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The Emergence of Film Culture: Knowledge Production, Institution Building, and the Fate of the Avant-Garde in Europe, 1919–1945

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Volume 16

Film Europa

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The Emergence of Film Culture

Knowledge Production, Institution Building, and the Fate of the Avant-Garde in Europe, 1919–1945

Edited by Malte Hagener

390 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-423-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-354-5 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (February 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-424-3 eBook

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“…the book offers a rich and articulated picture of the organization and building of film culture in interwar Europe, and proves to be very keen in disclosing unexplored corners of well-known national film histories (as the Italian and German ones), but also of little explored scenarios (such as Swedish film culture or the Yugoslavian case).” · Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

“[C]ontributes significantly to...a welcome turn among film historians who increasingly inscribe individual films, directors, and national practices within transnational, regional, and global film cultures...has the potential to become a key reference for critical approaches to film cultures in interwar Europe.”  ·  Steven Ungar, University of Iowa

“This newest anthology is a wonderful contribution to the field...offer[ing] valuable takes on the development of European film culture in the interwar period...[I]t goes beyond the usual suspects (say, France and Germany) to examine the flourishing of a new film culture in many other contexts throughout Europe.  There is an opening up of film historiography here in a way that is quite exciting and quite productive.”  ·  Dana Polan, New York University


Between the two world wars, a distinct and vibrant film culture emerged in Europe. Film festivals and schools were established; film theory and history was written that took cinema seriously as an art form; and critical writing that created the film canon flourished. This scene was decidedly transnational and creative, overcoming traditional boundaries between theory and practice, and between national and linguistic borders. This new European film culture established film as a valid form of social expression, as an art form, and as a political force to be reckoned with. By examining the extraordinarily rich and creative uses of cinema in the interwar period, we can examine the roots of film culture as we know it today.

Malte Hagener is Professor of Media Studies at Philipps Universität Marburg. He is the author of Moving Forward, Looking Back: The European Avant-garde and the Invention of Film Culture, 1919-1939 (Amsterdam UP 2007) and with Thomas Elsaesser of Film Theory: An Introduction through the Senses (Routledge 2010).

Subject: Film Studies
Area: Europe


List of Figures

Introduction: The Emergence of Film Culture
Malte Hagener


Chapter 1. Policing Race. Postcolonial Critique, Censorship and Regulatory Responses to the Cinema in Weimar Film Culture
Tobias Nagl

Chapter 2. The Visible Woman in and against Béla Balázs
Erica Carter

Chapter 3. Encounters in Darkened Rooms: Alternative Programming of the Dutch Filmliga, 1927-1931
Tom Gunning

Chapter 4. When Was Soviet Cinema Born? The Institututionalization of Soviet Film Studies and the Problems of Periodization
Natalya Ryabchikova


Chapter 5. Eastern Avatars. Russian Influence on European Avant-gardes
Ian Christie

Chapter 6. Early Yugoslav ciné-amateurism: Cinéphilia and the institutionalization of film culture in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia during the interwar period
Greg DeCuir, Jr.

Chapter 7. Soviet-Italian Cinematic Exchanges. Transnational Film Education in the 1930s
Masha Salazkina

Chapter 8. The Avant-garde, Education and Marketing: The Making of Non-Theatrical Film Culture in Interwar Switzerland
Yvonne Zimmermann


Chapter 9. Interwar Film Culture in Sweden. Avant-Garde Transactions in the Emergent Welfare State
Lars Gustaf Andersson

Chapter 10. Building the Institution. Luigi Chiarini and Italian Film Culture in the 1930s
Francesco Pitassio and Simone Venturini

Chapter 11. A New Art for a New Society? The Emergence and Development of Film Schools in Europe
Duncan Petrie

Chapter 12. Institutions of Film Culture. Festivals and Archives as Network Nodes
Malte Hagener

Chapter 13. The German Reichsfilmarchiv in an International Context
Rolf Aurich

Notes on Contributors

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