European Cinema

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's September 2001

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In any examination of European cinema one must first realize that the boundaries of Europe are not as clearly defined as one would think. What constitutes a European? Location! Is location enough for a strong European identity to develop? The answer remains to be seen but certainly thus far it has not. This leads to problems in defining what constitutes a European Cinema. In this multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multiplicity of countries that forms the continent of Europe, there is no single unifying factor other than location. Therefore it is impossible to fathom the idea of a single European identity, as "identities are never simply given, but are always in process then the identity of the "˜new Europe'- as well as identities within Europe- are still in a process of becoming"(Hall pg 70).

With this in mind one can begin to comprehend the impossibility of the notion of a single European Cinema aimed at challenging the existing monopoly of Hollywood.

While it may arouse emotions, have a cathartic effect on its audience and challenge the existing status quo by raising some inconvenient questions, European cinema is too audience specific in its themes to challenge the more universality of the themes in Hollywood narratives.

So is there a strong independent tradition of filmmaking in Europe? Before we can answer this question it is first required that we know what it is that constitutes a European film. Can European cinema fully break from the overwhelming pressures and confines of the Hollywood narrative and become a single unit in an otherwise fragmented entity. Take for example David Puttnam's War of the Buttons (1994). This film was shot entirely in west Cork, with an all-Irish cast, with a script from an English author based on a French novel, with investment from France Britain and Ireland. "So...