Post War Hollywood

1946 – 1.7 billion gross (highest in 50 years)

1958 – below a billion

1962 – 900 million

1968 – 1.3 billion

1974 – 2 billion

1983 – 3 billion

1989 – 5 billion

2000 – 7.7 billion

Wartime Hollywood:

Wartime witnessed Hollywood at its most productive. People needed an escape. Hollywood responded by not only providing escape, but also contributed to the war efforts by lending its leading directors to make documentaries for the government.

Hollywood generated a lot of money for the war effort and built considerable goodwill amongst the masses. Movies kept the American audiences updated with news at the war front. Hollywood sent its best directors; Capra, Wyler, Ford, Huston, Zinnemann to make documentaries for the govt. 16mm prints of the latest releases were sent to the army offshore units free of cost.

Prestige and profits increased for Hollywood during the War years. Additionally, War Tax was imposed on cinema tickets and war bonds were sold in theatre lobbies.

After the war the relationship between film industry and the govt started to deteriorate.

In 1948, the Federal Supreme Court held a ruling whereby film studios were prompted to relinquish their ties with cinemas. The previously acceptable practise of blockbooking was discouraged for the benefit of free market enterprise. ’48 was the same year TV picked up in the United States.

There was also a general shift in American mood. There was a wider distrust of a foreigner. Compounding the problem was the McCarthy witch-hunt, proceedings were already initiated by the House of Un-American Activities Committee in the late 40s, that effectively expelled some of the most promising and talented of talent from Hollywood.

It was a sign of things going bad when MGM declared wage cuts and immense layoffs in 1949. Two assets Hollywood used to be proud off turned into liabilities. Acres of land and sound studios were empty and the contract with respective stars, directors and technicians proved to be costly. This, in aid of financial flops like Cleopetra (1963) effectively heralded the end of the Studio System in Hollywood.

Other things that effected Hollywood dollars were brought about the new found spending power that the potential audiences acquired:

  • More things to buy (supermarket boom),
  • Shift to suburbs,
  • Long distance holidays made possible.
  • Music industry

All of this resulted in diminishing number of ticket sales. Hollywood responded by;

  • 3-D films,
  • New screening formats; Cinerama, Cinemascope, more use of color,
  • Driveway cinemas,
  • Films that were less glamorous and had a lesser escapist value. Socially relevant films and Film Noir was a result of this move.

 

 

 

•Wartime witnessed Hollywood at its most productive. People needed an escape. Hollywood responded by not only providing escape, but also contributed to the war efforts by lending its leading directors to make documentaries for the government.
•Hollywood generated a lot of money for the war effort and built considerable goodwill amongst the masses. Movies kept the American audiences updated with news at the war front. Hollywood sent its best directors; Capra, Wyler, Ford, Huston, Zinnemann to make documentaries for the govt. 16mm prints of the latest releases were sent to the army offshore units free of cost.
•Prestige and profits increased for Hollywood during the War years. Additionally, War Tax was imposed on cinema tickets and war bonds were sold in theatre lobbies.
•After the war the relationship between film industry and the govt started to deteriorate.
•In 1948, the Federal Supreme Court held a ruling whereby film studios were prompted to relinquish their ties with cinemas. The previously acceptable practise of blockbooking was discouraged for the benefit of free market enterprise. ’48 was the same year TV picked up in the United States.
•There was also a general shift in American mood. There was a wider distrust of a foreigner. Compounding the problem was the McCarthy witch-hunt, proceedings were already initiated by the House of Un-American Activities Committee in the late 40s, that effectively expelled some of the most promising and talented of talent from Hollywood.
•It was a sign of things going bad when MGM declared wage cuts and immense layoffs in 1949. Two assets Hollywood used to be proud off turned into liabilities. Acres of land and sound studios were empty and the contract with respective stars, directors and technicians proved to be costly. This, in aid of financial flops like Cleopetra (1963) effectively heralded the end of the Studio System in Hollywood.

