This collection brings together work on forms of popular television produced within the authoritarian regimes of Europe after World War II. Ten chapters based on new and original research examine approaches to programming and individual programmes in Spain, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Soviet Union and the GDR at a time when they were governed as dictatorships or one-party states. Rather than foregrounding the political economy of television or its role as an overt tool of state propaganda, the focus is on popular television-everyday programming that ordinary people watched. An editorial introduction examines the question of what can be considered ‘popular’ when audience appeal is often secondary to the need for state control. With familiar measures of popularity often absent, contributors adopt various approaches in applying the term to the programming they examine and in considering the reasons for its popularity. Drawing on surviving archives, scripts and production records, contemporary publications, YouTube clips, and interviews with producers and performers, its chapters recover examples of television programming history unknown beyond national borders and often preserved largely in the memories of the audiences who lived with them. Popular Television in Authoritarian Europe represents a significant intervention in transnational television studies, making these histories available to scholars for the first time, encouraging comparative enquiry and extending the reach – intellectually and geographically – of European television history.
This book aims to provide an overview of the history and development of film noir and neo-noir in five major European cinemas, France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy, written by leading authorities in their respective fields. It contains a bibliography and extensive filmography. The book describes the distinctiveness of film noir or neo-noir within its respective national cinema at particular moments, but also discusses its interaction with American film noir and neo-noir. It commences with a reflection on the significant similarities and differences that emerge in these accounts of the various European film noirs, and on the nature of this dialogue, which suggests the need to understand film noir as a transnational cultural phenomenon. The problems of defining film noir and the reasons why it has almost always been regarded solely as an American form are discussed. Because British film noir had never received critical recognition, Andrew Spicer argues that British neo-noir had to reinvent itself anew, with little, if any, explicit continuity with its predecessors. The book also explores the changes in the French polar after 1968: the paranoia of the political thriller and the violence of the postmodern and naturalistic thriller. That new noir sensibility is different enough, and dark enough, from what preceded it, for us to call it 'hyper-noir'. British neo-noirs are highly intertextual and allusive, both thematically and visually. The book also discusses German neo-noir, Spanish film noir and neo-noir, and the Italian film noir.
Since its inception by the Council of Europe in 1989, Eurimages has been to the fore
in financing European co-productions with the aim of fostering integration and
cooperation in artistic and industry circles and has helped finance over 1,600
feature films, animations and documentaries. Taking as its thesis the idea that the
CoE seeks to perpetuate Europes utopian ideals, despite the dystopian realities that
frequently undermine both the EU and the continent at large, this article analyses
select Eurimages-funded dystopian films from industrial, aesthetic and socio-cultural
standpoints with a view toward decoding institutionally embedded critiques of the
European horror films have often been characterised by a tendency towards
co-production arrangements. Recent developments within regional European funding
bodies and initiatives have led to a proliferation of films that combine traditional
co-production agreements with the use of both regional and intra-regional funding
sources. This article examines the extent to which the financial structuring of
Creep(Christopher Smith, 2004), Salvage (Lawrence Gough), and Trollhunter (André
Øvredal, 2010) informed the trajectory of their production dynamics, impacting upon
their final form. Sometimes, such European horror films are part of complex
co-production deals with multiple partners or are derived from one-off funding
project. But they can also utilise funding schemes that are distinctly local.
European film noir aims to
provide an overview of the history and development of film noir and neo-noir
in five major European cinemas – France, Britain, Germany, Spain and
Italy – written by leading authorities in their respective fields.
Each chapter contains a bibliography and extensive filmography. Occasional
brief considerations of various European film noirs have emerged – and
Popular television in authoritarian Europe – a popular conundrum?
Introduction: Popular television in
authoritarian Europe – a popular
In the second half of the twentieth century, television emerged as
the dominant cultural form in much of the world. By the 1980s, the
academic study of television was beginning to emerge as a dedi
cated area of scholarship, dominated – as was television production
in large parts of the globe – by the USA and Britain. Perhaps as a
result, the television cultures and programmes that developed under
the authoritarian regimes of Southern and Eastern Europe have been
This article discusses the manner in which the vampire fiction of contemporary
Ukrainian author Halyna Pahutiak enters into a dialogue with the global vampire
discourse whose core or ‘cultural capital’ finds its origins largely in Bram
Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897). Through discussion of thematic,
stylistic, and structural similarities and differences between Pahutiak and
Stoker’s portrayals of the vampire myth, my paper sheds light on the conscious
mythmaking strategies that Pahutiak employs to return the vampire symbolically
from the West to Eastern Europe where it originated, and reassess the core
characteristics of the Dracula myth.
chapter argues, prove
crucial for the construction of identities, particularly those with a
territorial dimension. It does so by exploring European ‘films of
voyage’, a cinematic tradition that articulates, both narratively
and visually, representations of the countryside with questions of
boundaries and cultural diversity.
European ‘films of voyage’ show how ethnic or
of generic conventions
into the text.
No other country has the problem of using a term of another
colour which covers film noir, several media and many genres. Moreover, the
European style of filmmaking with its use of the long take rather than fast
cutting, the visual flair of Italian genre films which, even in low-budget
examples, can combine realism of place with spectacular
mise-en-scène has made
had quickly established a stronghold in the German market after the war,
West German audiences on the whole preferred domestic and other European
products to Hollywood fare well into the late 1960s. 6 The East German reception of American noir
during the same period, meanwhile, owing to cold war ideology, censorship,
and politically motivated patterns of distribution and exhibition, was even
more muted, to the point of being insignificant