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Modernism as a period in the histories of cinema indicates the era of the welfare states (1950-1980) when „artfilm” became an institution. It means it developed not only ways for its presentation („artcinemas” and the film club movement) but ways of production and distribution in large quantities. Hollywood was in an economical crisis meanwhile, so it could export less movies to abroad and european cultural politics supported more their own films, just think about the state-owned film industries of East-Europe. Modernism was a colourful trend, it manifested in a different way in many national cinemas. For example the french new wave become… Read more

Modernism as a period in the histories of cinema indicates the era of the welfare states (1950-1980) when „artfilm” became an institution. It means it developed not only ways for its presentation („artcinemas” and the film club movement) but ways of production and distribution in large quantities. Hollywood was in an economical crisis meanwhile, so it could export less movies to abroad and european cultural politics supported more their own films, just think about the state-owned film industries of East-Europe.
Modernism was a colourful trend, it manifested in a different way in many national cinemas. For example the french new wave become famous for its playfulness, italian post-neorealism for the allienation of its neurotic characters, the chehoslovak new wave for its grotesque kitchen sink realism, polish cinema for its historism and the hungarian new wave for its parabolic stories. But even though its diverse national versions, modernism was an international phenomenon, which had some common characteristics. These were the following:

1. Conscious Authorship or „the Dictatorship of the Director”: which means modernist directors not just leave their personal signatures in their films (what I think every filmdirector does), but:
• While working they are aware of the fact they are making an oeuvre
• They make personal films about their childhood, life etc.
• They set up not as art workers, but as public figures. (As a matter of fact in the sixties artists became something like a new aristocracy, just think about the possibility to realize theirselves, being known by their names and the right to tell their opinions in public issues.)
• Sometimes they try to monopolize the right to interprete their films by declaring „what it means.”

2. Critical Self-reflection: which means these directors transgress the rules of classic cinemas („cinéma de papa” how they called it in French or socialist realism in the east-european countries.) Some examples:

• Breaking the fourth wall: the characters look directly into the camera and „talk out of the film” to the audiences
• The filmmaking apparates become visible: we can see the camera, the crew etc. (just like in cinema verité)
• Elliptic narratives and jump cuts instead of continuity editing
• Freeze frame shots, strong colour filters
• The story takes places in the exact amount of time it takes to watch the movie
• In classic cinemas flash backs, dream sequences and mental pictures are strictly separated from the other „objective” parts of the film. In modern cinema the ontology of pictures become uncertain: maybe the whole story was just imagined by a character.
• Disoriented and alienated „heroes” instead of goal-oriented character behavior

So while in classic cinemas we supposed to forget about the reality, in modernist films 1. we supposed to be aware of the fact we are currently watching a film; 2. this self-reflexivity supposed to allienate us from the film, just like in Brecht’s theatre, and not like in films where this knowledge makes the films look more real (like snuff-films).

3. Political Potential: which means social criticism and outsoken political messages became the goal to which critical self-reflection was only the instrument what made it possible.

I. MODERNISM – (o) means I haven’t seen it yet. -

French
Louis Malle: The Lovers (1958)
Jean Rouch: La pyramide humaine (1959)
Alain Resnais: Hiroshima mon amour (1959)
Robert Bresson: Pickpocket (1959)
Truffaut: The 400 Blows (1959)
JL Godard: All the Boys Are Called Patrick (1959)
JL Godard: Breathless (1959)
Claude Chabrol: Les Cuisins (1959)
JL Godard: Charlotte and Her Jules (1960)
Louis Malle: Zazie in the Metro (1960)
Truffaut: Shoot The Piano Player (1960)
JL Godard: A Story of Water (1961)
Alain Resnais: Last Year in Marienbad (1961)
JL Godard: Une femme est une femme (1961)
JL Godard: Vivre sa vie (1962)
Truffaut: Jules and Jim (1962)
Agnés Varda: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
JL Godard: Le petit soldat (1963)
JL Godard: Band of Outsiders (1964)
JL Godard: Alphaville (1965)
JL Godard: Pierrot le fou (1965)
Alain Robbe-Grillet: Transz-Europ-Express (1966)
William Klein: Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966) (o)
JL Godard: Masculin Féminin (1966)
JL Godard: Made in U.S.A. (1966)
JL Godard: 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1966)
JL Godard: La Chinoise (1967)
JL Godard: Weekend (1967)
Jacques Demy: The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
Robert Bresson: Mouchette (1967)
Truffaut: The Bride Wore Black (1968)
Truffaut: Stolen Kisses (1968)
Allain Robbe-Grillet: Eden and After (1970) (o)
Jean Eustache: The Mother and the Whore (1973) (o)
Marco Ferreri: The Grande Bouffe (1973)
Jacques Rivette: Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974)