    Other things that effected Hollywood dollars were brought about the new found spending power that the potential audiences acquired:

•More things to buy (supermarket boom),
•Shift to suburbs,
•Long distance holidays made possible.
•Music industry
 

All of this resulted in diminishing number of ticket sales. Hollywood responded by;

•3-D films,
•New screening formats; Cinerama, Cinemascope, more use of color,
•Driveway cinemas,
•Films that were less glamorous and had a lesser escapist value. Socially relevant films and Film Noir was a result of this move.

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Cinema around the world I (Fareast and India)

Japanese Cinema

The cinema of Japan has a history that spans more than 100 years. Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world

1950s

The 1950s were the zenith, or Golden Age, of Japanese cinema. Three Japanese films from this decade (Rashomon,Seven Samurai and Tokyo Story) made the Sight & Sound‘s 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time. This era after the American Occupation period also lead to the rise of diversity in movie distribution with the increased output and popularity of the film studios.The first Japanese film in color is Carmen Comes Home directed byKeisuke Kinoshita was also made in this era, the black and white print of which was also available.

Other examples of film from this era inculde

The Gate of HellSeven SamuraiThe Magnificent SevenGojira (Godzilla)The Burmese Harp , Fires On The Plain,Enjo, The Life of Oharu, Sansho the Bailiff , RepastLate Chrysanthemums,The Sound of the Mountain , Floating Clouds and last but not the least two of the (The Human Condition Trilogy films).No Greater Love , and The Road To Eternity.

1960s

This period was the decade with the greatest number of new movies, with 547 movies being produced. Production in the Japanese film industry reached its quantitative peak in the 1960s. It can also be regarded as the peak years of the Japanese New Wave movement, which began in the 50′s and continued through the early 70′s. examples of newwave include Oshima’s Cruel Story of YouthNight and Fog in Japan and Death By Hanging, Shindo’s Onibaba, Hani’s She And He and Imamura’s The Insect Woman.

Other examples of film from this era inculde

Yojimbo, ‘Man with No Name‘ ,An Autumn AfternoonWhen a Woman Ascends the StairsScattered CloudsWoman in the Dunes

1970s

Yoji Yamada introduced the commercially successful Tora-San series, while also directing other films, notably the popular The Yellow Handkerchief.

Toshiya Fujita made the revenge film Lady Snowblood in 1973. It would go on to become a popular cult film in the West.

New wave filmmakers Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura retreated to documentary work, though Imamura made a dramatic return to feature filmmaking with Vengeance Is Mine (1979).

Korean Cinema

Korean cinema encompasses the motion picture industries of North Korea and South Korea. As with all aspects of Korean life during the past century, the film industry has often been at the mercy of political events.The civil war broke in the 1950s, during this era, only five or six films were produced each year from 1950 to 1953. Much worse for Korea’s film legacy, the vast majority of Korea’s film history was lost in this devastating

Golden Age (1955-1973)

With the armistice of 1953, South Korean president Syngman Rhee made an effort to help rejuvenate the local film industry exempting it from taxation. The rebirth that almost occurred after 1945 can be said to have truly began with director Lee Kyu-hwan’s tremendously successful remake of Chunhyang-jon

With Korean cinema for the first time working under something similar to conditions in other countries, both the quality and quantity of film-making had increased rapidly by the end of the 1950s. South Korean films began winning international awards. In dramatic contrast to the beginning of the 1950s, when only 5 movies were made per year, 111 films were produced in South Korea in 1959.

Korean cinema enjoyed a brief period of unprecedented freedom during the 1960-1961 However with the ascension of Park Chung Hee to the presidency in 1962, government control over the film industry increased substantially. Under the Motion Picture Law of 1963, a series of increasingly restrictive measures were placed on the film industry. The number of films produced and imported were limited under a strict quota system. The new regulations dropped the number of domestic film-production companies from 71 to 16 within a year. Government censorship at this time also became very strict, focusing mainly on any hint of pro-communist messages or obscenity.

Despite these repressive governmental policies, however, a consistently large and devoted theater-going audience, and many quality films continued to give South Korea a healthy cinematic culture throughout the 1960s. Also, theGrand Bell Awards were established in 1962. Called Korea’s equivalent to the Academy Awards, they are the country’s longest-running film award.

