Comparing historical cinema cultures

Reflections on new cinema history and comparison with a cross-national case study on Antwerp and Rotterdam

Authored by: Daniel Biltereyst , Thunnis van Oort , Philippe Meers

The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138955844
eBook ISBN: 9781315666051
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315666051-11

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Abstract

Unlike other disciplines within the humanities and the social sciences, it is safe to argue that comparative research is only weakly developed within film and cinema studies. Research on film style, ideology, authorship, stardom, genres, and other perspectives within a humanities-oriented film studies often implicitly emphasizes the complexity, unicity, and idiosyncrasy of films and of their particular genres, authors, stars, and meanings. Within this approach, which Robert C. Allen and Douglas Gomery (1985) provocatively labeled the “masterpiece tradition” within film historiography, comparative research modes are obviously not high on the agenda. On the contrary, comparison is regarded as potentially impeding the full appreciation and understanding of films and of the realm of cinema.

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