Programme

The Golden Age

Creative Forces Across Borders: Europe Meets Hollywood American classicism is full of awes and wonders – […] Read more

Creative Forces Across Borders: Europe Meets Hollywood

American classicism is full of awes and wonders – the Cahiers du Cinéma critics in the 1950s were firmly convinced of this. Rohmer enthusiastically advocated for Howard Hawks; Godard proclaimed “And the cinema is Nicholas Ray”; Rivette championed Otto Preminger and Fritz Lang, in addition to his four “indisputable front-rankers”. British critic V.F. Perkins followed their footsteps and put forward mise-en-scene as a key element in appreciating American cinema: the use of a coherent film language which enriches meaning and accentuates mood without calling attention to itself. The essence of it is how a filmmaker makes a point without being visibly manipulative, leaving room for the viewer to interpret his worldview.

The triumph of American classicism came from two major forces: the brilliance of European filmmakers who migrated to America and brought in new creative blood; and the excellence of American directors who danced with the form in their own ways to reflect on national identity, gender notions and social conventions. Visual fluidity, strong storytelling and complex characterisations are accompanied by worlds of signs, gestures and the distinctive style of the filmmakers.

In this new series, we will in each edition showcase a film from a European filmmaker who led a remarkable career in Hollywood, paired with an American director’s European production – the challenge of working with foreign materials turned into something fascinating. In this opening double, Billy Wilder and Vincente Minnelli each gave their examination of romanticism and cynicism in the studios – that burning passion associated with cinema is distinctly felt.

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