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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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Modernism in Australia and Oceania

(Previously published as 'The Experience of Aboriginality in the Creation of the Radically New' in Ross, S. (ed.) (2014) Modernist World, Abingdon: Routledge.)1

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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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Miranda, Carmen (1909–1955)

Portuguese-born Brazilian singer, dancer and actress Carmen Miranda defied twentieth-century social and theatrical conventions to become a modern pop icon, an emblem of Hollywood’s Latina…

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Modotti, Tina (1895–1942)

Tina Modotti, an Italian-born photographer who lived much of her life in the United States, was an actress in silent movies in Hollywood, and in…

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UPA (United Productions of America)

Hollywood cartoon studio UPA (United Productions of America) was founded in 1943 by former Disney animators Steven Bosustow, Zachary Schwartz, and David Hilberman. It profoundly…

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Cassavetes, John (1929--1989)

John Nicholas Cassavetes (1929--1989) was born to Greek parents in New York. He originally trained in the theater. His acting in commercial Hollywood films such…

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Hawks, Howard (1896–1977)

Born Howard Winchester Hawks in Goshen, Indiana, to a wealthy industrialist family, he is considered one of the major directors of the classical Hollywood studio…

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West, Nathanael (1903–1940)

Nathanael West was an author and screenwriter whose work spanned the decade of the 1930s. He was born Nathan Weinstein on 17 October 1903 in…

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Samba

Modern samba music and dance began in Rio de Janeiro’s Afro-Brazilian communities in the early 1900s and spread rapidly to international audiences through twentieth-century technologies…

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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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Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), an experimental film by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, is considered an American avant-garde watershed. The husband–wife team played the…

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The Bicycle Thief (1948)

Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief, 1948) is a neorealist film by Vittorio De Sica, considered modern and revolutionary because it radically broke with pre-World…

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Baum, Vicki (1888–1960)

Vicki Baum was born as Hedwig Baum to a Jewish family in Vienna. Trained as a musician in her youth, Baum studied the harp at…

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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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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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Odets, Clifford (1906–1963)

One of the foremost American playwrights of the first half of the twentieth century, Clifford Odets is best known for his social realist plays and…

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Sirk, Douglas (1900–1987)

Douglas Sirk was a German émigré director who was widely celebrated for his melodramas produced for Universal Studios during the 1950s, which inspired generations of…

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Flamenco and Modernism

Though practitioners perceive Andalusia as the form’s spiritual and artistic home, flamenco is taught and performed in cities around the world. Modern flamenco evolved from…

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Itō, Michio (1893–1961)

Itō Michio’s creative endeavors spanned dance, theatre, and film, just as his career spanned the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, however, his life as a…

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Chaplin, Charlie (1889–1977)

Charles Spenser Chaplin was born in London on April 16, 1889, and died on Christmas Day, 1977, at home in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. He had been…

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Ophüls, Max (1902–1957)

Max Ophüls is an important critic and filmmaker of the postwar period, known for his opulent set design, kinetic long-takes, and proto-feminist melodramas, a source…

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Yamanaka, Sadao (1909–1938)

Sadao Yamanaka was a Japanese film director known for bringing a modern, critical touch to period films in the 1930s. Born in Kyoto, he entered…

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Delluc, Louis (1890–1924)

A prolific film reviewer and director of eight films in the early 1920s, Louis Delluc is renowned for being France’s first film critic—a justifiable status…

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Döblin, (Bruno) Alfred (1878-1957)

Alfred Döblin’s contributions to modern literature consist primarily of his montage style, epic narrative structures and critical eye toward contemporary culture. His masterpiece Berlin Alexanderplatz.…