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Posted by kaori 04/01/2009 @ 04:12

Tags : cinema, entertainment

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Cinema of Mexico

A scene from El Aniversario del Fallecimiento de la Suegra de Enhart (1912).

The history of Mexican cinema goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when several enthusiasts of the new medium documented historical events – most particularly the Mexican Revolution – and produced some movies that have only recently been rediscovered.

The "silent film" industry in Mexico produced several movies; however, many of the films up to the 1920s have been lost and were not well-documented. The first "moving picture," according to sources by film historian Jim Mora, was viewed in 1895 using Thomas Edison's kinetoscope. A year later, the cinematographe projector was introduced by Auguste Lumière. Mexico's first queues appeared in cinemas in the capital to see international one-minute films such as The Card Players, Arrival of a Train, and The Magic Hat.

The origins of early filmmaking is generally associated with Salvador Toscano Barragán. Toscano compiled the country's first fictional film, titled Don Juan Tenorio. During the Mexican Revolution, Toscano recorded several clips of the battles, which would become a full-length documentary in 1950, assembled by his daughter. Other short films were either created or influenced from French film-makers.

By 1906, 16 movie salons opened their doors to accommodate the popularity of cinema in Mexico City. Carpas, or tent shows, were popular beginning in 1911 where lower-class citizens would perform picaresque humor and theatrical plays, a place for training for aspiring actors. Politically affiliated films appearing in 1908, often deemed propagandistic by today's terms. Significant battles were filmed and broadcast during the Revolution which fueled Mexicans' excitement in cinema.

The popularity that cinema had experienced in the early 1900s continued to grow and by 1911 fourteen movie houses were erected from the year prior. It was during this period that the documentary techniques were mastered as is evident in the Alva brother’s production entitled Revolución orozquista (1912). The film was shot in the camps of the rebel and federal forces during the battle between General Huerta and the leader Pascual Orozco.

However, despite the relative advancement of cinema during this period, the moralistic and paternalist ideology of Madero led to his campaign to save the lower classes from immorality through censorship. Hence, in late September and early October 1911, city council members appointed additional movie house inspectors, whose wages would be paid by the exhibitioners. Furthermore, the head of the Entertainment Commission, proposed the implementation of censorship; however, Victoriano Huerta’s coup d’état in February 1913, prevented the move to legislate censorship.

Although Huerta’s reign was brief, the cinema experienced significant changes within this period such as the further establishment of censorship and a shift away from documentary films to entertainment films. The Alva brothers’ production of Aniversario del fallecimineto de la suegra de Enhart is indicative of the change in the aim of Mexican cinematographers.

In regards to censorship, the Huerta government imposed a moral and political decree of censorship in approximately June 1913. This decree was imposed a few days after convencionista soldiers shot at the screen during a viewing of El aguila y la serpiente. The decree stated that films that showed the following were prohibited: “views representing crimes, if they do not include punishment of the guilty parties, views which directly or indirectly insult an authority or person, morality or good manners, provoke a crime or offence, or in any way disturb the public order (Mora 70).” As a result of the limitations placed on film content as well as the radicalization of the parties involved in the armed conflicts, cameramen and producers began to display their opinion through the films they produced. For instance, favoritism towards the Zapatistas was illustrated in the film Sangre Hermana (Sister Blood, 1914). Due to the sensational content of this film, it is evident that the producers had no interest in displaying the events in such a way that the audience could come to their own conclusions.

The cinematic productions of this period were reflective of the Italians style film d’art, which were fiction-based melodramas. The film La Luz (The Light, Ezequiel Carrasco, 1917) was the first film that attempted to adopt this style, even though it was viewed as a plagiarism of Piero Fosco’s Il Fuoco. Paranaguá attributes the influence that the Italian had on the Mexican cinema with the similarities between the situations of both countries. Both countries were in a state of chaos and disorder- there was a war in Italy and a revolution in Mexico (Paranaguá 70). Once again censorship was re-established on October 1st 1919. Films, which illustrated acts of immortality or induced sympathy for the criminal, were prohibited.

Government budget had to be trimmed as a result of the rebellion and cinematographic departments of the Ministry of Education and Agriculture were cut. By 1924, narrative films were at an all time low since 1917.

During the 1920s very few movies were produced, given the political climate that was still very unsettled and the resurgence of the American film industry.

