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By K. Sieg

The publication explores eu artists' serious engagement with the pictures and tales that politicians and the media use to suggest globalization.

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Extra info for Choreographing the Global in European Cinema and Theater (Studies in European Culture and History)

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On the occasion of the merger between the French conglomerate Vivendi and the American entertainment giant Universal, French executives stressed the expanded opportunities this would provide for European artists, promising that “more European talent will be used in films of worldwide appeal and more large-budget films shot in Europe with profits ploughed back into European film-making” (Jäckel 2003, 65). Their statement reveals the changing meaning of the phrase “European film-making,” which no longer denotes a distinct cinematic sensibility as defined by national art-house traditions from Italian neorealism, French cinéma verité, or the New German Cinema, but is a new, transnational phenomenon created by the Europeanization of film funding and avidly involved in developing transnational narratives for an expanded, perhaps even global, audience.

In the 1990s, a growing crop of films explored the sexual economy of the nascent European polity. Two art films from the beginning of the decade are especially noteworthy for their attempts to identify Europe’s constitutive traumas and narrate them as family drama. 9 In it, von Trier conjures a highly stylized noir vision of postwar Europe as riddled with Nazi criminals, American military, and insurgents. The film’s central character, an American innocent training to be a sleeping car conductor, is drawn into nightmarish political intrigues he can neither comprehend nor solve.

The performing arts are positioned as a driver in technological development but also experience increasing dependence on and competition with the audiovisual industries. It is thus no surprise that some theater, as it integrates digital technologies into stage practices, also adopts some of the genres already developed in the European audiovisual industries. While the productions I discuss in my book all in some manner work through mass mediated genres as figures of globalization, others borrow and emulate televisual dramaturgy, characters, and settings to dramatize Europe’s pluralistic heritage; this is true also for the “older” medium of cinema that adapts certain televisual idioms, as I show in Chapter 2.

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