Italy
Antonioni: The Girlfriends (1955)
Fellini: Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Luchino Visconti: Rocco and His Brothers (1960)
Fellini: La Dolce Vita (1960)
Antonioni: L’avventura (1960) (o)
Antonioni: L’eclisse (1962)
Pasolini: Mamma Roma (1962)
Fellini: 8 ½ (1963)
Antonioni: Red Desert (1964)
Bernardo Bertolucci: Before the Revolution (1964)
Fellini: Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
Antonioni: Blow-Up (1966)
Pasolini: Teorema (1968)
Fellini: Satyricon (1969)
Antonioni: Zabriskie Point (1970)
Pasolini: The Decameron (1971)
Pasolini: The Canterbury Tales (1972)
Bernardo Bertolucci: Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Nicholas Roeg: Don’t Look Now (1973)
Fellini: Amarcord (1973)
Pasolini: The Arabian Nights (1974)
Fellini: Casanova (1976)

Luis Bunuel
Nazarin (1959)
Viridiana (1961)
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
Belle de jour (1967)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
The Phantom of Liberty (1974)
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

Great Britain
Tony Richardson: Look Back in Anger (1958)
Tony Richardson: A Taste of Honey (1961)
Tony Richardson: The Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Tony Richardson: Tom Jones (1963)
Lindsay Anderson: If… (1968)
Ken Loach: Kes (1969)

Switzerland
Alain Tanner: Charles, Dead or Alive (1969)

Belgium
Chantal Akerman: The Meetings of Anna (1978)

Spain
Carlos Saura: Cría Cuervos (1976)

Sweden
Ingmar Bergman: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
Ingmar Bergman: The Seventh Seal (1957)
Ingmar Bergman: Wild Strawberries (1957)
Ingmar Bergman: Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Ingmar Bergman: The Silence (1963)
Ingmar Bergman: Persona (1966)
Ingmar Bergman: Hour of the Wolf (1968) (o)
Ingmar Bergman: The Rite (1969) (o)
Tage Danielsson: The Adventures of Picasso (1978)

Soviet Union
Mikhail Kalatozov: The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Grigori Chukhrai: Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
Marlen Khutsiyev: I Am Twenty (1964)
Sergei Parajanov: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964) (o)
Leonid Gaidai: Operation Y and Other Shurik’s Adventures (1965)
Elem Klimov: Welcome, or No Trespassing (1965)
Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev (1966)
Andrei Konchalovsky: The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966)
Fyodor Khitruk: Man in the Frame (1966)
Gleb Panfilov: No Path Through Fire (1967)
Aleksandr Askoldov: The Comissar (1967)
Fyodor Khitruk: Film, Film, Film (1968)
Sergei Parajanov: The Color of Pomegranates (1968)
Aleksandr Mitta: Gori, gori, moya zvezda (1969)
Andrei Tarkovsky: Solaris (1972) (o)
Vasili Shuksin: The Red Snowball Tree (1973) (0)
Leonid Gaidai: Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation (1973)
Andrei Tarkovsky: The Mirror (1975)
Nikita Mikhalkov: Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano (1978)
Vladimir Menshov: Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)

Czechoslovakia
Stefan Uher: The Sun in a Net (1962)
Jaromil Jires: The Cry (1963)
Pavel Juracek and Jan Schmith: Joseph Kilian (1963)
Vojtech Jasny: The Cassandra Cat (1963)
Oldrich Lipsky: Lemonade Joe (1964)
Milos Forman: Black Peter (1964)
Ivan Passer: Intimate Lighting (1965)
Milos Forman: Loves of a Blonde (1965)
Jiri Menzel, Jan Nemec, Evald Schorm, Vera Chytilová and Jaromil Jires: Pearls of the Deep (1965)
Vera Chytilová: Daisies (1966)
Jiri Menzel: Closely Watched Trains (1966)
Jan Nemec: The Party and the Guests (1966)
Milos Forman: The Firemen’s Ball (1967)
Oldrich Lipsky: Happy End (1967)
Evald Schorm: The End of a Priest (1968)
Jan Svankmajer: The Garden (1968)
Elo Havetta: Celebration in the Botanical Garden (1969) (o)
Juraj Jakubisko: Birds, Orphants and Fools (1969)
Drahomira Vihanová: Squandered Sunday (1969)
Karel Kachyna: The Ear (1970)
Jaromil Jires: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
Vera Chytilová: We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise (1970)
Elo Havetta: Field Lilies (1972)
Vera Chytilová: The Apple Game (1977)
Jiri Menzel: Cutting It Short (1979)