Hong Kong cinema

The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside thecinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan.

For decades, Hong Kong was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Indian Cinema andHollywood) and the second largest exporter.

The 1940s-1960s

Postwar Hong Kong cinema, like postwar Hong Kong industries in general, was catalyzed by the continuing influx of capital and talents from Mainland Chinathe civil war definitively shifted the center of Chinese-language cinema to Hong Kong.

1970s

Mandarin-dialect film in general and the Shaw Brothers studio in particular began the 1970s in apparent positions of unassailable strength. Cantonese cinema virtually vanished in the face of Mandarin studios and Cantonese television, which became available to the general population in 1967; in 1972 no films in the local dialect were made. The Shaws saw their longtime rival Cathay ceasing film production, leaving themselves the only megastudio. The martial arts subgenre of the kung fu movie exploded into popularity internationally, with the Shaws driving and dominating the wave. But changes were beginning that would greatly alter the industry by the end of the decade.

 

Chinese Cinema

The Communist era, 1950s-1960s

With the Communist takeover in 1949, the government saw motion pictures as an important mass production art form and tool for propaganda. Starting from 1951, pre-1949 Chinese films and Hollywood and Hong Kong productions were banned as the Communist Party of China sought to tighten control over mass media, producing instead movies centering around peasants, soldiers and workers such as Bridge (1949) and The White Haired Girl (1950). One of the production bases in the middle of all the transition was the Changchun Film Studio.

The number of movie-viewers increased sharply, from 47 million in 1949 to 415 million in 1959. In the 17 years between the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the Cultural Revolution, 603 feature films and 8,342 reels of documentaries and newsreels were produced, sponsored mostly as Communist propaganda by the government. Chinese filmmakers were sent to Moscow to study Soviet filmmaking. In 1956, the Beijing Film Academywas opened. The first wide-screen Chinese film was produced in 1960.

The Cultural Revolution and its Aftermath

During the Cultural Revolution, the film industry was severely restricted. Almost all previous films were banned, and only a few new ones were produced

In the years immediately following the Cultural Revolution, the film industry again flourished as a medium of popular entertainment. Domestically produced films played to large audiences, and tickets for foreign film festivals sold quickly. The industry tried to revive crowds by making more innovative and “exploratory” films like their counterparts in the West.

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Easy Riders and Raging Bulls: Movie Brats and New Hollywood (1962 – 1981)

New Hollywood              (Also Known As)

American New Wave

Post Classical Hollywood

Hollywood Renaissance

The Auteur Period

The fifth era in the history of Hollywood although ushered in the late 60s it came on its own in the 70s. It was marked by the rise of a new generation of young, film-school-educated, countercultural filmmakers — directors, actors and writers alike — whom Hollywood felt could speak to the new generation of young people in ways that their older stars could not. By this point in time, Hollywood was desperate to hold onto any remaining scrap of relevance in an era that saw its dominance of American pop culture pulverized by the trifecta of TV, foreign cinema and independent film. Subsequently, they granted these young artists unprecedented freedom to realize their visions in ways that past Hollywood filmmakers could never have imagined. The result was one of the largest creative explosions that the American film industry has ever seen, and which profoundly affected the way in which Hollywood operated into the present day.

The hippie movement, the civil rights movement, free love, the growth of rock and roll, changing gender roles and drug use certainly had an impact. The counter-culture of the time had influenced Hollywood to be freer, to take more risks and to experiment with alternative, young film makers, as old Hollywood professionals and old-style moguls died out and a new generation of film makers arose. Many of the audiences and movie-makers of the late 60s had seen a glimpse of new possibilities, new story-telling techniques and more meaningful ‘artistic’ options, by the influences of various European “New Wave” movements (French and Italian) and the original works of other foreign-language film-makers.