In the 1930s, once peace and a degree of political stability were achieved, cinematography took off in Mexico and several movies still experimenting with the nascent medium were done. Hollywood's attempt at creating Spanish language films for Latin America failed mainly due to the combination of Hispanic actors from different ethnicities exhibiting various accents unfamiliar to the Mexican people. It is important to notice how early Mexican cinematographers were influenced and encouraged by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein's visit to the country in 1930.

During the 1940s the full potential of the industry developed. Actors, actresses, and directors became popular icons and even figures with political influence on diverse spheres of Mexican life. The industry received a boost as a consequence of Hollywood redirecting its efforts towards propagandistic films and European countries focusing on the war, which left an open field for other industries. Mexico dominated the film market in Latin America for most of the 1940s without competition from the United States film industry.

The Golden Age of Mexican cinema took place during the 1940s and beyond. The most prominent during this period was Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas. The film Ahí está el detalle (There is the Detail) in 1940 made Cantinflas a household name and became known as the "Mexican Charlie Chaplin" to Americans. His films were ubiquitous in Spain and Latin America and influenced many contemporary actors. Not until the appearance of "Tin-Tan" in the late 1940s did his popularity wane. Mexican actresses also were a focus in Mexican cinema. Sara García was the "grandmother of Mexico". Her career began with silent films in 1910, moved to theatre, and ultimately the film that made her famous, No basta ser madre (It's Not Enough to be a Mother) in 1937. Dolores del Río, another dramatic actress, became well-known for her roles in a couple films directed by Emilio Fernández.

In 1943, the Mexican industry produced seventy films, the most for a Spanish speaking country. Two notable films released in 1943 by director Emilio Fernández were Flor silvestre (1942 Film) and Maria Candelaria, both films starring Dolores del Río. The movies were triumphs for the director and for internationally acclaimed cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa especially with María Candeleria winning the top prize at the Cannes Festival.

In 1948 there was another "first" for Mexican cinema: The trilogy of Nosotros los pobres, Ustedes los ricos and Pepe el Toro, starring mexican icons Pedro Infante and Evita Muñoz "Chachita" and directed by Ismael Rodríguez.

The only other comedian with the same level of popularity as Cantinflas was German Valdez "Tin-Tan". Tin-Tan played a pachuco character appearing with a zoot suit in his films. Unlike Cantinflas, Tin-Tan never played as a pelado, but as a Mexican-American. He employed pachuco slang in many of his movies and made famous spanglish, a dialect that many Mexican residents disdained.

Other relevant films during these years include Espaldas mojadas (Wetbacks) by Alejandro Galindo, Aventura (Adventure) a melodrama, and Los olvidados (The Young and the Damned) (1950), a story about impoverished children in Mexico City. The themes during those years, although mostly conventional comedies or dramas, touched all aspects of Mexican society, from the 19th century dictator Porfirio Díaz and his court, to love stories always tainted by drama.

During the 1960s and 1970s many cult horror and action movies were produced with professional wrestler El Santo and Hugo Stiglitz being the biggest stars. In the 1970s a large group of films that were called “Sexicomedias” were produced; Sasha Montenegro would become the queen of these types of films. The most important of these films were Bellas de Noche 1 and 2 from 1975 and 1977 as well as Muñecas de medianoche from 1979, while in the 1980s these films were also made, and they included the films of La pulqueria and Entre las ficheras anda el Diablo.

The period spanning the 1990s to the present has been considered as the Era of the Nuevo Cine Mexicano (New Mexican Cinema). It first took place with high quality films by Arturo Ripstein, Alfonso Arau, Alfonso Cuarón and María Novaro. The most famous films produced at this time were Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) (1992), Cronos (1993), Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (Sex, Shame, and Tears) (1999) and Santitos ("Little Saints") (1999). The latest are Amores perros by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Y tu mamá también by Alfonso Cuarón.

She was a star of Hollywood films during the silent era and in the Golden Age of Hollywood. She became an the most important actress in Mexican films during the "Epoca de Oro". In Hollywood, starring sucess films like Resurrection (1927), Ramona (1928), Evangeline (1929), the King Vidor's Bird of Paradise (1932), Journey into Fear directed by Orson Welles in 1942, Flaming Star (1960) with Elvis Presley and in the John Ford movies The Fugitive in 1947 and Cheyenne Autumn in 1964.

