Greek Cinema

Dan Georgakas

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online October 2011 | | DOI:
Greek Cinema

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Greek film studies have followed in the wake of the erratic history of Greek cinema. From 1900 through the end of World War II, Greek cinema was, at best, a cottage industry, and at times it all but ceased to exist. The first Greek-language sound films were made in the United States, and during the 1930s, most Greek films had to have final production done in other nations, often Egypt. Film commentary during this period was largely limited to tabloids. At the conclusion of World War II, Greece entered into the fertile studio period in which some two thousand films were made over two decades. Film criticism was again mainly limited to the popular press. Following the fall of the Greek junta in 1974, Greece entered a new period of filmmaking. State funding was established and scholarly works began to appear. Although the rising tide of Greek film studies has remained spotty in many ways, its discourse increasingly parallels that of other nations. Greek film studies are enhanced by the contributions of numerous scholars in the Greek diaspora, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. Although scholarly momentum has been building and is taken seriously by scholars in other disciplines, Greece still has only one university film program, and that program is mainly oriented to production. Among the issues surrounding Greek film scholarship is the question of what specifically constitutes Greek cinema. This concern arises because the boundaries of the Greek state have shifted dramatically over the past hundred years, and because numerous filmmakers of Greek origin work in various nations. Generally speaking, Greek-language films are considered Greek films, while films made by Greeks in the diaspora are not so considered unless there is some continuing connection with Greek-language cinema. Expatriates who make films in Greece, such as Jules Dassin, and individuals who make films in more than one language, such as Nikos Papatakis and Michael Cacoyannis, are seen as special cases and treated accordingly. More so than film scholarship in other nations, scholars of Greek film often seek to relate cinema to the dynamics of Greek culture. Nevertheless, they increasingly blend such considerations with the wider issues in film criticism and the relationship of Greek cinema to international and regional filmmaking.

Article.  6566 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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