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Cinema of Argentina refers to the film industry based in Argentina. The Argentine cinema comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of Argentina or by Argentine filmmakers abroad.

The Argentine film industry has historically been one of the three most developed in Latin American cinema, along with those produced in Mexico and Brazil.[5][6] Throughout the 20th century, film production in Argentina, supported by the State and by the work of a long list of directors and actors, be

Cinema of Argentina refers to the film industry based in Argentina. The Argentine cinema comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of Argentina or by Argentine filmmakers abroad.

The Argentine film industry has historically been one of the three most developed in Latin American cinema, along with those produced in Mexico and Brazil.[5][6] Throughout the 20th century, film production in Argentina, supported by the State and by the work of a long list of directors and actors, became one of the major film industries in the Spanish-speaking world.

Argentina has won eighteen Goya Awards for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film, which makes it the most awarded country. It is also the first Latin American country that has won Academy Awards, in recognition of the films The Official Story (1985) and The Secret in Their Eyes (2009).

Golden Age of Argentine cinema. From top (left to right): Tita Merello, Libertad Lamarque, Luis Sandrini, Pepe Arias, Mirtha Legrand, Zully Moreno, Lolita Torres, Amelia Bence, Carlos Gardel, Olga Zubarry, 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 dancing into films, something which rocketed later in the 1930s after the advent of sound.

In 1930, Adiós Argentina became the first Argentine film to have a soundtrack. 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 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 Susini, who was instrumental in the introduction of television to Argentina in 1951.

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 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, starring Libertad Lamarque and 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 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 Susini, who was instrumental in the introduction of television to Argentina in 1951.

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 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, 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, 1936; Ayúdame a vivir, 1936 by Ferreyra; Besos brujos (1937) by Ferreyra; La vuelta al nido (Leopoldo Torres Rios, 1938) and Asi es la vida (1939) directed by Francisco Mugica.

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.

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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[9]

The growing popularity of the cinema of the United States, pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and increasing censorship during the 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 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); 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 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.[10][11][12] Now considered a classic,[12][13] a scene in which she bathes in a lake was the first one to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema.[11][14] 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.[12][15] 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."[16] The movie's premiere in Montevideo, Uruguay broke box office records, and Sarli's bath scene "rocked some Latin American capitals".[16] However, Sarli was panned by fellow filmmakers for the nude scene.[16]

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.

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",[17] Fernando Ayala, David Jose Kohon, Simon Feldman and Fernando "Pino" Solanas, who began by making La Hora de los Hornos ("Hour of the Furnaces", 1966–68) the first documentaries on the political unrest in late-1960s Argentina (at great risk to himself).[17]

Directors such as Tulio Demicheli and Carlos Schlieper began to emerge who often both wrote and directed them. A second generation that achieved a cinematographic style were José A. Martínez Suárez, Manuel Antín and Leonardo Favio.

Directors such as Tulio Demicheli and Carlos Schlieper began to emerge who often both wrote and directed them. A second generation that achieved a cinematographic style were José A. Martínez Suárez, Manuel Antín and Leonardo Favio.

Kurt Land directed El Asalto in 1960 starring Alberto de Mendoza, a crime drama shot in black and white. Lautaro Murúa, a Chilean actor working in Argentine cinema directed Alias Gardelito in 1961. The film showed strong political and social undertones and is about the difficulty of living an honest life in the face of an unrelenting poverty. The title of this story is taken from the name of the great Argentine singer Carlos Gardel, the idol of the antihero Toribio portrayed by Alberto Argibay. Toribio's goal in life is to emulate the famous singer and making his own way successfully in the music business. Yet at the same time, he does not stop his illegal means of making ends meet, stealing and petty thievery. Films such as A hierro muere starring Alberto de Mendoza and Olga Zubarry and Accidente 703 in 1962 were often co-produced with Spain and often featured both Argentine and Spanish born actors.

In 1963, comedy films became to feature in Argentine cinema, and films such as Alias Flequillo in 1963 directed by Julio Saraceni starred comedians such as José Marrone. Las Aventuras del Capitán Piluso en el Castillo del Terror starred comedians such as Alberto Olmedo who appeared in the genre throughout the 1960s and 1970s appearing in 1967's El Andador and other slap-stick comedies. Argentine film and TV was largely limited to light subjects in the perilous late 1970s.

The trend towards Ciné Vérité so evident in France in the early 1970s found an Argentine exponent in stage director Sergio Renán. His 1974 crime drama Alias Flequillo in 1963 directed by Julio Saraceni starred comedians such as José Marrone. Las Aventuras del Capitán Piluso en el Castillo del Terror starred comedians such as Alberto Olmedo who appeared in the genre throughout the 1960s and 1970s appearing in 1967's El Andador and other slap-stick comedies. Argentine film and TV was largely limited to light subjects in the perilous late 1970s.

The trend towards 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 ("The Truce"), his first foray into film, was nominated for an Oscar. The same year, Osvaldo Bayer cooperated with the 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 The Hand in the Trap (1961), Martin Fierro (1968), The Seven Lunatics (1973) and 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.[citation needed] It was memorable as Mario Soffici's last role.

Towards the mid-to-late 1960s, directors such as Armando Bo produced sex comedies which shocked the audience as they were soft porn and displayed nudity and sex not seen in the industry before. This preference continued into the 1970s, with Jorge Porcel's suggestive comedies.

"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."[18] "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."[19]

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's adaptation of Roberto Cossa's play, La nona (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.

Following 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).[20]

Post junta cinema

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