Contemporary Cinema

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Edinburgh University Press, 1998 - Performing Arts - 243 pages
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Contemporary Cinema is a major study of key developments in the cinema over the last thirty years. It reworks Pasolini's landmark concept of 'the cinema of poetry' to look at the transformation of film form in its encounter with society, the sacred, the subjective and the presence of the camera. Poetic cinemas are seen as creating a distincitive match in their own cultures between critical social engagement and the delirium of form. In the 1970s, the influential forms of a cinema of poetry are analysed in key features by Altman, Herzog, Malick, Scorsese, Weir, Von Trotta and Tarkovsky while in the 1980s and 1990s the emergence of new filmmakers has meant a diffusion of different cinemas of poetry using new techniques and new technologies. Of key importance here is the work of Kieslowski, Lynch, Egoyan, Campion, Greenaway, Zhang Yimou, Tran Anh Hung and Wong Kar-Wai, as well as the reinvention of science fiction and film noir in American genre. These multiple cinemas of poetry with their social commitment and stylistic delirium have created a new freshness, vitality and visual impact to outrival the mainstream genre products of the Hollywood studies which currently dominate the world.

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About the author (1998)


John Orr is Formerly Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh

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