The point that is often given for the beginning of the New Hollywood era is the collapse of the Hays Code in the mid-’60s. Films like Bonnie and ClydeThe GraduateMidnight Cowboy,Cool Hand LukeThe Producers and Easy Rider broke countless taboos, earning immense critical acclaim and box office returns in the process. Realism and immersion were major themes in such movies, a backlash against the spectacle and artificiality that defined the studio system. A symbol of this emphasis on realism was the choice of many filmmakers to shoot on location — not only did advances in technology make this less expensive than shooting on set, it also heightened the feeling that the people on screen were in a real place. In addition, such films were infused with sexuality, violence, rock music, anti heroes, anti-establishment themes and other symbols of the ’60s counterculture. Many New Hollywood filmmakers openly admitted to using marijuana and psychedelic drugs, furthering their popularity in the general climate of the ’60s.

The success of New Hollywood’s early films caused the studios to grant almost complete creative control to these filmmakers. As the Seventies rolled in, such films as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon and Network, Roman Polanski’s neo-Noir Chinatown and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver were released to not only near-universal critical acclaim, but also massive ticket sales, earning their studios boatloads of cash in the process. For a time, it appeared that Hollywood was finally out of its post-war slump.

While the New Hollywood era lasted less than a decade and a half, it had a profound impact on how Hollywood operated. To put it in as few words as possible, New Hollywood was the era in which, at least in America, cinema finally secured its status as true art after decades of fighting for acceptance alongside literature, theater and music. The old studio system, in which the producers had the ultimate say in everything that happened on set and backstage, was gone for good. Even after the studios pushed back against the excesses of bloated-headed ”visionaries” and Executive Meddling returned to prominence, the idea that Hollywood writers and directors have the right to control their work and make movies for the art was something that stayed in the American film industry, as evidenced by such Blockbuster Age filmmakers as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Christopher Nolan. The output of the era, like that of the golden age, is often put through the nostalgia filter, with some saying that it was the last truly classic decade for American cinema.

Salient Features:

  • Offbeat antihero protagonist
  • Sterile society
  • Explicit treatment of sexual conflicts and psychological problems
  • Mixing of the comic and serious
  • Self-conscious use of cinematic effects
  • Self-reflexive and post-modern bent
  • Lesser use of background score
  • Natural lighting
  • Shooting on location

 

Reasons why new cinema evolved:

Old patrons stayed home for TV. A new market was identified that wanted adult and mature themes that TV didn’t offer.

World cinema and underground films converted the American producer

American film producers learned to diversify. Not every film is for everyone:

Family musicals

Social issues films

Period films

Midnight films

Exploitation films

Complex retread of genre films

Notable directors:

  • Robert Altman
  • Sidney Lumet
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Hal Ashby
  • Francis Ford Coppola

 

Notable films:

  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • The Graduate (1967)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  • M*A*S*H (1970)
  • The Godfather (1972)
  • Mean Streets (1973)
  • Harold & Maude (1973)
  • The Godfather II (1974)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • Network (1976)
  • Annie Hall (1977)
  • The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Raging Bull (1980)

 

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Italian NeoRealism

•Italian Neo-Realism (Italian: Neorealismo) is a style of film characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed on location and frequently using nonprofessional actors. Italian neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economical and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: poverty and desperation. Notable directors of this movement include Vittorio De Sica,Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti , Cesare Zavattini.
•With the fall of Mussolini’s Fascist regime in 1943 and the end of World War II, international audiences were suddenly introduced to Italian films through a few note-worthy works by Roberto Rossellini (1906–1977), Vittorio De Sica (1902–1974), and Luchino Visconti (1906–1976). Italian directors, newly freed from Fascist censorship, were able to merge a desire for cinematic realism (a tendency already present during the Fascist period) with social, political, and economic themes that would never have been tolerated by the regime. Neorealist films often took a highly critical view of Italian society and focused attention upon glaring social problems, such as the effects of the Resistance and the war, postwar poverty, and chronic unemployment.
•The neorealist style was developed by a circle of film critics that revolved around the magazine Cinema, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti, Gianni Puccini, Cesare Zavattini, Giuseppe De Santis and Pietro Ingrao. Largely prevented from writing about politics (the editor-in-chief of the magazine was none other than Vittorio Mussolini, son of Benito Mussolini), the critics attacked the telefono bianco (White Telephone) films that dominated the industry at the time.
• These films tended to be socially conservative, promoting family values, respect for authority, a rigid class hierarchy, and country life. The Neorealist filmmakers saw their gritty films as a reaction to the idealized Telefono Bianco style. They compared and contrasted the high-almighty gimmicks of set and studio production, with the devastated beauty of everyday, rigorous human life and suffering, and chose to work on location and with non-professional actors instead.
 