Most recently, several Mexican movies starring Gael García Bernal have enjoyed great popularity, including Amores perros (2000), Y tu mamá también (2001), the polemical El crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro) (2002), and the Latin American film, The Motorcycle Diaries (2004). He has worked more in Europe than he has in Hollywood. He has starred in La Mala Educación (Bad Education) (2004), directed by Pedro Almodóvar, The King (2005), The Science of Sleep (2006) and Babel (2006). He is post-producing his first feature as a director, Déficit.

Salma Hayek started her career in Mexican telenovelas. Her first film, El callejón de los milagros (Miracle Alley, 1994) put her on the spotlight and, next year she was starring in Desperado along Antonio Banderas. She has worked several times with Robert Rodriguez, including From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). She has worked in more than 30 films, including 54 (1998), El Coronel No Tiene Quien le Escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel, 1999), Wild Wild West (1999), Traffic (2000), Frida (2002), for which she earned an Academy Award nomination, Ask the Dust (2006) and Bandidas (2006). In 2003 she directed The Maldonado Miracle, a Showtime movie.

Film director Alfonso Cuarón has been noted for both his Mexican and American films. His works include the Mexican films Sólo con tu pareja (1991), his feature debut, and the critically-acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated film Y tu mamá también, as well as A little princess (1995), the Charles Dickens contemporary adaptation Great expectations (1998), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and, most recently, highly acclaimed dystopian thriller Children of Men (2006).

Film director Alejandro González Iñárritu was first recognized for his debut in Amores perros, written by his former colleague Guillermo Arriaga; the three intersecting stories presented in the film depicted the life in Mexico City. Following the same hyperlink cinema attributes and along Guillermo Arriaga again, he directed 21 Grams (2003), starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro. His last project, Babel, also interweaved stories, but at an international scale now, setting the four stories in Japan, Morocco, Mexico and the United States. It starred Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael García Bernal; this film had seven nomination to the 79th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Film director Guillermo del Toro directed his film debut Cronos in 1993. He has directed Mimic (1997), El espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Backbone) (2001), Blade II (2002) and Hellboy (2004), all within the same fantastic/horror treatment. His latest film, El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) (2006) was critically acclaimed and was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto started his career with small Mexican short and feature length films. His big break came with his work in Amores Perros, in which he captures the dramatic urbanity of Mexico City. This work impressed Curtis Hanson, who asked him to shoot 8 Mile. He has worked with very renowned directors like Spike Lee (25th Hour), Oliver Stone (the documentaries Comandante about Fidel Castro, and Persona Non Grata, about Yassir Arafat, and Alexander starring Colin Farrell) and Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, one of his most recognized works, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and Lust, Caution). He also shot Frida in Mexico. He continued to work with Alejandro González Iñarritu in 21 Grams and, most recently, Babel.

Cinematographer Henner Hofmann started his career in Mexico City working in Mexican cinema La Leyenda de una Mascara, Ave Maria, Nocturno a Rosario directed by Matilde Landeta and international productions filmed in Mexico. He has work in American films with directors like Tony Scott Joe Jonston Stephen Gyllenhaal The Warden of the Red Rock staring James Caan, Brian Dennehy and David Carradine. The Time of Her Time a Norman Mailer story directed by Francis Delia and GallowWalker, Andrew Goth director with Wesley Snipes, alsoJohn Carpenter Vampires Los Muertos.

Three-times Academy Award nominated Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki started his career along Alfonso Cuarón with Sólo con tu pareja, A little princess and Great expectations. These films caught the eye of many Hollywood directors such as Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow), Michael Mann (Ali) and Terrence Malick (The New World). He has also shot Meet Joe Black (1998), The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). He has continued to work with Cuarón in Y tu mamá también and, most recently, Children of men, for which he has received critical praise and various awards, including the 63rd Venice International Film Festival for Best Technical Contribution.

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Cinema of Turkey

Coat of arms of Turkey

Turkish cinema is an important part of Turkish culture, and has flourished over the years, delivering entertainment to audiences in Turkey, expatriates across Europe, and in rare cases, the USA. Yeşilçam ("Green Pine") refers to the Turkish film industry in the same way that Hollywood refers to American film.

