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Latin American Cinema

From El Megano and Black God, White Devil to City of God and Babel, Latin American films have a rich history. In this concise but comprehensive account, Stephen M. Hart traces Latin American cinema from its origins in 1896 to the present day, along the way providing original views of major films and mini-biographies of major film directors.
Describing the broad contours of Latin American film and its connections to major historical developments, Hart guides readers through the story of how Hollywood dominance succumbed to the emergence of the Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano and how this movement has led to the “New” New Latin American Cinema of the twenty-first century. He offers a fresh analysis of the effects of major changes in film technology, revealing how paradigm shifts such as the move to digital preceded new cinematographic techniques and visions. He also looks closely at the films themselves, examining how filmmakers express their messages. Finally, he considers the decision by a group of directors to film in English, which enhanced the visibility of Latin American cinema around the world. Featuring 120 illustrations, this clear, cogent guide to the history of this region’s cinema will appeal to fans of Central Station and Like Water for Chocolate alike.

240 pages | 20 color plates, 100 halftones | 6 x 8

Film Studies

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“As Hart shows in this informative and approachable survey, Latin American cinema found its own style early on. Its characteristic gritty realism came to be dubbed ‘imperfect cinema,’ in contract to the slicker, blander offerings from Hollywood.” 

Times Literary Supplement

Latin American Cinema traces the trajectories of various national cinemas from their origins in the late nineteenth century to the present. Hart’s account offers an eminently readable and richly illustrated introduction to a very diverse body of films and directors.”

Film Quarterly

“Hart has been running a documentary film-making summer school with me at the International Film and TV School (Escuela International de Cine y Televisión) in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, for the past seven years, and this experience of how to film and narrate Latin American reality is at the heart of his new monograph on Latin American film. Based on many years of research, Latin American Cinema is essential reading and offers critical insight into the complexities and contradictions which underpin our cinematographic culture.” 

Enrique Colina, director of Entre Ciclones (Cannes Film Festival, 2002)

Table of Contents

1. Inauspicious Beginnings (1895-1950)
2. Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano and the ‘Time-image’ (1951-1975)
3. Nation-image (1976-1999)
4. The Slick Grit of Contemporary Latin American Cinema (2000-2014)
Select Directors’ Biographies
Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements

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