Creature Comforts (1989/Park/UK)
The MPA was formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II to reestablish American films in the world market, and to respond to the rising tide of protectionism resulting in barriers aimed at restricting the importation of American films. [..]
Since its early days, the MPA, often referred to now as "a little State Department," has expanded to cover a wide range of foreign activities falling in the diplomatic, economic, and political arenas. The Motion Picture Association conducts these activities from its headquarters in Los Angeles, California and from key offices in Washington, D.C.; Brussels; São Paulo; Singapore; and Toronto.
MPA (Asia Pacific ) website
Stéphane Zagdanski : "Jean-Luc Godard est le représentant principal de l'imposture cinéphilique" (in La Mort dans l'œil : Critique du cinéma comme vision, domination, falsification, éradiction, fascination, manipulation, dévastation, usurpation, 2004)
"There are as many variations on the auteurist aesthetic as there are auteurists"
"A strong auteurist position is necessarily based on the conviction that the system, though it has money to buy craft and talent and the freedom to deploy them to best effect, is highly likely to produce a mediocre product unless a good director intervenes."
"So, in theory, auteurism is at odds with a general, all-purpose love of movies."
"People who are turned off by routine cinema product usually take up a different profession."
Adrian Martin: "I have spent much of my life looking at the question of Hollywood, and turning it over from different angles. It does not take so much of my time now, simply because I have made the personal decision that I want more to look at world cinema, experimental cinema, and other more overlooked forms. But it is certainly safe to say that I have been through every available position and emotion that a critic can take and experience in relation to the ‘passion for Hollywood’: defending it, rejecting it, rationalising it, exploring it, becoming disenchanted with it, becoming re-enchanted with it. Now, I feel I am ‘out of the cycle’ of this difficult passion. Like many critics, my interest in the resistant streams in world cinema has steered me more towards the true American independents: not the Sundance or Miramax camps, but people like James Benning, Yvonne Rainer, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, and many others. In the semi-commercial cinema, the only Americans I really defend today are those precisely ignored (for the most part) by and in America, and discovered elsewhere: Ferrara, James Gray, Larry Clark, Monte Hellman, Elaine May." (IndianAuteur #7, Nov 2009)
Gavin Smith : " [..] Over the course of the last 30 years, art cinema, or what the French call 'auteur cinema,' has to a great extent been annexed by (or surrendered to) the not-dishonorable commercial imperatives of turning out product in order to put bread on the table, product that, for all its modernity, some regard as a return of the repressed: the dreaded Tradition of Quality, caricatured by Cahiers du cinema back in the day, alive and well in stylish new clothes. (The Japanese critic Shigehiko Hasumi cited Laurent Cantet's Time Out [Emploi du temps] as an examplar of this tendency when we served on a jury at the 2001 Venice Film Festival).These art-cinema genres attempt to codify and appropriate the idioms and sensibilities of the foundational lone-wolf film artists - the visionaries, the risk-takers, the misfits, and the mavericks such as Rossellini, Resnais, Tarkovsky, Brackhage, Oshima, all filmmakers who were committed to work that's hopelessly, gloriously sui generis. (Today's lone wolves include Wong Kar-wai, Lucrecia Martel, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jia Zhang-ke, Arnaud Desplechin, James Benning)But "formulaic art cinema" isn't just a matter of genre; it's a matter of style. In this limited space, it might be useful to take a stab at listing what, after 9 days at Rotterdam, appear to be the half dozen dominant stylistic categories that currently pervade the art-film sector, and their originators, best practitioners, and biggest popularizers.By far the most popular is Neo-neorealism. The current masters of this aesthetic are of course, Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne. Then there's Neo-modernism : Michael Haneke and Pedro Almodovar, step forward. Neo-impressionism : nobody does it better than Claire Denis, but plenty try. For pious purists, there's Neo-minimalism : Pedro Costa, Eugene Green. Meditative Realism : Hou Hsiao-hsien. And last but not least, Neo-maximalism, the realm of enfants terribles such as Lars von Trier, Léos Carax and Gaspard Noé.Consider this as a provisional, shoot-from-the-hip first try, a subject for further research. And let's just add that it's no coincidence that all the names mentioned above are Film Comment favorites. Because in truth, none of this is news to the film culture mandarins, world-cinema gatekeepers, and festival tastemakers - an establishment which, nevertheless tends to self-righteously over-inflate those it anoints, and with which, let's be frank, this magazine is necessarily aligned. I'm usually a sucker for most of these stylistic approaches, but at Rotterdam last month I started to long for something, anything, that didn't neatly fit into these prefab formats. Art cinema is really in danger of becoming narrow and predictable in its range of expression, and this is the aesthetic bind in which we find ourselves in 2010."(Film Comment, March/April 2010)