In terms of film production, Turkey shared the same fate with many of the national cinemas of the 20th century. Film production wasn't continuous until around the 1950s and the film market in general was run by a few major import companies that struggled for domination in the most population-dense and profitable cities such as Istanbul and Izmir. Film theatres rarely ever screened any locally produced films and the majority of the programs consisted of films of the stronger western film industries, especially those of the USA, France, Italy and Germany. Attempts in film production came only from these big importers, which could rely on their strong distribution-system and their theatre-chains that would guarantee them a return-of-investment. Between the years 1896–1945, the number of locally produced films did not even reach 50 films in total, equalling to an average annual film production under one film per year. Compared to the thousands of films that have been imported and screened during the same period, it is hard to speak about a presence of film production in Turkey before the 1950s.

This would rapidly change after World War II. A total of 49 films produced in 1952 meant that within a year, more films had been produced than the Turkish industry could produce during all the previous years. During the 60s, Turkey became the fifth biggest film producer world wide and annual film production reached the 300 film benchmark just at the beginning of the 70s. Compared with the histories of other national cinemas, the achievements of the Turkish film industry after 1950 are still remarkable.

However, the impact of TV and Video as the new popular media and political turmoil in the 70s (often hand in hand with deep economical crises) caused a sharp drop in ticket sales, resulting into a long crisis starting at around 1980 and continuing until the mid-90s. The number of annual ticket sales decreased from a 90 million tickets in 1966 to 56 million tickets in 1984 and only 11 million in 1990 . Accordingly the number of film theatres fell from an approximately 2000 theatres in 1966 to 854 in 1984 and 290 in 1990. During the 1990s the average number of films produced per year remained between 10-15 films, usually half of them not even making it into the theatres.

Since 1995 the situation has improved. After the year 2000, annual ticket sales reached the 20 millions and since 1995, the number of theatres continuously increased to an approximately 500 theatres country-wide. Now, Turkish films attract millions of spectators and top the blockbuster-lists, often surpassing foreign films in terms of ticket sales. However, it is difficult to speak about the existence of an industry, since most films are rather individual projects of directors who otherwise earn their living in Television, Advertising or Theatre. The distribution of these films are mainly handled by foreign companies such as Warner Bros and United International Pictures.

Most of the Turkish films produced before 1950 were projects initiated by import companies owned by local families, most notably İpek Film, a daughter company of the İpek Merchandise, an import company that already existed in the 19th century as can be seen in their adverts published in Ottoman literary journals such as Servet-i-Fünun. Another important company in the early era of Turkish cinema was Kemal Film, a company whose continuous presence as a leading import company has been often overseen for a few local films it produced during the 1920s. (It is interesting to note that the founders of Kemal Film bought their first film camera on loan from the Ipek Merchandise). Both companies would be the strongest film distributors until the 1950s and the only companies that were financially sound enough to produce films themselves, with low risks for financial failure as they already were in possession of a distribution-system and theatre chains that guaranteed a return-of-investment.

However, the notable developments of these companies must be seen as necessary adaptations to the technological progress of the western film industries whose films they were importing. One example here being the establishment of the Marmara Dubbing Studio in the early 1930s, when the silent era came to an end in the West and sound-films became the standard, prompting the import-dependent companies to adjust themselves to the new technological requirements.

The big distributors in Istanbul, led by İpek Film and Kemal Film gradually expanded their distribution-system throughout the rest of the country during the 1930s, leading to the so-called "regional system" (Bölge İşletmeleri) which consisted of seven distribution areas with their headquarters being established in the most significant cities in those regions: İstanbul (Marmara Region), İzmir (Aegaean Region), Ankara (Middle Anatolian Region), Samsun (Black Sea Region), Adana (Mediterranean Region), Erzurum (East Anatolian Region) and Diyarbakir (South East Anatolian Region). The Regional System became much more important after the 1950s, when local film production dramatically increased and local films surpassed import-films in both ticket-sales and revenues. This system became the financial fundament of Yeşilçam (often referred to as "Turkish Hollywood), which was the heart of Turkish film production between the years 1955–1975. After 1965, a so-called "Combined-System" (Kombine Sistem)lead by a trust of some regional leaders is said to have taken control on almost everything regarding production. A leading figure of the trust was producer Türker İnanoğlu who is still active in the media business today, now running Ulusal Film, Turkey's largest TV production company.

The first film showing in Turkey was held in the Yıldız Palace, Istanbul in 1896. Public shows by Sigmund Weinberg in the Beyoğlu and Sehzadebasi districts followed in 1897. Weinberg was already a prominent figure at that time, especially known as the a representative of foreign companies such as Pathé for whom he sold gramophones before he got into the film business. In some sources he is also mentioned as a photographer, again as a result of being one of the representatives of foreign companies such as Kodak-Goldmann.

