The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, 1946–1973 (Wisconsin Film Studies)

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9780299247942: The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, 1946–1973 (Wisconsin Film Studies)
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Largely shut out of American theaters since the 1920s, foreign films such as Open City, Bicycle Thief, Rashomon, The Seventh Seal, Breathless, La Dolce Vita and L’Avventura played after World War II in a growing number of art houses around the country and created a small but influential art film market devoted to the acquisition, distribution, and exhibition of foreign-language and English-language films produced abroad.  Nurtured by successive waves of imports from Italy, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Japan, and the Soviet Bloc, the renaissance was kick-started by independent distributors working out of New York; by the 1960s, however, the market had been subsumed by Hollywood.
    From Roberto Rossellini’s Open City in 1946 to Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris in 1973, Tino Balio tracks the critical reception in the press of such filmmakers as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Tony Richardson, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Luis Buñuel, Satyajit Ray, and Milos Forman.  Their releases paled in comparison to Hollywood fare at the box office, but their impact on American film culture was enormous. The reception accorded to art house cinema attacked motion picture censorship, promoted the director as auteur, and celebrated film as an international art.  Championing the cause was the new “cinephile” generation, which was mostly made up of college students under thirty.
    The fashion for foreign films depended in part on their frankness about sex. When Hollywood abolished the Production Code in the late 1960s, American-made films began to treat adult themes with maturity and candor. In this new environment, foreign films lost their cachet and the art film market went into decline.
 

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About the Author:

Tino Balio is professor emeritus of film in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and former director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research. He is author of United Artists, Volume 1, 1919–1950 and Volume 2, 1951–1978 as well as Grand Design: Hollywood as Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939. He is editor of The American Film Industry and Hollywood in the Age of Television.

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*Starred Review* During World War II, American interest in foreign movies virtually disappeared. Then, in 1946, a small Italian film, Open City, was booked into a New York cinema and played for more than a year and a half. It was the beginning of the postwar renaissance of foreign movies, and the launch of the art-film movement. Balio, a noted film historian, explores the various aspects of American interest in foreign films: the appeal of Italian neorealism and the British Ealing comedies; the influence of Japanese cinema (which produced both Akira Kurosawa and Godzilla); the French New Wave, with directors like Truffaut and Godard (and, let’s not forget, the birth of the auteur); the British New Cinema; and, in the 1960s, a new crop of Italian directors (Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti). American audiences were so taken with foreign films, the author notes, that the major Hollywood studios began financing their production, hoping to snag a piece of the profit pie. A relaxing of Hollywood’s Production Code, too, allowed American filmmakers to push the boundaries of violence and subject matter, resulting in such movies as Bonnie and Clyde and Midnight Cowboy. The American studios were now, in essence, making their own versions of foreign films. For movie buffs, this is an indispensable and deeply fascinating book; a follow-up, looking at the post-1973 years, would be most welcome. --David Pitt

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Largely shut out of American theaters since the 1920s, foreign films such as `Open City,` `Bicycle Thief,` `Rashomon,` `The Seventh Seal,` `Breathless,` `La Dolce Vita `and `L Avventura` played after World War II in a growing number of art houses around the country and created a small but influential art film market devoted to the acquisition, distribution, and exhibition of foreign-language and English-language films produced abroad. Nurtured by successive waves of imports from Italy, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Japan, and the Soviet Bloc, the renaissance was kick-started by independent distributors working out of New York; by the 1960s, however, the market had been subsumed by Hollywood. From Roberto Rossellini s` Open City` in 1946 to Bernardo Bertolucci s `Last Tango` in Paris in 1973, Tino Balio tracks the critical reception in the press of such filmmakers as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Tony Richardson, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Luis Bunuel, Satyajit Ray, and Milos Forman. Their releases paled in comparison to Hollywood fare at the box office, but their impact on American film culture was enormous. The reception accorded to art house cinema attacked motion picture censorship, promoted the director as auteur, and celebrated film as an international art. Championing the cause was the new `cinephile` generation, which was mostly made up of college students under thirty. The fashion for foreign films depended in part on their frankness about sex. When Hollywood abolished the Production Code in the late 1960s, American-made films began to treat adult themes with maturity and candor. In this new environment, foreign films lost their cachet and the art film market went into decline. Seller Inventory # AAC9780299247942

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Largely shut out of American theaters since the 1920s, foreign films such as `Open City,` `Bicycle Thief,` `Rashomon,` `The Seventh Seal,` `Breathless,` `La Dolce Vita `and `L Avventura` played after World War II in a growing number of art houses around the country and created a small but influential art film market devoted to the acquisition, distribution, and exhibition of foreign-language and English-language films produced abroad. Nurtured by successive waves of imports from Italy, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Japan, and the Soviet Bloc, the renaissance was kick-started by independent distributors working out of New York; by the 1960s, however, the market had been subsumed by Hollywood. From Roberto Rossellini s` Open City` in 1946 to Bernardo Bertolucci s `Last Tango` in Paris in 1973, Tino Balio tracks the critical reception in the press of such filmmakers as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Tony Richardson, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Luis Bunuel, Satyajit Ray, and Milos Forman. Their releases paled in comparison to Hollywood fare at the box office, but their impact on American film culture was enormous. The reception accorded to art house cinema attacked motion picture censorship, promoted the director as auteur, and celebrated film as an international art. Championing the cause was the new `cinephile` generation, which was mostly made up of college students under thirty. The fashion for foreign films depended in part on their frankness about sex. When Hollywood abolished the Production Code in the late 1960s, American-made films began to treat adult themes with maturity and candor. In this new environment, foreign films lost their cachet and the art film market went into decline. Seller Inventory # AAC9780299247942

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