The beginningIn 1896, French photographer Eugene Py was working for the Belgians, Belgian Henri Lepage and the Austrian Max Glücksmann at the 'Casa Lepage', a photographic supplies business in Buenos Aires. The three all saw the debut of the Lumière Cinématographe in Argentina,"with a picture of the Lumiére's, took place on 18 July 1896" at the Teatro Odéon, only a year after its debut in Paris. Lepage then imported the first French cinematographic equipment into the country and though Eugenio Py who, using a Gaumont camera in 1897, is often credited for the first Argentine film, ''La Bandera Argentina'' (which consisted of a flag of Argentina waving in the wind at the Plaza de Mayo), the credit belongs to German-Brazilian Federico Figner, who screened the first three Argentine films on 24 November 1896 (shorts depicting sights of Buenos Aires). Earning renown, Py continued to produce films for exhibition at the Casa Lepage for several years, following up with ''Viaje del Doctor Campos Salles a Buenos Aires'' (1900, considered the country's first documentary) and ''La Revista de la Escuadra Argentina'' (1901); by that time, the first projection halls had opened, working as part of the cross-national film production, Film distributor, distribution and wikt:exhibition, exhibition system developed by Glücksmann in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
Early developmentsSeveral Argentine artists continued to experiment with the new invention, making news shorts and documentaries. Eugenio A. Cardini filmed ''Escenas Callejeras'' (1901) and Mario Gallo made the first Argentine film with a point-of-view: ''El fusilamiento de Dorrego'' ("Manuel Dorrego, Dorrego's Execution," 1908). Other directors such as Ernesto Gunche directed early documentaries. The history of Argentina, Argentine history and Literature of Argentina, literature provided the themes of the first years of film-making. One of the first successes of the national cinema was ''Nobleza Gaucha'' of 1915, inspired by ''Martín Fierro'', the gaucho poem by José Hernández (writer), José Hernández. Based on José Mármol's novel, ''Amalia (1914 film), Amalia'' was the first full-length movie of national production, and in 1917 ''El Apóstol'', a satiric short on president Hipólito Yrigoyen, became the first animated feature film in world cinema. Another notable 1917 debut, for Francisco Defilippis Novoa's ''Flor de durazno,'' was Carlos Gardel. Directors such as José A. Ferreyra began to work on producing films in Argentine cinema, releasing films such as Palomas rubias (1920), La Gaucha (1921) and ''Buenos Aires, ciudad de ensueño'' in 1922. Films that followed included ''La Maleva'', ''Corazón de criolla'', ''Melenita de oro'', ''Leyenda del puente inca'' (1923), ''Odio serrano'', ''Mientras Buenos Aires duerme'', ''Arriero de Yacanto'' (1924) and ''El Organito de la tarde'' and ''Mi último tango'' (1925). In 1926, Ferreyra released ''La Vuelta al Bulín'', ''La Costurerita que dio aquel mal paso'' and ''Muchachita de Chiclana'' followed by ''Perdón, viejita'' (1927). Many of these Ferreyra films featured two of the decade's most popular stars, Alvaro Escobar and Elena Guido. Towards the end of the decade, directors such as Julio Irigoyen began to release films such as ''Alma en pena'' in 1928. Films such as these began to feature the Argentine culture of tango dance, tango dancing into films, something which rocketed later in the 1930s after the advent of sound.