The first Turkish movie, a documentary produced by Fuat Uzkinay in 1914, depicted the destruction of the Russian monument in Ayastefanos by the public. The first thematic Turkish films were "The Marriage of Himmet Aga" (1916–1918), started by Weinberg and completed by Uzkinay, "The Paw" (1917) and "The Spy" (1917), both by Sedat Simavi. The army-affiliated Central Cinema Directorate, a semi-military national defense society, and the Disabled Veterans Society were the producing organizations of that period.

In 1922 a major documentary film, "Independence, the İzmir Victory," was made about the first war of Independence. The same year, the first private movie studio, Kemal Film, commenced operations. From 1923 to 1939, Muhsin Ertugrul was the only film director in the country. He directed 29 films during this period, generally incorporating adaptions of plays, operettas, fiction and foreign films. The influence of the theater dating back to Uzkinay, Simavi, Ahmet Fehim and Karagozoglu is very strong in Muhsin Ertugrul's work.

The years between 1939 and 1950 were a period of transition for Turkish cinema, during which it was greatly influenced by the theater as well as by World War II. While there were only two film companies in 1939, the number increased to four between 1946 and 1950. After 1949, Turkish cinema was able to develop as a separate art, with a more professional caliber of talents.

Yesilçam ("Green pine") is a metonym for the Turkish film industry, similar to Hollywood in the United States, and Pinewood in the United Kingdom. Yeşilçam is named after Yeşilçam Street in the Beyoğlu district of İstanbul where many actors, directors, crew members and studios were based.

Yeşilçam experienced its heyday during the 1950s-1970s, when it produced 250-350 films annually. After the 1970s, Yeşilçam suffered due to the spread of television in Turkey. However, Yeşilçam has seen a revival since 2002, having produced critically-acclaimed movies such as Uzak (Grand Prix (Cannes Film Festival), 2003), Babam ve Oğlum and Propaganda.

Between 1950 and 1966, more than fifty movie directors practiced film arts in Turkey. Ömer Lütfi Akad strongly influenced the period, but Osman Fahir Seden, Atıf Yılmaz, and Memduh Ün made the most films. The film Susuz Yaz (Dry Summer), made by Metin Erksan, won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1964.

The number of cinemagoers and the number of films made record a constant increase, especially after 1958. In the 1960s, cinema courses were included in the programs of the theater departments in the Language, History and Geography faculties of Ankara University and Istanbul University, and in the Press and Publications High School of Ankara University. A cinema branch was also established in the Art History Department of the State Fine Arts Academy.

The Union of Turkish Film Producers, and the State Film Archives also were established in the 1960s. The State Film Archives became the Turkish Film Archives in 1969. During the same period, the Cinema-TV Institute was founded and annexed to the State Academy of Fine Arts. The Turkish State Archives also became part of this organization. In 1962, the Cinema-TV Institute became a department of Mimar Sinan University. Among the well-known directors of the 1960–1970 period are Metin Erksan, Atıf Yılmaz, Memduh Ün, Halit Refiğ, Duygu Sağıroğlu, Remzi Aydın Jöntürk and Nevzat Pesen. In 1970, the numbers of cinemas and cinemagoers rose spectacularly. In 2,424 cinemas, films were viewed by a record number of 247 million viewers.

In 1970, approximately 220 films were made and this figure reached 300 in 1972. Turkish cinema gave birth to its legendary stars at this period, notable examples being Kemal Sunal, Kadir İnanır, Türkan Şoray and Şener Şen. After this period however, the cinema began to lose its audiences, due to nationwide TV broadcasts. After 1970, a new and young generation of directors emerged, but they had to cope with an increased demand for video films after 1980.

Increased production costs and difficulties faced in the import of raw materials brought about a decrease in the number of films made in the 1970s, but the quality of films improved. However, the fall of cinema's popularity continued. In the early nineties, there were barely two or three movies released for a year. During this period, most of the seventies' stars had either moved to TV, or were trying to rebuild the Yeşilçam's former glory. Some of the notable examples of this era are Eşkıya (English: The Bandit) and Züğürt Ağa (English: The Agha), both starring Şener Şen. Both movies were critically and commercially acclaimed.