Characteristics

     There are a number of traits that make Neo-Realism distinct.

•Neorealist films are generally filmed with nonprofessional actors (though, in a number of cases, well known actors were cast in leading roles, playing strongly against their normal character types in front of a background populated by local people rather than extras brought in for the film).
• They are shot almost exclusively on location, mostly in poor neighborhoods and in the countryside.
• The subject matter involves life among the impoverished and the working class. Realism is always emphasized, and performances are mostly constructed from scenes of people performing fairly mundane and quotidian activities, completely devoid of the self-consciousness that amateur acting usually entails. 
•Neo-Realism preferred location shooting rather than studio work, as well as the grainy kind of photography associated with documentary newsreels. While it is true that, for a while, the film studios were unavailable after the war, neorealist directors shunned them primarily because they wanted to show what was going on in the streets and piazzas of Italy immediately after the war. Contrary to the belief that explains on-location shooting by its supposed lower cost, such filming often cost much more than work in the more easily controlled studios; in the streets, it was never possible to predict lighting, weather, and the unforeseen occurrence of money-wasting disturbances.
•Perhaps the most original characteristic of the new Italian realism in film was the brilliant use of nonprofessional actors by Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti, though many of the films accepted as neorealist depended upon excellent performances by seasoned professional actors.
•The period between 1945 and 1950 in the history of Italian cinema is dominated by the impact of Neo-Realism, which is properly defined as a moment or a trend in Italian film, rather than an actual school or group of theoretically motivated and like-minded directors and scriptwriters. Its impact nevertheless has been enormous, not only on Italian film but also on French New Wave cinema as well as the New Iranian cinema and ultimately on films all over the world, namely Satyajit Ray’s Pathar Panchali to Rahim Bahrini’s Man Push Cart.
 
Summary 
 
•Characteristics of Italian NeoRealism?
Has a sharp contrast with montage, shows people and things as they commonly are, non-trained actors, shooting on location. More about ‘why’ a film should be made rather than ‘how’.
•What challenges were faced by Italian-Neorealist filmmakers?
scarcity of film, weak infrastructure for film production, general existential struggles in an atmosphere of destruction and war.
•What was Italian NeoRealism about?
NeoRealism, what kinds of films would reflect the world they knew at the time, explored why a film should be made, made films to depict truth of situations/people.
•Why did white telephone films and romantic comedies give way to Italian-Neo Realism?
Italy, after WWII, had a 22% unemployment rate, Significant portion of the population had no work, no money, and were barely surviving, Zavattini – said ‘ we can’t make romantic comedies and white telephone films anymore, we have to make films that deal with the reality of Italy post-WWII, a 22% unemployment rate, and a destroyed Rome.’
•What changes did Italian Neo-Realists make with conventional italian filmmaking?
No professional actors, they thought it was offensive to ask someone to pretend to be somewhere else shoot on location, real locations, get rid of elaborate scripts, loose idea for a story, and allowed people to play themselves in that situation.
•How did Italian neo-realism relate to documentary filmmaking?
Italian Neo Realism is a lot like documentary, and was made possible by the same technology (lightweight cameras) that were used to document WWII.

