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Editor: Andrew Spicer

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.

Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Asquith
Tom Ryall

In a European country like Britain you would normally expect the most interesting films to be produced within the area of art cinema. Alan Lovell 1 Art cinema, as a significant historical element of a national film culture and a counterbalance to the international power of the American cinema, has a secure place, established very firmly in the 1920s, in the histories of the major European cinemas, and represented, in particular, by the films of France

in British art cinema
Open Access (free)
Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain
Erik Hedling

That All There Is? (1992), Anderson included the occasional ‘ Sequence touch’, not least in his initial quotation from the Free Cinema manifesto, ‘Perfection is not an aim’. As to the upshot of Anderson’s mission, Sequence was possibly more influential on film-makers and critics than Anderson himself. Auteurism and art cinema, for good and for bad, came to dominate the European cinema after the

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Susan Hayward and Phil Powrie

economic experts as the best way of overcoming the crisis of European cinema. Seen by most film critics as the most Americanised filmmaker of his generation, Besson learned the rules of the contemporary film market with his own films, and applies them to the promotion of projects aimed at the international market. The production and distribution strategies of Besson’s companies reflect the coherence of a

in The films of Luc Besson
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John Phillips

this New Novelist’s initial active engagement with the third art in writing the script for Alain Resnais’s L’Année dernière à Marienbad , asking to what extent this icon of avant-garde European cinema may be considered a ‘Robbe-Grillet’ film, and how it prepared him for the rest of his film-making career. This, therefore, will be the subject of Chapter 1 . 41 References

in Alain Robbe-Grillet
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Steve Chibnall

By 1958 British production houses were becoming increasingly conscious of the importance of continental as well as American markets. Woman in a Dressing Gown and Ice Cold in Alex had both been premiered with striking success at the Berlin Film Festival, and Rank had begun to use German stars to ease its product into European cinemas. The One that Got Away , with Hardy Krueger playing the

in J. Lee Thompson
Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas

Introduction Spanish cinema is known for producing more explicit images (of both sex and violence) than most other contemporary European cinemas. On the wider international circuit, this reputation has been fuelled by legal and media controversies surrounding the US release of films such as Vicente Aranda’s Amantes (1991) as well as Pedro

in Contemporary Spanish cinema
Tom Ryall

This chapter shows Asquith's contribution to the British film industry. In a career lasting from the 1920s to the 1960s, Asquith directed thirty-five feature films and also worked in a variety of capacities on other films: foreign-version direction, screenwriting, and second unit work. He made a number of short films; some were documentary drama films made for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, others were made for charities such as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and St Dunstan's, a centre for the blind. During Asquith's career, the industry went through numerous changes, responding to the challenge of Hollywood, to the example of European cinema and to major events such as the Second World War, constructing a body of films that prompted both despair and enthusiastic endorsement by critics at various times. The twenty or so titles chosen from the thirty-five features that Asquith directed reflect a number of things, not least of which is ease of availability. However, the selection represents a diverse career in which art cinema, middlebrow culture and popular art are reflected, although the films chosen are not intended to indicate any particular ranking in Asquith's career as a whole.

in Anthony Asquith

Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.

Rob Stone

university departments of modern languages where foreign films were largely the subject of contextual analyses. Under the sub-heading ‘Authorship in European Cinema: The Canon and How to Challenge It’ in her chapter in The Oxford Guide to Film Studies, Ginette Vincendeau attests that ‘the rise of cultural studies produced a (critical) devaluation of art cinema and European auteurs, and arguably of 6 Julio Medem European cinema altogether’, (1998: 445) but that recent years have seen a ‘renaissance of film history’ (1998: 445) that has allowed for a changing critical

in Julio Medem