However, the rise of Yesilçam didn't take place until the release of Vizontele. The film was directed, written, and starred by Yılmaz Erdoğan, who was praised by his long-running sit-com Bir Demet Tiyatro, and his dedication to theatre. The movie starred the cast of his usual plays, most notably Demet Akbağ, Altan Erkekli, and Cem Yılmaz. This movie's huge commercial success (watched by 2.5 million viewers, which earned the movie the most viewed film for its day) brought attention to the industry. A few years later, Cem Yılmaz released his own film, G.O.R.A., which he both wrote and starred in. This, and Vizontele's sequel Vizontele Tuuba broke Vizontele's records, by achieving 3.5, and 3 million viewers respectively.

Since then larger-budgeted films produced, notable examples being Kurtlar Vadisi: Irak (English: Valley of the Wolves: Iraq), continuing the story of the controversial series Kurtlar Vadisi, (reached 4 million viewers and still holds the record), Babam ve Oğlum (English: My Father and My Son), Cem Yılmaz's second movie Hokkabaz (English: Magician) .

There has been a rise in more experimental films in the 2000s. Notably the 2005 feature Türev was filmed without a prewritten script and even featured candid shots of the actors. Anlat Istanbul (Istanbul Tales), an ensemble piece divided into five "mini films" got a strong reception.

The production numbers also soared in the second half of the 2000s, with 40 films in 2007, and top 4 box office hits in 2007 claimed by Turkish films, as the film industry became profitable again with improving technical quality corresponding with commercial films' production costs increasing.

Although the need for a Cinema Law has been very often raised throughout the history of the Turkish Republic, until 1986 no specific law or regulation has been developed. While films have been usually treated as goods and were in that regard subject to laws regarding taxation, content-wise they were controlled by commissions that have been often criticized for being mechanism of censorship.

In the 1930s some members of the parliament raised the issue whether films would have a bad impact on children. This was a popular theme at that time, not just in Turkey, but also in the USA for example. (See: Payne Foundation Studies) Later on in the 1960s, a debate around the so-called Baykam-Law became quite famous for the tension it created amongst the parliamentarians and the stakeholders in the industry. In 1977 and 1978 some further discussions for a cinema law have been held, but without any result.

In 1986, finally, a cinema law, though highly criticised by members of the industry and the cinema intelligentsia of that time, has been passed by the parliament and is since then the fundamental legislative document regarding cinema issues in Turkey.

On January 23, 1986, a new cinema law aimed to ensure support for those working in cinema and music. A reorganization of the film industry began in 1987 to address problems and assure its development. The Ministry of Culture established the "Professional Union of Owners of Turkish Works of Cinema" the same year.

The "Copyrights and General Directorate of Cinema" was founded in 1989 as well as a "Support Fund for the Cinema and Musical Arts". This fund is used to provide financial support to the film sector.

One of the most interesting studies on the issue of film censorship in Turkey is Alim Şerif Onaran's Sinematografik Hürriyet (Cinematic Freedom), published in 1968 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but written in 1963 and being the first study in Turkey which received a PhD for a topic related to film. This study is still the most important -if not only- study on the film evaluation methods applied in Turkey before the 1950s. Onaran himself being active as a member of the Film Rating Commission in his younger years, was a true expert on the topic and his research includes also examples of the late Ottoman Period. Ironically, Onaran became one of the most important intellectuals on film in Turkey, owing his wealth of knowledge on early world film history to the years he spent watching the films he was enrolled to evaluate as a committee member.

A very interesting example on the level of absurdness that censorship could reach is mentioned in Çetin Yetkin's book Siyasal Iktidar Sanata Karşı (Political Regime vs Art), published in 1970. It tells the story of a film which was classified as "inappropriate for export" because the Evaluation Committee decided that the film contains "communist propaganda". The film-owner, who applied to the committee for being granted an export-certificate was surprised to see the decision because he mentioned on his application form that his intention was to sell a copy of the film to a distributor in the Soviet Union, the worlds leading communist country at that time.

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Cinema of India

A scene from Raja Harishchandra (1913) - The first full-length motion picture. The female roles in the film were played by male actors.

In the 21st century Indian cinema, along with American and Chinese film industries, became a global enterprise. Enhanced technology paved the way for upgradation from established cinematic norms of delivering product, radically altering the manner in which content reached the target audience. Indian cinema found markets in over 90 countries where films from India are screened. The country also participated in international film festivals. Indian filmmakers such as Shekhar Kapur, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta etc. found success overseas. The Indian government extended film delegations to foreign countries such as the United States of America and Japan while the country's Film Producers Guild sent similar missions through Europe.

