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The dollars are coming!

While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.

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Valentina Vitali

– the relations that make it the commodity it is and that sustain it as a function in a process of capital accumulation – but it does so in very complex, or as Marx put it, hidden ways. To begin with, different circumstances inevitably produce very different films. CONCLUSION 159 These films also stage profoundly different horizons – fantasies about the ideal conditions for their existence as commodities, their functioning as surplus generating processes. Within a capitalist system such as the one we inhabit, the overall logic of accumulation that produces and

in Capital and popular cinema
Valentina Vitali

away the body. Overcome by this series of events, Nora faints. She wakes up the next morning at the hospital, where her account of the extraordinary events she resolutely claims to have witnessed is explained away by the doctors as  the effect of too vivid an imagination, blaming explicitly her regrettable p ­ assion for giallo books. She returns to Trinità dei Monti with 34 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA Marcello, but no trace of the murder can be found. On the contrary, under the spring  sun the Spanish Steps look as joyful and serene as a picture postcard. Nora

in Capital and popular cinema
Valentina Vitali

, as a result, to leisure time. From the mid-1950s the growth of disposable income for this expanding section of the world’s population brought about a new wave of industrialised culture,4 especially in fashion, in the music industry and in the realm of private transport (scooters, cars, etc.). Further, with the demise of the 12 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA peasantry came the rise of occupations that required secondary and higher education. Before World War Two the combined population of Germany, France and Britain (150 million) contained no more than 150

in Capital and popular cinema
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The cinema of Fernando Méndez
Valentina Vitali

understand how El vampiro circulated globally and came to be written into the history of cinema in just this way – in short, to assess critically the expectations that underpin its international reception – the film and its director must first be situated in their historically specific film industrial and broader cultural context. In what follows I map the career of Fernando Méndez against the growth of the Mexican film 78 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA industry and the changes the country underwent in the two decades after World War Two. As will become apparent, by the

in Capital and popular cinema
Valentina Vitali

brothers and their films never existed. In this chapter I examine some of the Ramsay brothers’ films, their position in the Hindi film industry and the industry’s relation to the wider economy. What becomes apparent from this outline is that Hindi cinema produced horror films during the 1980s and in that decade mainly because in India the one single factor that was necessary for the production of films exploit- THE HINDI HORROR FILMS OF THE RAMSAY BROTHERS 123 ing the generic sales points constitutive of the genre – radical ­capital – was, until then, contained by

in Capital and popular cinema
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Polisse and Entre les murs
Gemma King

4 Capital centres: Polisse and Entre les murs W e begin in north-eastern Paris, in the districts of Belleville and Gambetta. In these multicultural quartiers, the films Polisse and Entre les murs explore interactions between different cultural groups as they play out in public institutions. In both the police procedural Polisse and the schoolroom drama Entre les murs, multilingualism is a feature of everyday life within the city, and language difference is essential to (re)negotiating social hierarchies between historically dominant and dominated cultural

in Decentring France
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National cinema and unstable genres
Valentina Vitali

their criteria of relevance and the priorities within any given issue reflected relatively narrow and particular areas of interest. In this context, Movie Paperbacks published monographs on auteurs such as Jean Renoir, Claude Chabrol, 2 CAPITAL AND POPULAR CINEMA Jean Vigo, François Truffaut, Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, John Ford, Allan Dwan, Luis Buñuel and Eric von Stroheim. Cameron’s reply to Willemen and Johnston’s proposal to devote a volume to Terence Fisher was, accordingly, that he (Cameron) would ‘take a little convincing that there is

in Capital and popular cinema
Mark Bould

encounters will respond to him, but each incident is so arbitrarily driven by their personal situations – by their hang-ups, desires and obliviousness – as to be evacuated of tension. Le capital (2012), based on Stéphane Osmont's 2004 novel of the same name, returns to the problem of representing economic structures and determinants, while also repeatedly featuring thriller set-ups. However, it eschews the kinds of nail-biting perils one might expect of a corporate/financial thriller – for example, Syriana (Gaghan 2005) or The International (Tykwer 2009) 7

in The films of Costa-Gavras
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Multilingualism and power in contemporary French cinema
Author: Gemma King

In a world defined by the flow of people, goods and cultures, many contemporary French films explore the multicultural nature of today's France through language. In a cinematic landscape increasingly characterised by multiculturalism and linguistic diversity, a number of contemporary French films are beginning to represent multilingualism as a means of attaining and exerting social power. This book is the first substantial study of multilingual film in France. Unpacking the power dynamics at play in the dialogue of eight emblematic films, it argues that many contemporary French films take a new approach to language and power. The book begins in central Paris in Polisse and Entre les murs, then travels to the banlieue in Un prophete and Dheepan. It then heads to another culturally loaded but very different space with Welcome and La Graine et le mulet, whose border-crossing stories unfold in the port cities of Calais and Sete respectively. Then, in London River and Des hommes et des dieux, the book steps off French soil, travelling to the English capital and former French colony of Algeria. It explores characters whose lives are marked not only by France, but by former colonies, foreign countries and other European states. In its depiction of strategic code-switching in transcultural scenarios, contemporary French multilingual cinema shows the potential for symbolic power inherent in French, other dominant Western tongues, and many migrant and minority languages. The book offers a unique insight into the place of language and power in French cinema today.