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“National cinema” generally takes on the accountabilities of representing a nation for the purpose of establishing a national identity within the context of cinematic film. Countries represent themselves on a global cinematic stage through national cinema, recounting national histories, economic crises, and representing to the rest of the world national customs, culture and geography. Germany and France are two countries that illustrate the collective consciousness, (DEFINE) through film.
Amidst the turbulent period of post World War I, Germany shifted into a republic and a severe economic crisis hit the country. Germany was shocked as the country was left structurally and financially drained, causing great grief for its citizens. The German government supported a film industry to provide films that would transport an audience away from its unfortunate time. In this effort, they funded national filmmakers to conserve and promote their own German culture. In this time the term German Expressionism was born as a a new medium of cinema. “An extreme stylization of the mis-en-scene, found its way to cinema,” (Douglas). German Expressionism was an art movement that emerged in both art and cinema which presented the world from a distorted view to evoke a certain mood or idea. The physical reality of Germany was crooked, and cinema film attempted to take the Germans sight away of the economic crisis ignited by the war. Ultimately German Expressionism strengthened the central use of national cinema in Germany, films of importance to its citizens.
One notorious 1920 film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari “became emblematic of the German Expressionist style…” (Gomery and Pafort- Overduin). The film caught much attention because of its distinctiveness from the average Hollywood film and proposed realism, which incorporated a gothic style. It presented a unique avant-garde movement and initiated a trend in German filmmaking. Filmmakers looked for new ways to project subjectivity on the screen. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari presented the world seen entirely through the eyes of a mad man, offering a distorted world view. (elaborate)
National Cinema strengthens Germany’s film industry by depicting a critical time of despair. It stresses a period in which German filmmakers and artists created work that gave society a glimpse of what their generation was like. However, national cinema poses a weakness; the audience sees Germany through selective exposure— from the filmmakers perspective and not as a whole. Additionally, selective exposure makes German national cinema films particular to their German audience, while non-Germans cannot fully relate to their time of calamity.
Similarly, the French New Wave arose from a foundation of the ‘auteur;’ which was both the creative visionary of the film and the artist. Prominent French director, Francois Trauffaut, was considered one of the originators of the New Wave. Trauffaut and other originators of the New Wave had an “unabashed love for selected, mainstream Hollywood films… they boldly proclaimed their admiration and respect for certain Hollywood auteurs” (Gomery and Pafort- Overduin). However, French directors did not want to simply emulate the style of Hollywood auteurs nor critique their work; rather they wanted to create a superior aesthetic within their films. Lacking any real experience in film production, the New Wave directors started with little to nothing and shot on improvised locations gathering whatever funds they could. In 1959, Trauffaut crafted an important film to the New Wave movement, The 400 Blow. The French New Wave movement was commemorated by critics, was “hailed… as among the most critical and prolific in the world” (Gomery and Pafort- Overduin). 
By the 1960s, the New Wave had become the heart of the French film industry. Inspired by the work of great directors, filmmakers crafted many films stressing an almost causal, sloppy look, something aesthetic and in short real. They were centralized by a strong theory that one had to use the strength of the cinema and its affinity with reality to construct a new style of filmmaking— a New Wave. The use of inexpensive and portable camera equipment made the film authentic and genuine, giving it a sense of freedom. In addition, French films rarely came to clean cut closures, instead ending on a cliffhanger. For instance, the most famous ambiguity comes from The 400 Blows, in which the audience is left with an unresolved ending.
To conclude, Trauffaut was the root of the French New Wave, noted as the most outspoken of film critics. Most acclaimed for The 400 Blows, the film incorporates a tale of struggles within the constrictions of the 1950s French society. The film incorporated traits of the French New Wave aesthetic and became popular with serious film enthusiasts. National cinema strengthens the French film industry because it represents the artistry within the French directors. Society perceives something new from French cultural context, a rather different style to cinema. Yet it displays a weakness of the industry in a similar manner to Germany; viewers see film from a selective exposure of only what the filmmakers allow us to see of Paris. 
  National cinema has an irrefutable dominant role in globalization. It allows society to gain an insight on different countries in the context of cinema film. The German Expressionism and French New Wave greatly inspired national cinema in Germany and France. National cinema allows society to gain an understanding and glimpse of the socioeconomic, political, and cultural structures of the French and German generation during the movements, all through the lens of a camera. 

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