Art Cinema As Institution, Screen, 22 ( 1981 )

1597 Words7 Pages
Neale, S. (1981). Art cinema as institution, Screen, 22(1), 11-39.

In Art Cinema as Institution, Steve Neale outlines the role of Art Cinema in the attempts made by various European countries both as a means to challenge ‘American domination of their indigenous markets in film” (p.11), and to further develop a film culture of their own. Neale theorises that a general pattern of the history of Art Cinema within the French, German and Italian film industries, follows an early period in which the cinema appealed to a predominantly proletarian audience. The aforementioned industries all began developing a cinema which sought to address the bourgeoisie. A process of change and diversity was at work, but the shift was less towards a bourgeois audience and away from the proletariat than a shift towards an address of the two together (p.29). He claims that the practice of Art Cinema shifted during the 1920s, emerging as a strategy through which to counter ‘Hollywood’s dominance in line with the first acts of legislation’ (p.29). Neale identifies the 1920s as having brought about the distinct spaces of cinematic activity we are used to today: entertainment, ‘Art Cinema, the avant-garde, agit-prop and political cinema, and so on’ (p.29).

Neale tangentially argues that cinematic tradition of Art Cinema has always been concerned with the ‘inscription of representations of the body’ (p.31) that diverge from those prevailing Hollywood. He links this to how from 1965 onwards, Art
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