Cinema provides entertainment, but it also communicates a set of values, a vision of the world or an ideology. From its beginnings more than a century ago, European cinema has dealt with the tension between these two functions in a variety of ways: at the extremes, dictatorial regimes have sweetened the pill of ideology with the sugar of entertainment. Meanwhile, spectators have persisted in seeking out, above all, the pleasure film can provide. Now available again in paperback, this book explores the complex relationship between entertainment, ideology and audiences in European film, through studies that range from the Stalinist musicals of the 1930s, to cinematic representations of masculinity under Franco, to recent French films and their Hollywood remakes. Diverse and entertaining, this study is addressed to students of film - especially French, German, Russian or Spanish - and to those readers and academics interested in both the history of cinema and in European culture.
Diana Holmes is Professor of French at the University of Leeds Alison Smith is Head of Film Studies at the University of Liverpool