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Italian Neo Realism

•Italian Neo-Realism (Italian: Neorealismo) is a style of film characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed on location and frequently using nonprofessional actors. Italian neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economical and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: poverty and desperation. Notable directors of this movement include Vittorio De Sica,Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti , Cesare Zavattini.
•With the fall of Mussolini’s Fascist regime in 1943 and the end of World War II, international audiences were suddenly introduced to Italian films through a few note-worthy works by Roberto Rossellini (1906–1977), Vittorio De Sica (1902–1974), and Luchino Visconti (1906–1976). Italian directors, newly freed from Fascist censorship, were able to merge a desire for cinematic realism (a tendency already present during the Fascist period) with social, political, and economic themes that would never have been tolerated by the regime. Neorealist films often took a highly critical view of Italian society and focused attention upon glaring social problems, such as the effects of the Resistance and the war, postwar poverty, and chronic unemployment.
•The neorealist style was developed by a circle of film critics that revolved around the magazine Cinema, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti, Gianni Puccini, Cesare Zavattini, Giuseppe De Santis and Pietro Ingrao. Largely prevented from writing about politics (the editor-in-chief of the magazine was none other than Vittorio Mussolini, son of Benito Mussolini), the critics attacked the telefono bianco (White Telephone) films that dominated the industry at the time.
• These films tended to be socially conservative, promoting family values, respect for authority, a rigid class hierarchy, and country life. The Neorealist filmmakers saw their gritty films as a reaction to the idealized Telefono Bianco style. They compared and contrasted the high-almighty gimmicks of set and studio production, with the devastated beauty of everyday, rigorous human life and suffering, and chose to work on location and with non-professional actors instead.
 
Characteristics

There are a number of traits that make Neo-Realism distinct.

•Neorealist films are generally filmed with nonprofessional actors (though, in a number of cases, well known actors were cast in leading roles, playing strongly against their normal character types in front of a background populated by local people rather than extras brought in for the film).
• They are shot almost exclusively on location, mostly in poor neighborhoods and in the countryside.
• The subject matter involves life among the impoverished and the working class. Realism is always emphasized, and performances are mostly constructed from scenes of people performing fairly mundane and quotidian activities, completely devoid of the self-consciousness that amateur acting usually entails. 
•Neo-Realism preferred location shooting rather than studio work, as well as the grainy kind of photography associated with documentary newsreels. While it is true that, for a while, the film studios were unavailable after the war, neorealist directors shunned them primarily because they wanted to show what was going on in the streets and piazzas of Italy immediately after the war. Contrary to the belief that explains on-location shooting by its supposed lower cost, such filming often cost much more than work in the more easily controlled studios; in the streets, it was never possible to predict lighting, weather, and the unforeseen occurrence of money-wasting disturbances.
•Perhaps the most original characteristic of the new Italian realism in film was the brilliant use of nonprofessional actors by Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti, though many of the films accepted as neorealist depended upon excellent performances by seasoned professional actors.
•The period between 1945 and 1950 in the history of Italian cinema is dominated by the impact of Neo-Realism, which is properly defined as a moment or a trend in Italian film, rather than an actual school or group of theoretically motivated and like-minded directors and scriptwriters. Its impact nevertheless has been enormous, not only on Italian film but also on French New Wave cinema as well as the New Iranian cinema and ultimately on films all over the world, namely Satyajit Ray’s Pathar Panchali to Rahim Bahrini’s Man Push Cart.
 
Summary of Italian NeoRealism
•Characteristics of Italian NeoRealism?
Has a sharp contrast with montage, shows people and things as they commonly are, non-trained actors, shooting on location. More about ‘why’ a film should be made rather than ‘how’.
•What challenges were faced by Italian-Neorealist filmmakers?
scarcity of film, weak infrastructure for film production, general existential struggles in an atmosphere of destruction and war.
•What was Italian NeoRealism about?
NeoRealism, what kinds of films would reflect the world they knew at the time, explored why a film should be made, made films to depict truth of situations/people.
•Why did white telephone films and romantic comedies give way to Italian-Neo Realism?
Italy, after WWII, had a 22% unemployment rate, Significant portion of the population had no work, no money, and were barely surviving, Zavattini – said ‘ we can’t make romantic comedies and white telephone films anymore, we have to make films that deal with the reality of Italy post-WWII, a 22% unemployment rate, and a destroyed rome.’
•What changes did Italian Neo-Realists make with conventional italian filmmaking?
No professional actors, they thought it was offensive to ask someone to pretend to be somewhere else shoot on location, real locations, get rid of elaborate scripts, loose idea for a story, and allowed people to play themselves in that situation.
•How did Italian neo-realism relate to documentary filmmaking?
Italian Neo Realism is a lot like documentary, and was made possible by the same technology (lightweight cameras) that were used to document WWII.

