Essay Cinema of Attraction

1656 Words7 Pages
When one contemplates the concepts of cinema and attractions, the ideas of the modern day blockbuster film might come to mind. World disasters, car chases, and high profile police investigations are just some of the story lines that attract people to theatres year round. The term "cinema of attraction" introduced by Tom Gunning into the study of film is defined more precisely. To quote Gunning, a cinema of attraction: "directly solicits spectator attention, inciting visual curiosity, and supplying pleasure through an exciting spectacle" (p.230). This spectacle may be demonstrated through dance, song or offscreen supplements, such as sound effects and spoken commentary. Rather than a straightforward entertainment purpose, a film may seek to…show more content…
The ending (or the beginning – it was interchangeable) helped place the film in history books. The scene involved one of the bandits shooting his pistol towards the audience creating a spectacle as the viewers, seeing this for the first time, believed they were being shot at. Many audience members were startled by this cinema tactic and the action shot became a great innovation in film (Dirk, 2007). The Great Train Robbery used a number of inventive techniques; including parallel editing, minor camera movement and location shooting. The director was one of the first to utilize jump cuts or cross cuts which displayed two separate lines of action or events happening continuously at identical times but in different places (Dirk, 2007). For instance, the film is intercut from the bandits beating up the telegraph operator (scene one) to the operators daughter discovering her father (scene ten), to the operators recruitment of a dance hall posse (scene eleven), to the bandits being pursued and splitting up the booty and having a final shoot out (scene thirteen) (Dirk, 2007). Furthermore, The Great Train Robbery was also the first film in which gunshots forced someone to dance, which is now a clichéd action in many western cinemas. Additionally, the use of colour was a spectacle seen in some of the women's attire, the gun shots and the explosions in the train. Overall as the film worlds first linear narrative The Great Train Robbery made way for several future filming
Open Document