A history of Korean cinema

One of the most distinctive traits of Korean film is its strong political nature. This chapter examines the historical development of Korean film. Film in Korea has always been under governmental censorship. During the Japanese colonial period, the government severely suppressed those films that would inspire anti-colonial sentiments among the Korean audience. Japan's cultural control over Koreans was aimed to root out their sense of national identity. This was demonstrated by the prohibition of the Korean language in schools and the forced change of Korean family names into a standardised Japanese style. When Japanese rule ended and the American army occupied the South in 1945, the South Korean film industry was mainly engaged in importing and distributing American films. Some Korean filmmakers also attempted to make Hollywood-style films. In North Korea, all artistic activities, including cinema, are based on the so-called Juche theory of art mandated by the Party.

in Contemporary Korean cinema

Brazilian popular cinema, at least until the 1980s, can be seen as a direct descendant of other shared cultural experiences. This chapter maps the key sites of mediation between popular cinema and wider cultural traditions in Brazil. Popular cinema in Brazil has often engaged with elements of the nation's most famous and pervasive festival, carnival. During the silent era, carnival was the focus of much interest among Brazilian filmmakers, and it has been estimated that between 1906 and the arrival of the talkies in the early 1930s around fifty shorts were produced using footage from the annual celebrations in Rio. Popular film in Brazil is littered with examples of carnivalesque inversions of societal norms and established hierarchies. The various influences on popular film that have been examined here serve to establish the shared cultural repertoire of film audiences in Brazil.

in Popular cinema in Brazil, 1930–2001
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The princess and the post-’68 fairy tale

In the documentary L'Univers enchanté de Jacques Demy/The World of Jacques Demy, Catherine Deneuve paid the filmmaker an actress's greatest compliment when she described him as 'the charming prince who woke Sleeping Beauty'. Deneuve's fairy-tale metaphor also pays homage to Demy's own playful description of his filmmaking style. Cinéma en-chanté: the pun communicates on several levels. Demy's cinema has the rare quality of appealing to adults and to children, to cinephiles and the general public alike. In these early Demy films, enchantment communicated just as subtly the unsettling nature of the screen image that was beginning to take shape for Deneuve. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. Against Donkey Skin's sets, Deneuve's costuming establishes the narrative trajectory of this psychedelic dream, an imposed dream that necessarily becomes her own.

in From perversion to purity

Catherine Deneuve has appeared in at least one major film every year since turning 50 in 1993, often starring in several works in the same season in a career which has encompassed, and continues to encompass, work with leading French auteurs. This chapter focuses on three of Deneuve's films: Belle Maman, Dancer in the Dark, and Le Vent de la nuit/Night Wind. It offers an examination of the varied portraits of older women and of the processes of ageing offered by (and indeed to) Deneuve. Through an examination of Deneuve's roles in these three very different films, there will emerge a vision of her portrayal of gendered ageing as multilayered and complex. Deneuve's roles in these three works engage at once with established on-screen images of both maternity and sexuality while posing a series of challenges to the perceived status of '50 plus' actresses on the international screen.

in From perversion to purity

Catherine Deneuve's Italian career is relatively brief: she made three films in the early 1970s, and ten years later participated in one further production. This chapter identifies and analyses the star qualities of Catherine Deneuve as they are manifested in these films. Career profiles of Bolognini and Monicelli show that her work with them can be located exclusively within the traditions of Italian national cinema. The chapter shows that Deneuve's most significant Italian films are those she made with Marco Ferreri, in particular La cagna Ferreri, is a filmmaker much more difficult to classify as belonging within a single national cinema. Through close scrutiny of the individual film, it argues that the discourse of the film offers a complex nuancing of Deneuve's star image. At the same time, the chapter demonstrates that nevertheless, questions of continuity and difference of image inevitably inform any critical analysis of her Italian career.

in From perversion to purity

This chapter examines the predilection for documentary modes of representation that runs through Bertrand Tavernier's career from its beginnings. He navigates generic parameters so as to privilege what we might call his documentary gaze on the world. Tavernier's passion for documentary helps explain, and resolve, his perennial disregard for generic coherence and narrative continuity. Although La Mort en direct/Deathwatch is a fiction, its photojournalist protagonist shapes the film into a parable or meta-documentary. The first documentary to invite that Algerian war's ordinary French soldiers to share their memories, La Guerre sans nom is credited with breaking the silence of repression and taboo. A number of works can hardly be classified as documentaries, but they are not entirely fictional either. L.627, L'Appât, Ça commence aujourd'hui, and Holy Lola scrutinize crises in the respective realms of narcotics police, juvenile delinquency, a school in a poor community, and international adoption.

in Bertrand Tavernier
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Jean-Luc Godard is interested in matters anal, of course most graphically in films like Numéro Deux, Sauve qui peut (la vie), and Passion, and like Jean Cocteau acknowledges the centrality of violence to the artistic process. Godard's erotic play with Cocteau installs Cocteau as a guiding principle for his experimental practice such that Cocteau himself becomes a primary agent of sublimation for Godard. The resurrection of flowers in King Lear is an utterly concrete demonstration of Cocteau's filmic process of thinking through one's hands, an act to which Godard directly aspires through means of montage. In his valedictory film Le Testament d'Orphée, Cocteau cut a solitary figure. Cocteau functions for Godard as both sublime and abject, ideal and false, as suggested even by Godard's early review of Orphée when he refers to the film as 'poésie de contrebande' and to Cocteau's confessional statement that he entered the cinema fraudulently.

in Jean Cocteau

Critics and historians of French cinema have marked out 1995 as the year of the banlieue film, the most significant of which was La Haine, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. This chapter aims to compare and contrast the representation of ethnicity in La Haine with the representation of ethnicity in Kassovitz's first feature film, Métisse, made in 1993. One of the links between the two films, however, is the privileged role of the white youth. La Haine takes as its topic the cycle of hatred and violence which tends to characterise relationships between young people and the police in the working-class suburbs of France. Métisse is an allegory about the possibility of racial tolerance and integration, which depends not simply on the assimilation of the ethnic other, but on the overthrow of conventional attitudes to love, parenting, and race. The chapter offers a challenge to dominant notions of French national identity.

in Reframing difference
Questioning gender roles

French feminism contains a diversity of positions on the family as on other issues. Since the beginning of her success as a filmmaker with Trois hommes et un couffin, Coline Serreau has often said in interviews that she considered family and children as a key aspect of society and of life overall. In order to confront men with parenthood, Serreau puts the unwilling men in the position of fathers. This idea of performing gender roles is quite obvious in the film. The influence of women's actions and concerns regarding motherhood and family after May '68 are to be found in Serreau's films made in the 1970s. By the time she directed her first fiction film, the mood had changed and utopia prevailed. It is true to say that Serreau's films closely followed, and sometimes preceded, major social and sexual changes in France during the 1980s and 1990s.

in Coline Serreau
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The study of secret societies and other such conspiratorial communities may have something to tell us about the nature of community itself. The community was traditionally organised around a sacred centre, the site of both strict prohibition and devout veneration. The narrative of Secret Défense is based around a series of crimes in which the murderer or the victim takes the place of someone else. Perhaps one of the finest cinematic illustrations of this belief in the productive power of desire is to be found in another of Rivette's films that deals with a family secret, Céline et Julie vont en bateau. Family secrets already provide the intrigue in some of Rivette's 1970s films. In Merry-Go-Round, Léo learns that her father's death may have been faked, whilst in Céline et Julie vont en bateau, the eponymous heroines seek to rescue a young child from the family.

in Jacques Rivette