1930s–1950s: The Golden Age:''List of Argentine films:1930s'' In 1930, ''Adiós Argentina'' became the first Argentine film to have a soundtrack. The film was written and directed by Mario Parpagnoli for Cinematográfica Valle and finished in December 1929. The film starred actresses such as Libertad Lamarque and Ada Cornaro who both debuted in the film. In 1931, José A. Ferreyra directed ''Muñequitas porteñas'', the first Argentine film to be made with Vitaphone sound synchronisation. That year, Ferreyra made a second sound film, El Cantar de mi ciudad, encouraging other early directors to make the transition to sound. Movietone sound system, Movietone arrived in 1933 and it allowed both voice and music in motion pictures. The first two Argentine cinematographic studios were created: Argentina Sono Film was founded by Ángel Mentasti; Lumitón was created by a partnership led by Enrique Telémaco Susini, Enrique Susini, who was instrumental in the introduction of television to Argentina in 1951. Susini created a hub for audiovisual development. He launched the film "Los tres berretines" which was the first Argentinian film with a plot and a spoken script. The first disc-less sound film was ''¡Tango!'' (1933), directed by Luis Maglia Barth and a key film of the period was the tango film Dancing (1933 film), Dancing which saw the birth of a number of Argentine stars such as Amelia Bence and Tito Lusiardo; other popular actors from the era included Aida Alberti, Armando Bo, Floren Delbene and Arturo García Buhr. Two such features which have endured in local culture are ''Honeysuckle (film), Honeysuckle'', starring Libertad Lamarque and ''Casamiento en Buenos Aires'', starring Niní Marshall. The two 1939 films each featured themes that have become Argentine musical standards, likewise immortalizing the two leading ladies. Other films included: ''El alma del bandoneón,'' Mario Soffici, 1935; ''La muchacha de a bordo,'' Manuel Romero (director), Manuel Romero, 1936; ''Ayúdame a vivir'', 1936 by Ferreyra; ''Besos brujos'' (1937) by Ferreyra; ''La vuelta al nido'' (Leopoldo Torres Rios, 1938) and ''Such Is Life (1939 film), Asi es la vida'' (1939) directed by Francisco Mugica. Manuel Romero (director), Manuel Romero was a prominent director of the mid-to-late 1930s and worked in comedy based films often with rising Argentine star Luis Sandrini in films such as ''Don Quijote del altillo''. Romero was also a tango lyricist, one of the creators of magazine theatre and playwright that wrote more than 180 plays. He directed more than 50 films in total, most of which based on his own plot and composed the music with a tango film. The film industry in Argentina reached a pinnacle in the late 1930s and 1940s when an average of forty-two films were produced annually. The films usually included tango, but even when a tango theme was omitted most cinema from this period still included humble heroes and wealthy villains. In these films, it portrayed hard work and poverty as ennobling and depicted the poor as the primary beneficiaries of Juan Perón's economic policies. These films, in part supported by Perón, were seen as part of the political agenda of peronism. By supporting a film industry that attacked greed and supported the working class, Perón was able to influence the attitudes of his constituency to build public appeal. The growing popularity of the cinema of the United States, pressure from the Church-state relations in Argentina, Roman Catholic Church and increasing censorship during the Juan Peron, Perón presidency limited the growth of Argentine cinema somewhat, not least because harassment led to the exile of a number of prominent actors, among them Alberto de Mendoza, Arturo García Buhr, Niní Marshall and Libertad Lamarque, whose rivalry with her colleague Eva Peron, Eva Duarte turned against her when the latter became First Lady in 1946. Argentine cinema began losing viewership as foreign titles gained an increasing foothold in the Argentine market. The problem eventually became so bad that Argentina tried to curb the influx with the Cinema Law of 1957, establishing the "Instituto Nacional de Cinematografía" to provide education and funding. Among the era's most successful films were: ''Historia de una noche,'' Luis Saslavsky, 1941; ''La dama duende,'' Luis Saslavsky, 1945; ''Malambro'' (Lucas Demare and Hugo Fregonese, 1945); Albéniz (film), Albeniz (Luis César Amadori) starring Pedro López Lagar (1947); ''Pelota de trapo'' (1948) and ''Crimen de Oribe'' (1950), Leopoldo Torres Ríos; and ''Las aguas bajan turbias,'' by Hugo del Carril, 1952. One of the few Argentine actors who made a successful transition into directing was Mario Soffici, who debuted behind the camera in 1935 to acclaim with ''El alma del bandoneón'' and went on to become an institution in Argentine film over the next generation; among his most memorable work was the film adaptation of Marco Denevi's bestselling mystery, ''Rosaura a las 10, Rosaura a la diez'' ("Rosaura at Ten O'Clock"), for whose 1958 screen release Soffici wrote, directed and starred. In 1958, the film ''Thunder Among the Leaves'' directed by Armando Bó was released. The film featured the later sex-symbol Isabel Sarli in her first starring role, and marked the beginning of her partnership with future husband Armando Bó, which would span almost three decades and made numerous sexploitation films. Now considered a classic, a scene in which she bathes in a lake was the first one to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema. The film was a highly controversial box-office success; it has been described as a "boom" and "scandalous" and shocked the mostly Catholic Argentine society. In November 1958, ''The News and Courier'' reported "[a] saucy Latin lass has smashed South American box office records with the most daring dunking since Hedy Lamarr disrobed to fame in ''Ecstasy (film), Ecstasy''." The movie's premiere in Montevideo, Uruguay broke box office records, and Sarli's bath scene "rocked some Latin American capitals". However, Sarli was panned by fellow filmmakers for the nude scene. The horror genre, little explored by Argentine film-makers, was explored by Argentine director Narciso Ibáñez Menta. Television, as in the United States, began to exert pressure on the film market in the 1950s; on the air since the 1951 launch of Channel 7 (public television), Argentine television programming is the oldest in Latin America.