Hungary
Gaál István: Tisza – Fall Sketches (1963)
Jancsó Miklós: Cantata (1963)
Gaál István: Current (1963)
Szabó István: Age of Illusions (1964)
Gaál István: Green Years (1965)
Huszárik Zoltán: Elégia (1965)
Keleti Márton: The Corporal and The Others (1965)
Szabó István: Father (1966)
Kovács András: Cold Days (1966)
Jancsó Miklós: The Round-Up (1966)
Jancsó Miklós: The Red and The White (1967)
Kósa Ferenc: Ten Thousan Days (1967)
Gaál István: Baptism (1968)
Jancsó Miklós: Sparkling Winds (1969)
Bacsó Péter: The Witness (1969)
Szabó István: LoveFilm (1970)
Jancsó Miklós: The Pacifist (1970)
Gaál István: The Falcons (1970)
Makk Károly: Love (1971)
Huszárik Zoltán: Sinbad (1971)
Gaál István: Dead Landscape (1972)
Kardos Ferenc: Petőfi ’73 (1973)
Szabó István: 25 Fireman’s Street (1973)
Ranódy László and Mészáros Gyula: Nobody’s Daughter (1976)

Poland
Andrzej Wajda: Kanal (1957) (o)
Andrzej Wajda: Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
Jerzy Kawalerowicz: Night Train (1959)
Roman Polanski: Knife in the Water (1962)
Andrzej Wajda: Man of Marble (1977)
Krzysztof Kieslowski: Camera Buff (1979)

Dusan Makavejev
WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)
Sweet Movie (1974)

Cuba
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: Memories of Underdevelopment (1968)

Philippines
Kidlat Tahimik: The Perfumed Nightmare (1977)

Japan
Akira Kurosawa: Rashomon (1950)
Yasujiro Ozu: Tokyo Story (1953)
Hiroshi Teshigahara: Woman in the Dunes (1964)
Akira Kurosawa: Red Bird (1965)
Shuji Terayama: Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets (1971)
Shuji Terayama: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1971)
Shuji Terayama: Pastoral: To Die in the Country (1974)
Nagisha Oshima: In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

II. Between Modernism and Postmodern (Post-Oberhausen west-german cinema)

Volker Schlöndorff: Young Törless (1966)
Peter Fleischmann: Hunting Scenes from Bavaria (1969)
RW Fassbinder: Katzelmacher (1969)
Werner Herzog: Aguirre the Wrath of God (1972)
Hans-Jürgen Syberberg: Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King (1972) (o)
RW Fassbinder: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
Wim Wenders: Alice in the Cities (1974) (o)
Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta: The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum (1975) (o)
Wim Wenders: The American Friend (1977) (o)
Werner Herzog: Stroszek (1977) (o)
Germany in Autumn (1978) (o)
RW Fassbinder: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)
Margarethe von Trotta: Sisters or the Balance of Happiness (1979) (o)
Margarethe von Trotta: Marianne and Juliane (1981)
RW Fassbinder: Lola (1981)
Wim Wenders: The State of Things (1982)
RW Fassbinder: Veronika Voss (1982)
RW Fassbinder: Querelle (1982)

III. Modernism after 1980 – [filmtitle] means a later post-modern film of the same director. -

1. China (Mainland)
Chen Kaige: Yellow Earth (1985)
Zhang Yimou: Red Sorghum (1987) (o)
Tian Zhuangzhuang: Horse Thief (1988) (o)
Zhang Yimou: Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Chen Kaige: Farewell My Concubine (1993)
[Zhang Yimou: Hero (2002)]

China (the first wave of new taiwanese cinema)
Hou Hsiao-hsien: A Summer at Grandpa’s (1984) (o)
Hou Hsiao-hsien: A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1985) (o)
Edward Yang: The Terrorizers (1986) (o)
Hou Hsiao-hsien: A City of Sadness (1989) (o)
Edward Yang: A Brighter Summer Day (1991) (o)
[Edward Yang: Yi Yi (2000)]
[Hou Hsiao-hsien: Millenium Mambo (2001)]

2. Iran
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Cyclist (1987)
Abbas Kiarostami: Where is the Friend’s Home (1987)
Abbas Kiarostami: Close-Up (1990)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: The Actor (1993) (o)
Abbas Kiarostami: Through the Olive Trees (1994)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Salaam Cinema (1995)
Jafar Panahi: The White Balloon (1995)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf: Gabbeh (1996)
Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry (1997)
Jafar Panahi: The Mirror (1997)
Marzieh Makhmalbaf: The Day I Become a Woman (2000)
Abbas Kiarostami: Ten (2002)

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