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Overview

Film Subject Overview

The Film Section includes entries on a variety of modernist genres, periods, movements, directors, films, and critical modes aligned with modernist aims and intellectual attitudes.…

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Expressionism

Expressionism was one of the foremost modernist movements to emerge in Europe in the early years of the twentieth-century. It had a profound effect on…

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Ray, Satyajit (1921–1992)

Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, writer, music director, and illustrator, considered among the greatest auteur-directors of 20th-century cinema, along with the likes of Akira…

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Bazin, André (1918–1958)

André Bazin (born April 18, 1918, Angers, France–died November 11, 1958, Nogent-sur-Marne, France) was an influential French film critic who was active during the development…

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The Birth of a Nation

One of the most watched and debated American films in history, The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 silent film by D. W. Griffith…

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L’Herbier, Marcel (1888–1979)

Marcel L’Herbier was a French pioneer avant-garde (impressionist) filmmaker and theorist who made more than forty films between the 1920s and the 1950s. During World…

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New American Cinema

The New American Cinema was a movement to create independent films that expressed the countercultural moods and sensibilities of the late 1950s and early 1960s;…

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Borderline (1930)

An experimental production of an avant-garde collective of poets and artists known as the POOL group, Borderline is a key example of modernist montage techniques…

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Bresson, Robert (1901–99)

Robert Bresson was a film director and one of the most important representatives of French cinema. His work with its stark, austere style and focus…

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Altman, Robert (1925–2006)

Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925, Kansas City, Missouri–November 20, 2006, Los Angeles) was an American director of television, theatre, and, most famously, films, including…

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Tarkovsky, Andrei (1943–1986)

The cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky stands at the zenith of high-modernist cinema. Amongst the many technical achievements that characterize Tarkovsky’s total art approach to cinema,…

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Penn, Arthur (1922–2010)

Arthur Penn was an American stage director, television producer, and filmmaker. During the 1950s, Penn’s successful run as a director of television dramas led to…

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Brakhage, Stan (1933–2003)

Stan Brakhage (born Robert Sanders) was an American filmmaker and one of the most important figures of experimental cinema, noted for his abstract, lyrical style.…

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Breathless (1960)

Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless captures French New Wave’s rejection of traditional cinematic form, and its style has influenced alternative, political, and documentary filmmakers.

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Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich (1898–1948)

Sergei Eisenstein was an early Soviet film director and theorist who produced widely acknowledged masterpieces of both silent and sound cinema, such as Strike (1924),…

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French New Wave

The French New Wave is a term associated with a group of French filmmakers and the films they directed from the late 1950s until the…

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Mass Observation

Mass Observation was founded in 1937 by filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, poet Charles Madge, and ethnologist and explorer Tom Harrisson. It was originally conceived as a…

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Renoir, Jean (1894–1979)

Jean Renoir was a French director and writer responsible for over 40 films from the silent period to 1970. He was born in Paris as…

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Rice, Ron (1935–1964)

Ron Rice was a central figure in the 1960s American avant-garde cinema. His films are closely affiliated with beat literature given their emphasis on improvisation…

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Rocha, Glauber (1939–1981)

Glauber Rocha de Andrade (Vitória da Conquista, 1939–1981) was a Brazilian film critic, screenwriter, producer, and director. Arguably the most important director of the cinema…

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Ruttmann, Walter (1889–1941)

Born in Frankfurt, Ruttmann studied architecture and design, and started his career as a painter and lithographer before turning to film. His earliest films, Lichtspiel:…

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Saura, Carlos (1932–)

Carlos Saura, screenwriter and film director, has often been praised as representing the summit of the Spanish post-war filmic universe. His film style throughout his…

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Strike (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)

The first feature film of legendary Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, Strike, is an anatomy of the germination of collective action, its surveillance within modern networks…

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Švankmajer, Jan

Jan Švankmajer (1934–) is a Czech surrealist visual artist, primarily known for his film works. He studied puppetry and theatre at university and began his…