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An examination of Eastern European cinema a generation after the end of the Cold War

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989

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edited by Catherine Portuges and Peter Hames

"Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 brings together a highly qualified group of experts who synthesize a wide range of data and arguments. Portuges and Hames provide a clear, convincing Introduction, and they gather materials that allow both a broader regional approach and a profound comparative view of the politics of culture in the post-Socialist twenty-first century. Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 fills a conspicuous gap in the film studies discipline."
Jerry W. Carlson, Professor of Critical Studies and Film at The City College and Graduate Center, CUNY

The cinemas of Eastern and Central Europe have been moving away from earlier Cold War perspectives and iconographies toward identifications more closely linked to a redefined Europe. Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 studies the shifts in the dynamics between film production, exhibition, and reception in Eastern bloc countries as they moved from state-sponsored systems toward the free market.

The contributors and editors of this exciting volume examine the interrelations between thematic, aesthetic, and infrastructural changes; the globalization of the international cinema marketplace; and the problems and promises arising from the privatization of national cinemas.

Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 also addresses the strategies employed for preserving national cinemas and cultures through an analysis of films from the Czech and Slovak republics, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia. The study provides a picture of Eastern European cinema at a critical juncture as well as its connections to the emergent world of transnational media.

Contributors include Barton Byg, Sanda Foamente, Andrew Horton, Dina Iordanova, Ewa Mazierska, Bohdan Y. Nebesio, Bogdan Stefanescu, and the editors.

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Excerpt

Read the Introduction (pdf).

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Reviews

"A timely and important contribution to cinema studies, European studies, the study of democratic transitions, and post-Communist studies. The quality of the work in Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989, reinforced by the reputation of the editors, enhances this interesting and fresh look at the world, which has undergone enormous transformation since the end of the Cold War."
Aida A. Hozic, Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Florida

"[A]n excellent collection of essays dealing with contemporary films of the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, the former East Germany, Romania, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. Most of the films discussed are relatively unknown in the West, which is what makes the book so important; the book is also an excellent one-stop source for courses on recent eastern European cinema.... [T]his book would be of immeasurable value to anyone working in the areas of eastern European cinema, the globalization of the international cinema marketplace, and the problems and promises arising from the privatization of national cinemas. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
Choice

"This collection provides a much-needed comparative overview of recent developments in national cinemas in Central and Eastern Europe.... [The] volume, which features some of the most notable scholars working on the cinemas of the region, strikes an effective balance between analyzing recent trends within the respective film industries and discussing film-makers and films. It usefully highlights important film-makers who may have otherwise slipped below the radar of the international film scene....[A]n excellent volume. It will prove an indispensable reference for anyone studying the cinemas of the region."
Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction • Peter Hames and Catherine Portuges
1. Bulgarian Cinema: Optimism in Moderation • Dina Iordanova
2. The Czech and Slovak Republics: The Velvet Revolution and After • Peter Hames
3. Is There Still an East German Cinema? • Barton Byg
4. Memory and Reinvention in Post-Socialist Hungarian Cinema • Catherine Portuges
5. Searching for Survival and Meaning: Polish Film after 1989 • Ewa Mazierska
6. Narratives of the Emerging Self: Romania's First Years of Post-totalitarian Cinema • Bogdan Stefanescu and Sanda Foamete
7. The First Five Years with No Plan: Building National Cinema in Ukraine, 1992-1997 • Bohdan Y. Nebesio
8. Cinema Haunts My Memory: Filmmaking in the Former Yugoslavia • Andrew Horton
Contributors
Index

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About the Author(s)

Catherine Portuges is Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Curator of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of Screen Memories: The Hungarian Cinema of Márta Mészáros.

Peter Hames is Visiting Professor in Film Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Technology at Staffordshire University and a program adviser to the London Film Festival. He is the author of Czech and Slovak Cinema: Theme and Tradition and The Czechoslovak New Wave and editor of The Cinema of Central Europe and The Cinema of Jan Švankmajer: Dark Alchemy.

Subject Categories

Cinema Studies
Cultural Studies
History

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