Number 12, December 2001   [PDF]


American and European Cinema


  1. Comparing American and European Cinema

    Mette Madsen: Art versus McBurger dramaturgy
    An interview with Jon Bang Carlsen

    MM: Wherever I lay my hat
    An interview with Ole Michelsen

    MM: "No, but I like American films - doesn't everybody?"
    An interview with Mark LeFanu

    Francesco Caviglia: Looking for male Italian adulthood, old style

    Peder Grøngaard: For Ever Godard.
    Two or three things I know about European and American cinema

    Edvin Vestergaard Kau: What you see is what you get.
    Reflections on European and American film practices

    Ray Keyes: Always leave'em wanting more

    Richard Raskin: European versus American storytelling:
    The case of The Third Man

    Niels Weisberg: Guilty pleasures

  2. Comparing American and European Television

    Hanne Bruun: Entertainment Talk on Television

    Nancy Graham Holm: Radio with Pictures

  3. Comparing American and European Practices in Other Media

    Henrik Bødker: Transatlantic blues, music across the divide(s).
    Cultural appropriation or the communication of essentials?

    Per Jauert: Formats in Radio Broadcasting
    - the American-Danish connection

    Søren Kolstrup: European and American press photography


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This issue was near completion well before the terrible events of September 11th reshaped the entire world’s perception of the U.S. Almost all of the articles were turned in before that date, and the interviews had been done between May and August. The reader is kindly asked to keep in mind that some of the characterizations of American culture contained in these pages, might be formulated differently today than they were just a month or two ago.

The idea of devoting an issue of p.o.v. to comparisons of American and European filmmaking and practices in other media, came in two stages: first when I found references to “a European feel for paradox and mystery versus an American urge to explain” in a recent book by Charles Drazin on The Third Man, discussed in detail in an article included in this issue; and second, when I saw a televised interview with Jeremy Irons who, in answer to questions put to him by Gitte Nielsen, said the following:

[I had just seen] Goodfellas, Scorsese’s movie. I thought: Well that‘s great. He’s a great movie-maker, knows how to use light, how to use the camera, how to tell a great story. And yet I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel anything. And I thought: some American movies - I know, it’s a generalization - are like really good hookers. You know, they’re expensive, they look great, they’ll do anything you ask them to do, they’ll give you a great time. And at the end of it you walk away and you think, [he makes a belittling gesture]. The other sorts of women are real women who maybe don’t look as good as a hooker, who have their own ideas, who won’t do everything you ask, who maybe don’t cost you so much. But who you spend time with. And when you leave them, you can’t get them out of your head.

The Jeremy Irons quote clinched it. An issue of this journal had to be devoted to comparisons of that kind.

It is gratifying that a variety of points of view are represented here, and that the reader will find in these pages a broad spectrum of opinions as to how European and American storytelling and media practices might best be compared, as well as whether or not such comparisons can be made at all.

Finally, I wish to thank all of the contributors to this issue, as well as Patricia Lunddahl for help with proofreading.

Richard Raskin, Editor
  30 September 2001
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