India is the world's largest producer of films, producing close to a thousand films annually. About 300 of the total films produced are in Hindi while the remaining are in other languages. However, Hindi films account for about half of the total revenue generated by cinema in India. The provision of 100% foreign direct investment has made the Indian film market attractive for foreign enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and AOL Time Warner. Prominent Indian enterprises such as Zee, UTV and Adlabs also participated in producing and distributing films. Tax incentives to multiplexes have aided the multiplex boom in India. By 2003 as many as 30 film production companies had been listed in the National Stock Exchange of India, making the commercial presence of the medium felt.

The Indian diaspora constitutes of millions of Indians overseas for which films are made available both through mediums such as DVDs and by screening of films in their country of residence wherever commercially feasible. These earnings, accounting for some 12% of the revenue generated by a mainstream film, contribute substantially to the overall revenue of Indian cinema, the net worth of which was found to be 1.3 billion US Dollars in 2000. Facilities for film production in the country included Ramoji Film City, which, according to Shanti Kumar 'claims to be the largest' film production center in the world. Music in Indian cinema is another substantial revenue generator, with the music rights alone accounting for 4-5% of the net revenues generated by a film in India.

Following the screening of the Lumière moving pictures in Paris (1895) cinema became a sensation across Europe and by July 1896 the Lumière films had been in show in Bombay (presently Mumbai). The first full-length motion picture in India was produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, a scholar on India's languages and culture, who bought together elements from Sanskrit epics to produce his Raja Harishchandra. The first Indian chain of cinema theaters was owned by the Calcutta entrepreneur Jamshedji Framji Madan, who oversaw production of 10 films annually and distributed them throughout the Indian subcontinent.

During the early twentieth century cinema as a medium gained popularity across India's population and its many economic sections. Tickets were made affordable to the common man at a low price and for the financially capable additional comforts meant additional admission ticket price. Audiences thronged to cinema halls as this affordable medium of entertainment was available for as low as an anna (25 paisa) in Bombay. The content of Indian commercial cinema was increasingly tailored to appeal to these masses. Young Indian producers began to incorporate elements of India's social life and culture into cinema. Others bought with them ideas from across the world. This was also the time when global audiences and markets became aware of India's film industry.

Ardeshir Irani released Alam Ara, the first Indian talking film, on March 14, 1931. Following the inception of 'talkies' in India some film stars were highly sought after and earned comfortable incomes through acting. As sound technology advanced the 1930s saw the rise of music in Indian cinema with musicals such as Indra Sabha and Devi Devyani marking the beginning of song-and-dance in India's films. Studios emerged across major cities such as Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai as film making became an established craft by 1935, exemplified by the success of Devdas, which had managed to enthrall audiences nationwide. Bombay Talkies came up in 1934 and Prabhat Studios in Pune had begun production of films meant for the Marathi language audience. Filmmaker R. S. D. Choudhury produced Wrath (1930), banned by the British Raj in India as it depicted actors as Indian leaders, an expression censored during the days of the Indian independence movement.

The Indian Masala film—a slang used for commercial films with song, dance, romance etc.—came up following the second world war. South Indian cinema gained prominence throughout India with the release of S.S. Vasan's Chandralekha. During the 1940s cinema in South India accounted for nearly half of India's cinema halls and cinema came to viewed as an instrument of cultural revival. The partition of India following its independence divided the nation's assets and a number of studios went to the newly formed Pakistan. The strife of partition would become an enduring subject for film making during the decades that followed.

Following independence the cinema of India was inquired by the S.K. Patil Commission. S.K. Patil, head of the commission, viewed cinema in India as a 'combination of art, industry, and showmanship' while noting its commercial value. Patil further recommended setting up of a Film Finance Corporation under the Ministry of Finance. This advice was later taken up in 1960 and the institution came into being to provide financial support to talented filmmakers throughout India. The Indian government had established a Films Division by 1949 which eventually became one of the largest documentary film producers in the world with an annual production of over 200 short documentaries annually, each released in 18 languages with 9000 prints for permanent film theaters across the country.

