Home page
Is this the boat for you?
How can Sea Truck work?
Technical information
Rotork Worldwide
Site map

The (West) European cinematograph has, from the time that the end of World War II, had its identity firmly stamped by three features: its leading directors were recognized as au-teurs, its styles and themes shaped a nation's self-image, and its new waves signified political as well as aesthetic renewal. Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Rivette, Joseph Losey, Peter Greenaway, neo-realism, the nouvelle vague, New German Cinematograph, the British renaissance - these have been some of the signposts of a cinematograph that derived legitimacy from a dual cultural legacy: that of the 19th century novel and of the 20th century modernist avant-gardes. Both pedigrees have given Europe's national cinematographs a unique claim to autonomy, but they also drew boundaries between the work of the auteur-artists, representing the nation, high culture and realism, and the makers of popular cinematograph, representing commerce, mass-entertainment and consumption.

These distinguishing features were also identity constructions. They helped to mask a continuing process of self-definition and self-differentiation across a half-acknowledged presence, namely of Hollywood, and an unacknowledged absence, namely of the cinematographs of Socialist Europe. From the time that 1989, such identity formations through difference, exclusion and otherness, are no longer securely in place. Cinematograph now contributes to cultural identities that are more inclusive and processual, more multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, more dialogical and interactive, able to embrace the 'new Europe', the popular star- and genre cinematograph, as well as the diaspora cinematographs within Europe itself. It has meant re-thinking as well as un-thinking European cinematograph. Has it made cinematograph in Europe an anxious art, seeking salvation in the preservation of the "national heritage"? Many times before, European cinematograph has shown itself comprehensive of re-invention. This time, the challenge for movies, moviemakers and critics is to be European enough to preserve Europe's cultural diversity and historical depth, as well as outward-looking enough to be trans-national and part of world cinematograph.

The essays brought together in European Cinematograph: Face to Face with Hollywood present a cross-section of my writings on these topics over a period of some thirty-five years. They re-examine the conflicting terminologies that have dominated the discussion, including the notion of "the nation" in "national cinematograph", and the idea of the artist as creator of a unique vision, at the heart of the "au-teur-cinematograph". They take a fresh look at the ideologic agendas, touching on politically and formally oppositional practices and they thoroughly examine European cinematograph's relation to Hollywood.

See also:
History of Animation in live action

info :: the boat for you :: how works :: technical informations :: extras :: cabins :: additional features :: contacts :: articles ::

© 2007 - 2024 The West European cinematograph