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  • Author: Ewa Mazierska
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: Contrary to the assumption that Western and Eastern European economies and cinemas were very different from each other, they actually had much in common. After the Second World War both the East and the West adopted a mixed system, containing elements of both socialism and capitalism, and from the 1980s on the whole of Europe, albeit at an uneven speed, followed the neoliberal agenda. This book examines how the economic systems of the East and West impacted labor by focusing on the representation of work in European cinema. Using a Marxist perspective, it compares the situation of workers in Western and Eastern Europe as represented in both auteurist and popular films, including those of Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrzej Wajda, DušanMakavejev, Jerzy Skolimowski, the Dardenne Brothers, Ulrich Seidl and many others.
  • Topic: Cold War, Mass Media, Socialism/Marxism, Film, Neoliberalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Europe
  • Author: Klaus Hödl
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: Viennese popular culture at the turn of the twentieth century was the product of the city’s Jewish and non-Jewish residents alike. While these two communities interacted in a variety of ways to their mutual benefit, Jewish culture was also inevitably shaped by the city’s persistent bouts of antisemitism. This fascinating study explores how Jewish artists, performers, and impresarios reacted to prejudice, showing how they articulated identity through performative engagement rather than anchoring it in origin and descent. In this way, they attempted to transcend a racialized identity even as they indelibly inscribed their Jewish existence into the cultural history of the era.
  • Topic: Religion, Culture, Film, Anti-Semitism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Austria, Vienna, Central Europe
  • Author: Adam Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: The Nazis’ persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust included the creation of prisoner hierarchies that forced victims to cooperate with their persecutors. Many in the camps and ghettos came to hold so-called “privileged” positions, and their behavior has often been judged as self-serving and harmful to fellow inmates. Such controversial figures constitute an intrinsically important, frequently misunderstood, and often taboo aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on Primo Levi’s concept of the “grey zone,” this study analyzes the passing of moral judgment on “privileged” Jews as represented by writers, such as Raul Hilberg, and in films, including Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Negotiating the problems and potentialities of “representing the unrepresentable,” this book engages with issues that are fundamental to present-day attempts to understand the Holocaust and deeply relevant to reflections on human nature.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Film, Holocaust, World War II, Anti-Semitism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, California, Germany, Central Europe
  • Author: Gerd Gemünden
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: With six Academy Awards, four entries on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest American movies, and more titles on the National Historic Register of classic films deemed worthy of preservation than any other director, Billy Wilder counts as one of the most accomplished filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood. Yet how American is Billy Wilder, the Jewish émigré from Central Europe? This book underscores this complex issue, unpacking underlying contradictions where previous commentators routinely smoothed them out. Wilder emerges as an artist with roots in sensationalist journalism and the world of entertainment as well as with an awareness of literary culture and the avant-garde, features that lead to productive and often highly original confrontations between high and low.
  • Topic: Immigration, Media, Film, Material Culture
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, California, Germany, Central Europe
  • Author: Jonathan Buchsbaum
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In Exception Taken, Jonathan Buchsbaum examines the movements that have emerged in opposition to the homogenizing force of Hollywood in global filmmaking. While European cinema was entering a steady decline in the 1980s, France sought to strengthen support for its film industry under the new Mitterrand government. Over the following decades, the country lobbied partners in the European Economic Community to design strategies to protect the audiovisual industries and to resist cultural free-trade pressures in international trade agreements. These struggles to preserve the autonomy of national artistic prerogatives emboldened many countries to question the benefits of accelerated globalization. Led by the energetic minister of culture Jack Lang, France initiated a series of measures to support all sectors of the film industry. Lang introduced laws mandating that state and private television invest in the film industry, effectively replacing the revenue lost from a shrinking theatrical audience for French films. With the formation of the European Union in 1992, Europe passed a new treaty (Maastricht) that extended its legal purview to culture for the first time, setting up the dramatic confrontation over the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) in 1993. Pushed by France, the EU fought the United States over the idea that countries should preserve their right to regulate cultural activity as they saw fit. France and Canada then initiated a campaign to protect cultural diversity within UNESCO that led to the passage of the Convention on Cultural Diversity in 2005. As France pursued these efforts to protect cultural diversity beyond its borders, it also articulated "a certain idea of cinema" that did not simply defend a narrow vision of national cinema. France promoted both commercial cinema and art cinema, disproving announcements of the death of cinema.
  • Topic: Film
  • Political Geography: France
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543071
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Blake Atwood
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: It is nearly impossible to separate contemporary Iranian cinema from the Islamic revolution that transformed film production in the country in the late 1970s. As the aims of the revolution shifted and hardened once Khomeini took power and as an eight-year war with Iraq dragged on, Iranian filmmakers confronted new restrictions. In the 1990s, however, the Reformist Movement, led by Mohammad Khatami, and the film industry, developed an unlikely partnership that moved audiences away from revolutionary ideas and toward a discourse of reform. In Reform Cinema in Iran, Blake Atwood examines how new industrial and aesthetic practices created a distinct cultural and political style in Iranian film between 1989 and 2007. Atwood analyzes a range of popular, art, and documentary films. He provides new readings of internationally recognized films such as Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry (1997) and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Time for Love (1990), as well as those by Rakhshan Bani, Masud Kiami, and other key Iranian directors. At the same time, he also considers how filmmakers and the film industry were affected by larger political and religious trends that took shape during Mohammad Khatami's presidency (1997-2005). Atwood analyzes political speeches, religious sermons, and newspaper editorials and pays close attention to technological developments, particularly the rise of video, to determine their role in democratizing filmmaking and realizing the goals of political reform. He concludes with a look at the legacy of reform cinema, including films produced under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose neoconservative discourse rejected the policies of reform that preceded him.
  • Topic: Film
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543149
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN