and is now under the same ownership as Paramount.

Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), Bryan Singer's The Usual Suspects (1995), and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999) all weave together complex inter-connected stories (as did Christopher Nolan's reverse-narrative Memento in 2001), though the last masterpiece of the century was Todo Sobre Mi Madre (1999) by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, who later directed the emotionally devastating Hable Con Ella (2002). (Almodovar's uninhibited earlier films, such as Pepi Luci Bom Y Otras Chicas Del Monton (1980), signified his association with La Movida Madrilena, a hedonistic youth subculture in 1980s Madrid.)

The most promising new director in world cinema at the turn of the 21st century was perhaps Hong Kong's Wong Kar-Wai. His Chong Qing Sen Lin (1994) developed a cult following, and his epic 2046 (2004) was an international arthouse success.

epic 2046 (2004) was an international arthouse success. Indie Cinema Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi (1992,

Indie Cinema

Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi (1992, known as a Burrito western) and Kevin Smith's Clerks (1994) were 'indie' films produced on ultra-low budgets, inspired by Sex Lies And Videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989) and Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991). A group of independent films with gay themes (such as Gus VanSant's My Own Private Idaho, 1991) was defined by critics as New Queer Cinema, a trend that began with the film festival success of Poison (Todd Haynes, 1990). Throughout the decade, indie cinema was dominated by former video-junkie Quentin Tarantino, whose audacious debut Reservoir Dogs (1992) was followed by the highly acclaimed Pulp Fiction (1994). Alongside Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992), Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs was cited as an example of New Brutalism, an umbrella term for a group of explicitly brutal American films released in the early 1990s.

2000s

Latin American cinema overcame its region's economic instability with a Buena Onda of internationally successful films from Brazil and Mexico. The revival was led by Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros (2000), both from Mexico. Also from Latin America, Cidade De Deus (2002), by Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, is the most commercially successful Brazilian film ever made. Its violence and kinetic editing demonstrate the influences of Scorsese and Tarantino, and with its theme of poverty in the favelas of Rio it echoes the early period of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement. The film's co-producer, Walter Salles, directed one of the earliest Buena Onda films: Central Do Brasil (1998), in a period known as 'retomada de producao' (when state funding afforded directors more creative freedom).

A renaissance in Thai cinema was, like that of Latin America, concurrent with a financial

crisis in the region. The New Thai Cinema movement was instigated almost single- handedly in the late 1990s by Nonzee Nimibutr with two domestic blockbusters: gangster film 2499 Antapan Krong Muang (1997) and horror story Nang Nak (1999). Nonzee went on to produce Wisit Sartsanatieng's Fah Talai Jone in 2000. Wisit (who wrote Nonzee's 2499 and Nang Nak, and comes from a television advertising background) has a uniquely 'retro' style evoking the melodramas of 1950s Thai cinema. In Fah Talai Jone, He digitally transforms the environment he films with un-naturally bright colours, so that each frame resembles an Andy Warhol screen-print. The film was also released as a novel, which was illustrated by the director.

New Thai Cinema's other key figure is Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, who worked with Wisit in the Thai TV advertising industry before becoming a film-maker. Pen-Ek's Fan Ba Karaoke (1997) brought New Thai Cinema to international attention through film festival screenings. His films themselves (Ruang Talok 69, 1999; Mon Rak Transistor, 2001; Ruang Rak Noi Nid Mahasan, 2003) have an international dimension, as he often works with actors and crews from other Asian countries. Finally, Apichatpong Weerasethakul is Thailand's most prominent avant-garde director; his films (Dokfa Nai Meuman, 2000; Sud sanaeha, 2002; Sud Pralad, 2004; Sang Sattawat, 2006) are enigmatic, allegorical, and contemplative.

A Wuxia revival was instigated by the worldwide arthouse success of Wo Hu Cang Long

(Ang Lee, 2000). It was followed by two equally balletic, graceful Wuxias, Ying Xiong (2002) and Shimian Maifu (2004), both directed by Yimou Zhang, and his Wuxia- influenced tragedy Man Cheng Jin Dai Huang Jin Jia (2006). The epic scale of the latter film made it the most extravagant 'dapian' (big-budget blockbuster) film in China.

'dapian' (big-budget blockbuster) film in China. Digital Cinema At the turn of the 21st century, cinema

Digital Cinema

At the turn of the 21st century, cinema was transforming into an increasingly digital medium, converging with the realms of computer games and digital graphics. This process effectively began in the 1970s: when home computers were first available,

computer motion graphics sequences were programmed as Demoscene clips. Later, it became possible to record a character's progression through computer game levels:

filmed demonstrations of fast game-completion were known as Speedruns, the most famous being Quake Done Quick (1997). The convergence later intensified, resulting in Machinima films with narratives featuring game characters interacting within 3-D graphic environments. In another cinema/computer convergence, webloggers produced online video diaries known as V-Blogs: the first known V-Blogger was Adrian Miles, who posted his original 'vog' in 2000. Mashup videos and Anime Music Videos were also created online, by re-editing and juxtaposing existing film footage to ironic effect (the first example being the pre-internet Apocalypse Pooh by Todd Graham, from 1987).

The electronic, non-analogue exhibition of moving images is known by the umbrella term E-Cinema, though E-Cinema was soon eclipsed by high-definition digital projection (D- Cinema). Directors such as Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, and George Lucas - not uncoincidentally, directors with their own production facilities - led the shift towards digital production and projection, with Lucas's Star Wars prequel Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) being the first film to be projected digitally.