Movie culture in Egypt and Italy
Our far-away holiday destinations are running the same movies as
at home. Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, it seems
as though the whole world gets to see the same movies. But who actually
goes to see what movies? And what does the country itself produce?
We focus the spotlight at random on two countries: Egypt and Italy.
At the beginning of the last century, both countries quickly developed
their own movie industry and an authentic movie culture emerged.
Movie producers recognise the need for a national cinema, with movies
that appeal to large audiences. Melodramas and comedies are popular.
Both countries create their own versions of these movie genres,
with their own national stars. Movie production is booming and both
Egypt and Italy are important movie producers for their regions.
Italian movies reach other Western and Southern European countries;
Egypt is the most important movie producer for the Arab world.
Both countries have had their Golden Ages, with high production
figures, famous actors, and high attendance figures. The seventies
were a period of crisis because of the arrival of television. More
and more movie theatre operators choose commercial Hollywood productions
to compete with television. The indigenous movie production declined
dramatically. The films that are still produced generally play to
a taste that is strongly influenced by Hollywood and commercial
TV stations. At this time, both countries are recovering somewhat
from the crisis in their national cinemas.