The Europeanization of Cinema: Interzones and Imaginative Communities

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In this innovative study, German and film studies scholar Randall Halle advances the concept of interzones --geographical and ideational spaces of transit, interaction, transformation, and contested diversity--as a mechanism for analyzing European cinema.

He focuses especially on films about borders, borderlands, and cultural zones as he traces the development of interzones from the inception of central European cinema to the avant-garde films of today. Throughout, he shows how cinema both reflects and engenders interzones that explore the important questions of Europe's social order: imperialism and nation-building in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; first contact between former adversaries (such as East and West Germany) following World War II and the Cold War; and migration, neo-colonialism, and cultural imperialism in the twenty-first century.

Ultimately, Halle argues that today's cinema both produces and reflects imaginative communities. He demonstrates how, rather than simply erasing boundaries, the European Union instead fosters a network of cultural interzones that encourage cinematic exploration of the new Europe's processes and limits of connectivity, tolerance, and cooperation.

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