The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA), an art movement with a communist inclination, began to take shape through the 1940s and the 1950s. A number of realistic IPTA plays, such as Bijon Bhattacharya's Nabanna in 1944 (based on the tragedy of the Bengal famine of 1943), prepared the ground for the solidification of realism in Indian cinema, exemplified by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas's Dharti Ke Lal (Children of the Earth) in 1946. The IPTA movement continued to emphasize on reality and went on to produce Mother India and Pyaasa, among of India's most recognizable cinematic productions.

Pather Panchali (1955), the first part of the The Apu Trilogy (1955-1959) by Satyajit Ray, marked his entry in Indian cinema. Indira Gandhi's intervention during her reign as the Information and Broadcasting Minister of India during the 1960s further led to production of offbeat cinematic expression, known as 'Parallel Cinema', being supported by the official Film Finance Corporation. Some filmmakers such as Shyam Benegal continued to produce realistic cinema throughout the 1970s. However, the 'art film' bent of the Film Finance Corporation came under criticism during a Committee on Public Undertakings investigation in 1976, which accused the body of not doing enough to encourage commercial cinema. The 1970s did, nevertheless, see the rise of commercial cinema in form of enduring films such as Sholay, which solidified Amitabh Bachchan's position as a lead actor. The devotional classic Jai Santoshi Ma was also released in 1975. Commercial cinema further grew throughout the 80s and the 90s with release of films such as Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Tezaab, Baazigar, and Darr. The 90s also saw a surge in the national popularity of Tamil cinema as films directed by Mani Ratnam captured India's imagination. The South Indian industry not only released cinema with national appeal but also featured multicultural music, which found appreciation among the Indian audience.

The Hindi film industry—also known as Bollywood—initially explored issues of caste and culture in films such as Achut Kanya (1936) and Sujata (1959). International visibility came to the industry with Raj Kapoor's Awara. Bollywood grew during the 1990s with the release of as many as 215 films in 1991. With Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Bollywood registered its commercial presence in the western world.

In 1995 the Indian economy began showing sustainable annual growth, and Bollywood, as a commercial enterprise, grew at a growth rate of 15% annually. With growth in commercial appeal the earnings of known Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan reached 30 million rupees per film by the year 2000. Female stars such as Madhuri Dixit, too, earned as much as 12.5 million rupees for a film. Many actors signed contracts for simultaneous work in 3-4 films. Institutions such as the Industrial Development Bank of India also came forward to finance Bollywood films. A number of magazines such as Stardust, Filmfare, Cineblitz etc. became popular.

The regional film industry of India comprises of several smaller industries, each catering largely to a specific language audience. However, a significant degree of regional interaction is seen between the various regions as filmmakers and actors from one region often contribute to films meant for another region.

Music in Indian cinema is a substantial revenue generator, with the music rights alone accounting for 4-5% of the net revenues generated by a film in India. The major film music companies of India are Saregama, Sony Music etc. Commercially, film music accounts for 48% India's net music sales. A film in India may have many choreographed songs spread throughout its length.

The demands of a multicultural, increasingly globalized Indian audience often led to a mixing of various local and international musical traditions. Local dance and music nevertheless remain a time tested and recurring theme in India and have made their way outside of India's borders with its diaspora. Playback singers such as Lata Mangeshkar drew large crowds with national and international film music stage shows. The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 21st saw extensive interaction between artists from India and the western world. Artists from Indian diaspora blended the traditions of their heritage to those of their country to give rise rise to popular contemporary music.

Indians during the colonial rule bought film equipment from Europe. The British funded wartime propaganda films during the second world war, some of which showed the Indian army pitted against the axis powers, specifically the Empire of Japan, which had managed to infiltrate into India. One such story was Burma Rani, which depicted civilian resistance offered to Japanese occupation by the British and Indians present in Myanmar. Pre-independence businessmen such as J. F. Madan and Abdulally Esoofally traded in global cinema. Indian cinema's early contacts with other regions became visible with its films making early inroads into Russia, Middle East, and South East Asia. Indian films also appeared in international fora and festivals. Many Asian and 'Third World' countries increasingly came to find Indian cinema as more suited to their sensibilities than western cinema. Jigna Desai holds that by the 21st century Indian cinema had managed to become 'deterritorialized', spreading over to the many parts of the world where Indian diaspora was present in significant numbers, and becoming an alternative to other international cinema.

Other awards include the International Indian Film Academy Awards, Bollywood Movie Awards, and the Global Indian Film Awards.

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Source : Wikipedia