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The legacy of emigrés in the British film industry, from the silent film era until after the Second World War, has been largely neglected in the scholarly literature. Destination London is the first book to redress this imbalance. Focusing on areas such as exile, genre, technological transfer, professional training and education, cross-cultural exchange and representation, it begins by mapping the reasons for this neglect before examining the contributions made to British cinema by emigré directors, actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, set designers, and composers. It goes on to assess the cultural and economic contexts of transnational industry collaborations in the 1920s, artistic cosmopolitanism in the 1930s, and anti-Nazi propaganda in the 1940s.
In the 1970s, Hollywood experienced a creative surge, opening a new era in American cinema with films that challenged traditional modes of storytelling. Inspired by European and Asian art cinema as well as Hollywood’s own history of narrative ingenuity, directors such as Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, William Friedkin, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola undermined the harmony of traditional Hollywood cinema and created some of the best movies ever to come out of the American film industry. Critics have previously viewed these films as a response to the cultural and political upheavals of the 1970s, but until now no one has explored how the period’s inventive narrative design represents one of the great artistic accomplishments of American cinema.
In Hollywood Incoherent, Todd Berliner offers the first thorough analysis of the narrative and stylistic innovations of seventies cinema and its influence on contemporary American filmmaking. He examines not just formally eccentric films—Nashville; Taxi Driver; A Clockwork Orange; The Godfather, Part II; and the films of John Cassavetes—but also mainstream commercial films, including The Exorcist, The Godfather, The French Connection, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dog Day Afternoon, Chinatown, The Bad News Bears, Patton, All the President’s Men, Annie Hall, and many others. With persuasive revisionist analyses, Berliner demonstrates the centrality of this period to the history of Hollywood’s formal development, showing how seventies films represent the key turning point between the storytelling modes of the studio era and those of modern American cinema.
A series of limiting definitions have tended to delineate the Franco-British cinematic relationship. As this collection of essays reveals, there is much more to it than simple oppositions between British critical esteem for the films of France and French dismissal of ‘le cinéma British’, or the success of Ken Loach et al. at the French box office and the relative dearth of French movies on British screens. In fact, there has long been a rich and productive dialogue between these two cultures in which both their clear differences and their shared concerns have played a vital role. This book provides an overview of the history of these relations from the early days of sound cinema to the present day. The chapters, written by leading experts in the history of French, British and European cinema, provide insights into relations between French and British cinematic cultures at the level of production, exhibition and distribution, reception, representation and personnel. The book features a diverse range of studies, including: the exhibition of French cinema in Britain in the 1930s, contemporary ‘extreme’ French cinema, stars such as Annabella, David Niven and Jane Birkin and the French Resistance on British screens.
The traditionally American genre of the road movie has been explored and reconfigured in the French context since the later 1960s. Comparative in its approach, this book studies the inter-relationship between American and French culture and cinemas, and in the process considers and challenges histories of the road movie. It combines film history with film theory methodologies, analyzing transformations in social, political and film-industrial contexts alongside changing perspectives on the meaning and possibilities of film. At once chronological and thematic in structure, The French Road Movie provides in each chapter a comprehensive introduction to key themes emerging from the genre in the French context – liberty, identity and citizenship, masculinity, femininity, border-crossing – followed by detailed, innovative and often revisionist readings of the chosen films. The book’s overall aim, through these readings, is to justify the place of the road genre within French cinema histories and reinvigorate this often neglected and misunderstood area of study.
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