Contemporary Cinema is a major study of key developments in the cinema over the last thirty years. It reworks Pasolini's landmark concept of 'the cinema of poetry' to look at the transformation of film form in its encounter with society, the sacred, the subjective and the presence of the camera. Poetic cinemas are seen as creating a distincitive match in their own cultures between critical social engagement and the delirium of form. In the 1970s, the influential forms of a cinema of poetry are analysed in key features by Altman, Herzog, Malick, Scorsese, Weir, Von Trotta and Tarkovsky while in the 1980s and 1990s the emergence of new filmmakers has meant a diffusion of different cinemas of poetry using new techniques and new technologies. Of key importance here is the work of Kieslowski, Lynch, Egoyan, Campion, Greenaway, Zhang Yimou, Tran Anh Hung and Wong Kar-Wai, as well as the reinvention of science fiction and film noir in American genre. These multiple cinemas of poetry with their social commitment and stylistic delirium have created a new freshness, vitality and visual impact to outrival the mainstream genre products of the Hollywood studies which currently dominate the world.* The most comprehensive study of major developments in the cinema during the last thirty years. * New insights into the transformation of 1970s cinema* Shows the continuing diffusion of cinemas of poetry and the most talented filmmakers of the 1980s and 1990s.* Looks at the vitality of the different cinemas of poetry as aesthetic resistance to the forms of filmmaking dictated by the power and money of the Hollywood studios.* Illustrated with 10 black-and-white film stills.