European Cinema in Motion: Migrant and Diasporic Film in by Daniela Berghahn, Claudia Sternberg (eds.)

By Daniela Berghahn, Claudia Sternberg (eds.)

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26 However, not all Third World cinemas share the ideological and aesthetic programme of Third Cinema, which was further expressed in essays by the Brazilian director Glauber Rocha, who coined the phrase ‘Aesthetic of Hunger’ (1965) with reference to the ‘sad, ugly films’ of Cinema Nuovo, and Julio Garcia Espinosa, who called ‘For an Imperfect Cinema’ (1969). Third World cinema, as the more encompassing term, denotes the cinematic production of the so-called Third World countries27 in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, and includes many varieties of commercial cinema with no oppositional or counter-hegemonic agenda.

These boundaries and demarcations, however, have increasingly become permeable and contested. The ‘growing lack of congruence between nations and states’ and the crisis of the nation state itself, which is struggling to retain ‘the congruence of polity, culture, and economy which characterised nation states before [1945]’ (Crofts 1998: 386), make the idea of national cinemas highly problematic. To underscore this disjuncture, Stephen Crofts proposes to replace the term ‘national cinema’ by ‘nation state cinema’ (1998: 386), while Arjun Appadurai in more general terms takes issue with Anderson’s ‘imagined communities’ and suggests that today’s imagined communities are supranational rather than national: Benedict Anderson did us a service in identifying the way in which certain forms of mass mediation, notably those involving newspapers, novels, and other print media, played a key role in imagining the nation and facilitating the spread of this form to the colonial world in Asia and elsewhere.

Of American cinema, which from the beginning was immigrant, transnational and American, all at the same time’ (2001: 7). In American cinema, the successive waves of immigration resulted in different strategies of cultural assimilation and resistance on the part of the film-makers. ’ (1999: 99). The majority of European émigré directors who played important roles in the studio system downplayed their Europeanness and ethnic origins. In order to succeed, they promoted core American values, while at the same time engaging in ‘various performative 32 Daniela Berghahn and Claudia Sternberg strategies of camouflage in their films and self-fashioning in their lives’ (Naficy 2001: 8; see also Elsaesser 1999).

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