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The French and German contribution to the formation of the history of cinema (1945-1952): criteria, theories and perspectives

Grant number: 19/13106-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Art Fundamentals and Criticism
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Victorio Morettin
Grantee:Rafael Morato Zanatto
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/09206-0 - Historiography and cinema: the formation of the history of cinema in France (1925-1957), BE.EP.PD


The present research concentrates on the study of the history books of cinema of French and German authors published between 1945 and 1952, from which we intend to demonstrate how the period is decisive for the formation of the field of historical researches of cinema. To support our hypothesis, we will depart from the end of World War II and the organization of the commemorations in France of the 50th anniversary of cinema, at which point scholars have discovered from the development of the work of the Film Library´s that many old films had not been preserved. In light of this observation, we should try to hypothesis that from the history books of the cinema, we can access the process of developing specific research methodologies to deal with the film sources, or even with their absence, until the year of 1952, at which time Georges Sadoul presented the results of the work of the historical committee of the Cinémathèque Française at the pre-constitutional meeting of the Bureau International de la Recherche Historique Cinématographique at the Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF). In analyzing the history books of the cinema, we must prove the hypothesis that the historical narrative divides between the national and the global approach: the first one outlined by the works of the German historians Siegfried Kracauer, Lotte Eisner and Hans Wollenberg, and the second, dealt with in the works of the French historians Georges Sadoul, René Jeanne and Charles Ford, among others. From this clipping, we will see how the German choice for the national clipping is due to the interest of exiled historians in understanding cinema as an ideological and social phenomenon marked by the rise of Nazism (1919-33) and that the French option for the global approach is based in the need to restore the image of France as a country of art and culture, replacing from the previous irradiation policy to allocate in its place relations of reciprocity between France and the other countries of the world. Together, we can observe from the formation of the historical studies of national and global approach the delineation of historical criteria capable of thinking of cinema as entertainment, technique, art, propaganda, social phenomenon, situated between the theoretical paradigms of its authors and the researches of new sources of research, filmic and non-filmic available from the works of the Film library's. (AU)

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