First "New Cinema"Since the late 1950s a new generation of film directors took Argentine films to international film festivals. The first wave of such directors was Leopoldo Torre-Nilsson, who "explored aristocratic decadence",
1960s and 1970sThe trend towards ''w:fr:Ciné Vérité, Ciné Vérité'' so evident in France in the early 1970s found an Argentine exponent in stage director Sergio Renán. His 1974 crime drama ''La tregua (1974 film), La tregua'' ("The Truce"), his first foray into film, was nominated for an Academy Award, Oscar. The same year, Osvaldo Bayer cooperated with the Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, Province of Santa Cruz to make ''La patagonia rebelde'' as an homage to a violently quelled 1922 sheephands' strike. Nostalgia was captured by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, whose reworking of Argentine literary classics like ''w:es:La Mano en la Trampa, The Hand in the Trap'' (1961), ''Martin Fierro'' (1968), ''w:es:Los Siete Locos, The Seven Lunatics'' (1973) and ''w:es:Boquitas Pintadas, Painted Lips'' (1974) earned him a cult following. Similar in atmosphere, Jose Martinez Suarez's moody ''Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsenico'' ("Older Men Don't Need Arsenic", 1975) takes a turn at murder worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. It was memorable as Mario Soffici's last role. "During the early 1970's, Argentina came apart. Government repression was met by insurrections and terrorism. Solanas and Getino contributed by filming two documentary interviews with the exiled Peron. They also founded a magazine, Cine y liberacion. Getino directed ''El Familiar'' (1972), an allegorical fiction feature on the destine of Latin America. Other film makers continued to make Peronist films, and ultra-left groups such as Cine de Base emerged." "In 1976, this period of militant documentary and cinematic innovation was violently ruptured by the murder/disappearance of three documentary filmmakers by the Argentine military: Gleyzer, Pablo Szir and Enrique Juarez." Heavily censored from 1975 until about 1980, Argentine film-makers generally limited themselves to light-hearted subjects. Among the productions during that era was Héctor Olivera (film director), Héctor Olivera's adaptation of Roberto Cossa's play, ''La nona'' (''Grandma (1979 film), Grandma'', 1979). The dark comedy became a reference to the foreign debt interest payments that later saddled the Argentine economy. One director who, even as a supporter of the military regime, delved into middle-class neuroses with frankness was Fernando Siro, an inventive film-maker seemingly insensitive to many of his colleagues' tribulations, many of whom were forced to leave during the dictatorship. Though his attitudes distanced him from his peers and public, his 1981 tragedy ''Venido a menos'' ("Dilapidated") continues to be influential.
Early 1980sFollowing a loosening of restrictions in 1980, muck-raking cinema began to make itself evident on the Argentine screen. Plunging head-long into subjects like corruption and impunity (without directly indicting those in power), Adolfo Aristarain's ''Tiempo de revancha'' ("Time for Revenge", 1981), Fernando Ayala's ''Plata dulce'' ("Sweet Money," 1982) and Eduardo Calcagno's ''Los enemigos'' ("The Enemies," 1983) took hard looks at labor rights abuses, corporate corruption and the day's prevailing climate of fear at a time when doing so was often perilous. Petty corruption was also brought up in Fernando Ayala's ''El Arreglo'' ("The Deal," 1983).
