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Beyond the Subtitle

Remapping European Art Cinema

2009
Author:

Mark Betz

Beyond the Subtitle

A provocative rethinking of national cinema, authorship, and the discipline of film studies

Examining European art films of the 1950s and 1960s, Mark Betz argues that it is time for film analysis to move beyond prevailing New Wave historiography. Remapping the practices and paradigms of film history, he calls into question the concept of national cinema and explores the largely neglected subjects of subtitling, dubbing, and art film coproductions.

Beyond the Subtitle is a superb, even brilliant work that promises to reorient the field of film studies. Mark Betz has the gift of writing with a fluency and directness that one can only wish were more common in the academic world.

Peter Brunette, Wake Forest University

Examining European art films of the 1950s and 1960s, Mark Betz argues that it is time for film analysis to move beyond prevailing New Wave historiography, mired in outdated notions of nationalism and dragged down by decades of auteurist criticism. Focusing on the cinemas of France and Italy, Betz reveals how the flowering of European art films in the postwar era is inseparable from the complex historical and political frameworks of the time.

Remapping the practices and paradigms of film history, Beyond the Subtitle calls into question the concept of national cinema and explores the largely neglected subjects of subtitling, dubbing, and art film coproductions. Betz also analyzes the iconic figure of the “wandering woman,” or flanêuse, who appears in many of the films under consideration, in light of the postwar boom, modernization, and decolonization. Finally, he rescues the omnibus films to show the need for a new film studies approach.

Beyond the Subtitle demonstrates how the geopolitical and institutional contexts that gave rise to these films and to academic film studies should be incorporated into future analysis in order to gain new insight into debates on race, gender, and imperialism.

Beyond the Subtitle

Mark Betz is senior lecturer in film studies at King’s College, University of London.

Beyond the Subtitle

Beyond the Subtitle is a superb, even brilliant work that promises to reorient the field of film studies. Mark Betz has the gift of writing with a fluency and directness that one can only wish were more common in the academic world.

Peter Brunette, Wake Forest University

Betz takes a refreshing new look at the inadequately discussed subject of the European art cinema. . . Written with sophistication but without jargon, the study provides a fascinating look at how European art film deepens or blurs national boundaries. . . Essential.

S.C. Dillon, Choice