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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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Menken, Marie (1910–1970)

Marie Menken was a New York-based experimental filmmaker who produced her main work during the 1950s and 1960s. Born in Brooklyn to an immigrant Lithuanian…

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Kieślowski, Krzysztof (1941–1996)

Krzysztof Kieślowski was a highly influential Polish filmmaker in the tradition of auteur cinema. Kieślowski tackled the tension between the political, spiritual, and ethical, and…

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Vidas Secas (Barren Lives)

One of the most important films of Brazil’s Cinema Nôvo movement, Vidas Secas was directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, and based on the 1938…

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Mikio, Naruse (1905–1969)

Naruse Mikio was a popular and critically renowned Japanese film director who was active from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s. He completed eighty-nine films,…

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Pereira dos Santos, Nelson (1928--)

Nelson Pereira dos Santos (born in 1928 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian actor, screenwriter, film critic and theorist, producer, and director. He can be…

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Von Sternberg, Josef (1894–1969)

Born in Vienna as Jonas Sternberg to impoverished Orthodox Jewish parents, Josef von Sternberg (1894–1969) migrated to New York in his teens; there he changed…

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Sjöström, Victor David (1879–1960)

Victor Sjöström (also known as victor Seastrom) was a Swedish film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is, with Mauritz Stiller, the joint founding father of…

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Maas, Willard (1906–71)

Willard Maas (1906–71) was an American filmmaker and poet. He was known for his experimental style of filmmaking and was considered part of an avant-garde…

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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…

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Modernist Film Criticism

Criticism is one of the fundamental concepts in Modernism and is defined by “the intensification, almost exacerbation, of [a] self-critical tendency” that began with Kant,…

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La Règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game]

La Règle du jeu [The Rules of the Game] is a 1939 humanist film by Jean Renoir satirizing the French aristocracy. Premiered at the brink…

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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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Masumura, Yasuzō (1924–1986)

Masumura Yasuzō was a Japanese film director, scriptwriter, and critic. He started his career at the Daiei Studio, as an assistant, most notably to the…

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Kuleshov, Lev Vladimirovich (1899–1970)

Lev Kuleshov was a Soviet director and theorist who initiated the montage movement of the 1920s. He proclaimed editing to be the primary authorial act…

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Daney, Serge (1944–1992)

Serge Daney was regarded as one of the greatest film critics in French intellectual culture. For Jean-Luc Godard, his untimely demise signalled the end of…

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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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Pasolini, Pier Paolo (1922–1975)

Known in North America mainly as a provocative filmmaker, Pier Paolo Pasolini (March 6, 1922–November 2, 1975) is also celebrated in his native Italy as…

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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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Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Together with Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin: Symphony of a City, Ruttmann, 1927), Chelovek s kinoapparatom (Man with a Movie Camera) is one of…

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Italian Neorealism

Italian Neorealism is a filmmaking movement associated with a select group of Italian filmmakers in the latter years of, and the years immediately following, World…

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Jordan, Lawrence (1934--)

Lawrence (Larry) Jordan has worked as an experimental filmmaker for the last six decades. Raised in Denver, Colorado, he attended high school with filmmaker Stan…

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Sanjinés, Jorge (1936--)

Jorge Sanjinés is a Bolivian director, screenwriter, and author. A committed political filmmaker, Sanjinés’s films and essays attempt to integrate Marxist revolutionary theory and indigenous…

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Münsterberg, Hugo (1863–1916)

Hugo Münsterberg was a German American psychologist whose pioneering work in applied psychology led him to investigate such topics as forensic psychology, industrial efficiency, and…