The Romantic Period, 1959–1961

András Bálint Kovács

in Screening Modernism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780226451633
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226451664 | DOI:
The Romantic Period, 1959–1961

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This chapter outlines the development of modernist art cinema between 1959 and around 1975 in Europe. It divides this history into three periods: the “romantic period,” “established modernism,” and “political modernism.” The last period could be divided into two periods: the first, preparing and bearing the influence of the political countercinema movement (1967–1970), and the second, which can be regarded as the period of dissolution of modernism and the transition into postmodernism (1971–ca. 1978). The categories of “new cinema” and “modernism” were not always overlapping. The chapter argues that European modernism started with a few individual, fairly dissimilar, films made between 1958 and 1961 in Italy and France, which became the basic models for other modernist filmmakers. It also examines the transition from socialist realism toward neorealism in Eastern Europe, heroism versus modernism in modern cinema, the works of Jerzy Kawalerowicz, forms of romantic modernism, genre and narration in the early years, sound and image, the background and foreground in films, Hiroshima and Last Year at Marienbad, and the production system of the “new cinema.”

Keywords: romantic period; modern cinema; art cinema; Europe; neorealism; new cinema; modernism; Jerzy Kawalerowicz; Hiroshima; narration

Chapter.  14760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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