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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.


The Norwegian capital was the venue for the first exhibition of moving images in Scandinavia: on 6 April 1896 Max and Emil Skladanowsky’s Bioscope films were screened at the Variété Club in Kristiana (now Oslo). In the following few years, exhibitions of (mostly foreign) films took place in music halls and fairs, and in 1904 Norway’s first permanent cinema was established. In 1905, Norway gained independence from Sweden, and the first locally made films (including Kong Haakon VII ankommer Christiania/The Arrival of King Haakon VII in Kristiania) were records of the coronation of the new king. The early fiction film Fiskerlivets farer: et drama på havet/The Perils of a Fisherman (Julius Jaenzon) dates to around 1907; but domestic film production, with seventeen features made between 1906 and 1919, was small in scale. At the same time, by the mid 1910s Norway had established a unique (and continuing) system of municipal film exhibition, in which cinemas are owned and run by local authorities. Notwithstanding the popularity of rural melodramas such as Fante-Anne/Anne, the Tramp (Rasmus Brelstein, 1920), domestic production levels remained low until the late 1930s, a period that saw an upturn regarded by some as a golden age for Norwegian cinema. During World War II, the film industry was run by the Nazi occupying forces, and films—mostly light comedies and thrillers—continued to be made throughout the war. In the immediate postwar years, cinema attendances rose sharply, and occupation dramas like Kampen om tungtvannet/The Battle for Heavy Water (Titus Vibe-Muller, 1948) catered to audiences’ desire to see films about the war years. In 1948 the studio Norsk Film A/S, founded in 1935, became a joint state/municipal venture, making film production, as well as exhibition, a public and national project. This coincided with a rise in feature film output, with comedies proving especially popular during the 1950s and 1960s.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Norway, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 31 May. 2021

In the library's collections/Searching the online catalog

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Finding scholarly articles and journals

You can find scholarly literature for film and television studies in a variety of journals. We do have access to a journal specifically covering Norwegian cinema. However, if you want to do targeted searching, you can use a subject specific database such as Film & Television Literature Index. You can also use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's, you can download and read the articles you want from the journals for which we have subscriptions.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's also available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.