Post ''junta'' cinemaA new era in Argentine cinema started after the arrival of democracy in 1983; besides a few memorable exceptions like Alejandro Doria's family comedy ''Waiting for the Hearse, Esperando la carroza'' ("Waiting for the Hearse", 1985), the era saw a marked decline in the popularity of slapstick comedies towards films with more serious undertones and subject matter. The first group deals frankly with the repression, torture and the disappearances during the Dirty War in the 1970s and early 1980s. They include: Héctor Olivera (film director), Hector Olivera's ''Funny Dirty Little War (film), Funny Little Dirty War'' (1983) and the true story ''Night of the Pencils (film), Night of the Pencils'' (1986); Luis Puenzo's Academy Award-winning ''The Official Story'' (1985); "Pino" Solanas' ''w:es:Tangos El Exilio de Gardel, Tangos'' (1985) and ''Sur (film), Sur'' ("South", 1987) and Alejandro Doria's harrowing ''Sofia'' (1987), among others. Among films dealing with past abuses, one German-Argentine co-production that also deserves mention is Jeanine Meerapfel's ''The Girlfriend (film), The Girlfriend'' (1988), where Norwegian leading lady Liv Ullmann is cast beside locals Federico Luppi, Cipe Lincovski, Victor Laplace and Lito Cruz. A second group of films includes portrayals of exile and homesickness, like Alberto Fischermann's ''Los días de junio'' ("Days in June," 1985) and Juan Jose Jusid's ''Made in Argentina'' (1986), as well as plots rich in subtext, like Miguel Pereira's ''Verónico Cruz (film), Verónico Cruz'' (1988), Gustavo Mosquera's ''Lo que vendrá'' ("The Near Future", 1988) and a cult favorite, Martin Donovan's English-language ''Apartment Zero'' (1988). These used metaphor, life's imponderables and hints at wider socio-political issues to reconcile audiences with recent events. This can also be said of treatments of controversial literature and painful 19th century history like Maria Luisa Bemberg's ''Camila (film), Camila'' (1984), Carlos Sorin's ''A King and His Movie'' (1985) and Eliseo Subiela's ''Man Facing Southeast'' (1986).
1990sThe 1990s brought another ''New Argentine Cinema'' wave, marked by classical cinema and a twist from Independent Argentine Production. In 1991, Marco Bechis' ''Alambrado'' ("Chicken Wire") was released. That same year, activist film-maker Fernando Solanas, Fernando "Pino" Solanas released his third major film, ''The Journey (1992 film), The Journey'' (1992), a surreal overview of prevailing social conditions in Latin America. Existential angst continued to dominate the Argentine film agenda, however, with Eliseo Subiela's ''El lado oscuro del corazon'' ("Dark Side of the Heart," 1992) and Adolfo Aristarain's ''A Place in the World (film), A Place in the World'' (1992) – notable also for its having been nominated for an Oscar. Later in the 1990s, the focus began to shift towards Argentina's mounting social problems, such as rising homelessness and crime. Alejandro Agresti's ''Buenos Aires vice versa'' (1996) rescued the beauty of feelings in the shadows of poverty in Buenos Aires and Bruno Stagnaro's ''Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes (film), Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes'' (1997) looked into the human duality of even the most incorrigible and violent individuals. Having an intense past and rich cultural heritage to draw on, directors continued to reach back with moody period pieces like Eduardo Mignogna's ''Flop (1990 film), Flop '' (1990), Maria Luisa Bemberg's ''De eso no se habla'' ("You Don't Discuss Certain Things," 1993, her last and one of Italian leading man's Marcello Mastroianni's last roles, as well), Santiago Oves' rendition of Rodolfo Walsh's Agatha Christie-esque tale ''Asesinato a distancia'' ("Murder from a Distance," 1998), as well as bio-pics like Leonardo Favio's ''Raging Bull''-esque ''Gatica, el mono'' (1993) and Javier Torre's ''Lola Mora'' (1996). Political history was re-examined with films like Eduardo Calcagno's controversial take on 1970s-era Argentine film censor Paulino Tato (played by Argentina's most prolific character actor, Ulises Dumont) in ''El Censor'' (1995), Juan J. Jusid's indictment of the old compulsory military training system, ''Bajo Bandera'' ("At Half Mast," 1997), Marco Bechis' ''Garage Olimpo'' (1999), which took viewers into one of the dictatorship's most brutal torture dungeons and Juan Carlos Desanzo's answer to Madonna (entertainer), Madonna's ''Evita (1996 film), Evita'', his 1996 ''Eva Perón'' (a portrait of a far more complex first lady than the one Andrew Lloyd Webber had taken up). Popular culture had its turn on the Argentine screen. Alejandro Doria's ''Cien veces no debo'' ("I Don't Owe You Forever," 1990) took an irreverent peek into a typical middle-class Argentine home, Jose Santiso's ''De mi barrio con amor'' ("From My Neighborhood, with Love," 1996) is a must-see for anyone planning to visit Buenos Aires' bohemian San Telmo, southside and Rodolfo Pagliere's ''El día que Maradona conoció a Gardel'' ("The Day Diego Maradona, Maradona Met Carlos Gardel, Gardel," 1996) is an inventive ode to two standards of Argentine culture.