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Why I won’t vote for PTI

by Zia Ahmad

 

This will undoubtedly invite a lot of resentment from wide eyed insafistas and runs a high risk of making me supremely unpopular, but ask yourselves. In the heart of your hearts, do you think PTI will manage to bag a couple of additional sympathy votes this Saturday in the wake of the Imran Khan falling down off an overcrowded rickety lifter. At 60, an injury like this can cause valid concern for his well being amongst his devotees and the rest of the people as well. Of Course.

Yes that was mean and cynical. Lap it up.

The good doctors say he’s fine. We believe them.

Head injury notwithstanding, Imran Khan is poised to fall severely short (pun intended) of actualizing the promises he’s been making for some time now. He was the Great Khan Hope til a few years ago. But kowtowing to right wing parties (banned and otherwise) and displaying a poor grasp over real world geopolitics plus a propensity of making nigh naïve proclamations now and then “My government will end corruption in 90 days”, “I will order air force to shoot down drones”….doesn’t it remind you of when you were nine.

Stating the obvious, running a country is a whole different ball game than playing cricket, winning a world cup along the way ( yes we still thank you for that 21 years onwards) and running a philanthropic endeavor (again, a lot of people are in your debt Mr Khan).

Yet

Rhetoric and jingoism has won Imran Khan a significant support in select urban centers and the youth in particular. The same rhetoric has also won him various aliases, Tsunami Khan and Taliban Khan being the most cherished. Promise of change and Naya Pakistan are rather later inventions. And that’s what lights the Insafista’s fire.

It is demonstrated through the casual and whiny “Yaar, us ko bhee chance dau” to the apocalyptic, “Pakistan needs CHANGE!!”.

PTI’s remarkable campaign momentum stands on sheer verve, hope, ideals and our twin home grown cottage delicacy known as ghairat and jazba.

All very good.

For what it is worth, more and more of us from all walks of the populace are engaged politically, compared to the 90s.

Though it is the interesting, unique shapes and colors this display of emotion which are unsettling for a political party that claims to be the representative of a new Pakistan.

“Other parties (PML-N, we are looking at you) have money, we have the fire”

Not a slogan that inspires me to look forward to a prosperous Pakistan.

The unhealthy fixation with forces of destruction continues with the annoying buzz of Tsunami this, Tsunami that.

Very mature Mr Khan.

Two historical precedents, that needs to be brought up here. Some 80 years ago, a certain individual rose up from obscurity, pained by the misfortune and humiliation of his once great nation, riled millions of his countrymen with the assurance of restored honor and a bevy of other impossible promises. He won the election by a landslide. His name…Adolf Hitler. Most of today’s youth will be aware of him. And some might even be surprised that Hitler didn’t come to power via a coup or some other dastardly scheme. He was elected to the premiership. The rest, as they say, is history.

Speaking of youth, the second precedent comes from round the neighborhood. In the late 60s, Chairman Mao extended his faith in the country’s youth. You can imagine there were many. He empowered them. He called a cultural revolution. Very 60ish and rad. The consequence: A national nightmare that took China more than 20 years to recover from.

I’m afraid Imran Khan is taking the youth and rest of the fans for a ride. Promising them what they want to hear, apparently putting his faith in him. Compared to Nawaz Sharif, Zardari, Altaf and all, he still looks cool at this age. Appearances are what really matter in politics…right?

Thing is Imran Khan and PTI for that matter is relying on the youth and the quasi-liberals to carry on much of its campaign when the heart of the matter is he has an undying teenage boy infatuation with the Taliban and has already made coalition deals with Jamaat e Islami. It would be interesting to know how the urbane PTI supporter responds to this, other than throwing dirt at the existent, traditional politicians. We know they are dirty, what else is new?

He enjoys the avid support of gung ho generals of yesterday and their firebrand pious enthusiasts.

You do know PTI has them on the pay roll and as benefactors.

