Fernando Ramos-Arenas e-mail(Login required)

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Fernando Ramos-Arenas e-mail(Login required)


This study provides a contrastive analysis of the film cultures in Francoist Spain and the German Democratic Republic in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the context of this period of classic cinephilia, the article focuses on the institutional position of film clubs and on their function as ‘places of negotiation’ in which different forces and interests collided: more or less independent film activists acted within, against, or parallel to state organizations trying to implement certain cultural activities and discourses. The arguments are based on broad archival material from Spain and Germany (Archivo General de la Administración, Bundesarchiv Berlin etc.) and, specifically, on the analysis of two of these institutions in Barcelona and Leipzig. The initial hypothesis holds that in their reactions to these institutions, the Spanish and East German states present two different conceptions of state cultural policies (authoritarian and totalitarian). At the same time, the activities of the clubs (screenings, discussions, edition of magazines) can also be read as part of a broader attempt to redefine the film-cultural field along three axes (time, place and status), connecting them to other European film cultures of the time and enabling us to widen and differentiate the analysis of classical cinephilia within a broader international context.


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