2000sFilms such as Fabian Bielinsky's twister ''Nine Queens'' (2000), his gothic ''El Aura'' (2005) and Juan José Campanella's teary ''Son of the Bride'' (2001) have received praise and awards around the world. Juan Carlos Desanzo cast Miguel Ángel Solá (best known for his role in Tango (1998 film), ''Tango'') as the immortal Jorge Luis Borges in ''El Amor y el Espanto'' ("Love and Foreboding", 2001), a look at the writer's struggles with Juan Peron, Perón-era intimidation as well as with his own insecurities. Always politically active, Argentine film continues to treat hard subjects, like Spanish director Manane Rodríguez's look at abducted children, ''The Lost Steps'' (2001) and "Pino" Solanas' perhaps definitive film on the Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002), 2001 economic crisis, ''Memorias del saqueo'' ("Memories of the Riot", 2004). Tristán Bauer took audiences back to soldiers' dehumanizing Falklands War experience with ''Blessed by Fire'' (2005) and Adrián Caetano follows four football players through their 1977 escape from certain death in ''Chronicle of an Escape'' (2006). Lucrecia Martel's 2001 debut feature film ''La Ciénaga (film), La Ciénaga'' ("The Swamp"), about an indulgent Bourgeoisie, bourgeois extended family spending the summertime in a decrepit vacation home in Salta, was internationally highly acclaimed upon release and introduced a new and vital voice to Argentine cinema. For film scholar David Oubiña, it is "one of the highest achievements" of the New Argentine Cinema, coincidentally timed with Argentina's December 2001 riots in Argentina, political and 1998–2002 Argentine great depression, economic crisis that it "became a rare expression of an extremely troubled moment in the nation's recent history. It is a masterpiece of singular maturity". Martel's succeeding films would also receive further international acclaim, such as the adolescent drama ''The Holy Girl'' (2004), the psychological thriller ''The Headless Woman (2008 film), The Headless Woman'' (2008), and the historical drama, period drama adaptation ''Zama (2017 film), Zama'' (2017). Responding to its sentimental public, Argentine film at times returns to subjects of the heart. David Lipszyc's grainy portrait of depression-era Argentina, ''El astillero (film), El astillero'' ("The Shipyard", 2000) was a hit with critics, Paula Hernandez's touching ode to immigrants, ''Inheritance (2001 film), Inheritance'' (2001), has become something of a sleeper, Adolfo Aristarain's ''Common Places'' (2002) follows an elderly professor into retirement, ''Cleopatra (2003 film), Cleopatra'' (2003), Eduardo Mignona's tale of an unlikely friendship, received numerous awards, as did Carlos Sorín's touching ''El perro'' ("The Dog", 2004). Emotional negativity, a staple for filmmakers anywhere, was explored in Mario Sabato's ''India Pravile'' (2003), Francisco D'Intino's ''La esperanza'' (2005) and Ariel Rotter's ''El otro'' ("The Other", 2007) each deals with mid-life crises in very different ways. The pronounced sentimentality of the average Argentine was also the subject of Robert Duvall's 2002 ''Assassination Tango'', a deceptively simple crime drama that shows that still waters do, indeed, run deep. Buffeted by years of economic malaise and encroachment of the domestic film market by foreign (mainly, US) titles, the Argentine film industry has been supported by the 1987 creation of the National Institute of Cinema and Audioviual Arts (INCAA), a publicly subsidized film underwriter that, since 1987, has produced 130 full-length art house titles. The decade ended on a high with the 2009 film ''The Secret in Their Eyes'' receiving critical praise, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards, three weeks after being awarded the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film of 2009.
2010sIn 2014, the anthology film ''Wild Tales (film), Wild Tales'' (''Relatos Salvajes'' in Spanish) directed by Damián Szifron was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards and won the Goya Awards, Goya Award for Goya Award for Best Iberoamerican Film, Best Iberoamerican Film.
Argentine films*For an A-Z list of Argentine films currently on Wikipedia see :Argentine films. *For a timeline of Argentine films see List of Argentine films
Argentine film companies*EMB Entertainment, Corp. / Contrakultura *Aleph Producciones *Aqua Films *Argentina Sono Film *BD Cine *INCAA *Patagonik Film Group *Pol-ka
Argentine scenographers*Saulo Benavente *
See also*Cinema of the world *Argentine Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences Awards *Argentine Film Critics Association Awards *Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival *Cinenacional.com *Clarín Awards *''Grupo Cine Liberación'' *Mar del Plata International Film Festival *World cinema