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The Europeanization of Cinema

Interzones and Imaginative Communities

Randall Halle

Publication Year: 2014

In this innovative study, German and film studies scholar Randall Halle advances the concept of "interzones"--geographical and ideational spaces of transit, interaction, transformation, and contested diversity--as a mechanism for analyzing European cinema.He focuses especially on films about borders, borderlands, and cultural zones as he traces the development of interzones from the inception of central European cinema to the avant-garde films of today. Throughout, he shows how cinema both reflects and engenders interzones that explore the important questions of Europe's social order: imperialism and nation-building in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; "first contact" between former adversaries (such as East and West Germany) following World War II and the Cold War; and migration, neo-colonialism, and cultural imperialism in the twenty-first century.Ultimately, Halle argues that today's cinema both produces and reflects imaginative communities. He demonstrates how, rather than simply erasing boundaries, the European Union instead fosters a network of cultural interzones that encourage cinematic exploration of the new Europe's processes and limits of connectivity, tolerance, and cooperation.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Major research for this book was conducted while I was a Fulbright Scholar. I benefited greatly from the generosity of that grant and the time it afforded. ...

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Introduction. The Idea of Bridges and the Image of Roads: Culture and Space

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pp. 1-28

Traveling along the Oder-Neisse rivers that form the border between Germany and Poland, one confronts a series of ruins, bridge supports standing on the banks and in the water of the rivers, with the spans that once stretched over them missing. The retreating forces of the Third Reich blew up these bridges to hinder the advance of the Soviet army. ...

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1. The Film Apparatus

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pp. 29-55

The towns of Aurith and Urad lie across from each other on the banks of the Oder/Odra river. They had once been a single town, Aurith, connected by a ferry. The western, lower side had been the site of the farmlands, while the eastern, higher side, had been the primary site of the town itself. ...

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2. Interzone History

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pp. 56-75

The previous chapter focuses on the cinematic apparatus. We considered the debates and the possibilities of revising apparatus theory and we explored how the cinematic apparatus participated in the large social reconfiguration that took place in the post–Cold War era: the East West Central European film apparatus. ...

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3. Contiguous: The German-Polish Interzone

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pp. 76-107

We attend to the interzones that conciliate because we cannot assume that neighbors have contact with each other or that people living side by side will communicate with each other. Interzones are more than and less than points of contact; they are the spaces where that which is sundered, rent, and divided, adjusts, concedes, compounds, and ameliorates; ...

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4. Interzone Dis/continuous: The Borders of Europe

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pp. 108-128

Borders are first ideational before they are spatial geographical. The liberation of the camera, the ability of the moving image to move in space, is crucial here. Cinema, the cinematic apparatus, provides an edifice whereby the imagination of spatial and geopolitical relationships come together. ...

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5. "Outside" Europe

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pp. 129-150

The last chapter considered the EU’s border as mobile; its exterior can never be fixed or made permanent. Where would European culture find its limits? Does European culture end at the Urals? Or does it spread further to fill out the borders of Russia? Has Algeria, once a department of France, remained part of the Francophone world yet lost its relationship to European culture? ...

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6. Interzone Xperimental: Migration and Moving Images

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pp. 151-182

To describe the interzone as communicative space, much as a communicating door unites two rooms, points to an experience of contact. It makes sense to scour our immediate borders for places where people cross and come into contact with those on the other side. Yet the border between states is only a single and limited example of the possibilities of communication. ...

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pp. 183-192

It is a point of consideration, in the current moment when transnationalism as a term is very en vogue, how odd it is that the majority of research on culture that invokes the term transpires nevertheless within rather rigid national parameters. Studies of “transnational” German, Japanese, or Brazilian literatures or cinemas create for themselves a conundrum that cannot be properly studied within their own parameters: ...


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pp. 193-202


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pp. 203-216


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pp. 217-224

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About the Author, Production Notes

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Randall Halle is the Klaus W. Jonas Professor of German and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of German Film after Germany: Toward a Transnational Aesthetic.

E-ISBN-13: 9780252096334
E-ISBN-10: 0252096339
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252038457

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2014