 The reductionist mindset of Mr Khan has been highlighted in the past as well. Refer to Dr Hoodbhoey’s observations. Or the time when Mr Khan refused to consider the idea of repealing the second amendment of the forty year old constitution. The very one which  declares Ahmediya community as non-muslims.

As a blogger said elsewhere, “Today, a political candidate is denying a group a basic right to identify based on a fundamentally wrong constitutional law. Tomorrow, someone will go a step further and deny some other group another basic right. Such inherent and open discriminations end up in a vicious cycle.

Just ask the Germans”

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The Enraged Puplit

By D. Asghar

Oh no I am not going to the usual lament and shame exercise on the recent incident, which brought more black marks on our collective fabric. Yes the incident, where allegedly a personal row, quickly transformed into charges of blasphemy and an angry mob went into a rampage burning the houses of their fellow citizens in Badami Bagh area of the fort city of Lahore. The crime of the victims that they were Christians and it is extremely easy in the “land of pure” to get a Non- Muslim in a rather quick trouble by leveling this charge against them. From there on, what transpired is common knowledge. The promises, the compensation, the inquiries and very respectfully, the suo moto, all in vain. Because, this ugly episode will recur again and again, and we will continue the cycle of this so called denial, damage control and obfuscation, over and over again.

What I am going to focus a bit, is why are people so enraged. If you recall, the impetus behind demanding a separate land was the presumed persecution that Muslims, were going to face at the hands of the Hindu majority of the undivided India. Now what do you say to the people on the other side, when we cannot even tolerate any Non-Muslims on our own soil. Forget about the Non-Muslims, the God forsaken Muslims can’t even get along with one another. The circus of rage plays itself out so often that one just wonders, where did it actually begin. It perhaps began at the pulpits, where the enraged clergy decided to awaken the rather “not so faithful” with their fiery sermons.

I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to this part of the world and did not see a clergy on fire, screaming off the top of his lungs at the microphone on a Friday afternoon. Instead, I found a well-dressed man (mostly in a Western suit), on a pulpit in an Islamic Center, going over the essentials of our faith or highlighting a trait of the Holy Messenger (PBUH). There were no loud speakers mounted  around  and outside the building and no neighbors complaining about the unbearable yelling and screaming of a strange person.  The people who stood in front of us were professionals of their field and did the Friday sermons, out of sheer reverence and or love of their faith. These were not paid and salaried Imams, but people of faith driven by their faith on a purely voluntary basis.

The people here listen to the sermons and try to apply the teachings in their real lives to the best of their abilities. The idea of a plural homogenous society, where all citizens regardless of their faith make a meaningful contribution, in itself is very uplifting. None of us infringe upon each other’s religious freedoms and nor do we compete for each other’s congregations.  No bells ring endlessly from churches or temples nor are their loud speakers mounted at every Islamic Center to transmit the calls for prayers. Yet the people actively participate in their respective faiths. To say that it has taken a few years’ worth of efforts to get here would be more than just appropriate. Overall, people are comfortable and know that their progress and prosperity depends on their collective societal efforts. Their faith and their beliefs are a tool for their personal spiritual strength.

I am not making an argument, that back home our malaise rests solely on the basis of our enraged pulpits. But I can reasonably argue that it all begins there.  The people get a sense of direction from that particular area. Very often those pulpits make sweeping comments about other faiths or geo political issues. The enraged masses that are charged by such fiery sermons start to reflect in a negative sense and may I add that from there on become the victims of never ending spiral of failure.

Blaming others for our own short comings has been the favorite past time of the folks back home. Again, no one is arguing that Pakistan is free of foreign influence, but to argue that governmental organizations don’t function, or utilities and proper sanitation are not available because so called Backwater and other clandestine organizations are conspiring is downright ludicrous.

It is time that we as a nation, realize that those days of rage are over and if we continue on the path of rage and destruction, we are digging our own graves, so to speak.  Pakistan is a collective and cohesive nation formed by many people of many faiths, who are equal citizens protected by equal rights and freedoms. The pulpit s has to go through self-correction and lead this nation towards a positive path. No doubts that we have gone astray and no doubt that we still have time to fix ourselves.

 

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