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Cinema of Europe refers to the film
industries and films produced in the
continent of Europe.
Europeans were the pioneers of the
motion picture industry, with several
innovative engineers and artists making
an impact especially at the end of the
Louis Le Prince became famous for his
1888 Roundhay Garden Scene, the first
known celluloid film recorded.
brothers from Berlin used their "Bioscop"
to amaze the Wintergarten
theatre audience with the first film show
ever, from November 1 through 31, 1895.
The Lumière Brothers established
the Cinematograph; which initiated
the silent film era, a period where
European cinema was a major commercial
success. It remained so until the art-
hostile environment of World War II.
Notable European early film movements
Expressionism (1920s), French
Impressionist Cinema (1920s), Poetic
realism(1930s), and Italian
neorealism (1940s); it was a period now
seen in retrospect as "The Other
Hollywood". The first large-scale film
studio was also established in Europe,
with the Babelsberg Studio near Berlin in
Post World War II movements include
Free Cinema (1950s),
French New Wave (1950s–60s),
Polish Film School (1950s–60s),
Czechoslovak New Wave (1960s),
New German Cinema (1960s–80s),
British New Wave (1950s–60s),
Spaghetti Western (1960s) and
Novo Cinema (1960s–70s).
The turn of the 21st century has seen
movements such as Dogme 95, New French
Extremity, Romanian New Waveand Berlin
Antoine Lumière realized, on 28
December 1895, the first projection, with
the Cinematograph, in Paris. In
1897, Georges Méliès established the first
cinema studio on a rooftop property in
Montreuil, near Paris.
After the first screening of the Lumière
brothers Cinématographe at the Salon
Indien of the Grand Café in Paris in 1895,
the operators of the Lumière
brothers took to the streets of major
Film was used to highlight the historical
events, literature and theatrical traditions.
For this reason, the film industry in Italy and
France pointed to the splendor of staging as
well as to traditional everyday life.
If Hollywood is considered the pioneers of a
spectacular cinema, in Europe films became a
formal language and a new kind of art, rather
than just a technical innovation. That sort of
'common language' for European art
movements and for public education gave
cinema the name of 'tenth muse'.
During the 1940s and 1950s, a new ‘cinematic landscape’
The Europeans began to talk about the resistance to
Nazism, rediscovering reality, attitudes and different
problems in various European countries.
The Italian neo-realism and films like Paisà (1946) by
Roberto Rossellini, the French film La Bataille du
Rail (1946) by René Clément, or The Third Man (1949) by
Carol Reed, also episodes of French and Italian films such
as The Losers (1953) by Michelangelo Antonioni, showed
the vivid picture of Europe. In this sense, the war marked
the formation of some characteristics of European film
In fact, in Europe, war in cinema became more and more a
social custom and, moreover, with the birth of film clubs
and forms of cultural associations, as well as with the
proliferation of film journalism, cinema also became the
subject of cultural debate.
The European Film Academy was founded
in 1988 to annually celebrate European
cinema through the European Film
Philippe Binant realized, on 2 February
2000, the first digital cinema projection
in Europe, with the DLP CINEMA
technology developed byTexas
Instruments, in Paris
From the 1970s to the 1990s, European film
industry followed an inverse trend of the
product compared to American models, with
a series of provocative and ascetic films
which were poor in effects, and in methods,
but rich of a direct language.
The following directors might be seen as the
examples of such kind of cinema: Polish
Krzysztof Kieslowski, French Eric Rohmer,
and Russian Andrei Tarkovsky, Danish Lars
von Trier, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and
Luc Dardenne, and Finnish Aki Kaurismäki.
Since 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with
the collapse of the Soviet Union and the
processes of independence of many Eastern
European countries, even cinema in those areas
The films made back then seemed to be a
metaphor for the disorientation; there was also
the need of breaking up with the past. The
collapse of the Soviet system resulted, first in
Russia and then in the countries of the area of
influence, a fall in production and a reduced
inflow of public.
Between 1991 and 1994, there was a
proliferation of small independent producers,
some of them were: Aleksandr Sokurov, Kira
Muratova, Alexei O. Balabanov, Vitaly E.
During the second half of the 20th
century, Europe underwent a crucial
change due to a massive immigration of
ethnic communities from other continents,
which brought their cultural elements in
our continent. For this reason, a new
cinematographic language developed in
Europe and every film was distinguished
by the immigration history of some
certain new-comers community.