In This Chapter
Defining European cinema nationally and transnationally
Making major advances in European film language
Contrasting popular and art cinema
Many people in the US and the UK see European cinema as being intellectual, arty and difficult, and it can be all these things (the kinds of films that Europe exports often are). But if you take a closer look at the sort of films that people in Paris, Berlin or Madrid watch (and sometimes make), you see that European cinema also contains silly comedies, exhilarating thrillers and glossy star vehicles. Just like Hollywood in fact – though sometimes with exotic settings and sexier dialogue.
In this chapter I spend time on the best-known intellectual and art-cinema movements, including Italian Neorealism and German Expressionism, but I also look at popular genre films and exploitation cinema. You get to meet some familiar and less familiar film stars, and examine the workings of the industry including national film policy and international film festivals.
The most obvious definition of European cinema is ...