Classical Hollywood narrative 'Classical Hollywood cinema possesses a style which is largely invisible and difficult for the average spectator to see. The narrative is delivered so effortlessly and efficiently to the audience that it appears to have no source. It comes magically off the screen.' John Belton, film scholar, Rutgers University Classical Hollywood narrative refers to the filmmaking tradition established in Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s. It became the dominant style throughout the western world against which all other styles were judged. While there have been some challenges to it in recent years, it remains the accepted style for most Hollywood films today. The Hollywood style is so effective in convincing us …show more content…
In this respect we are god-like - we can see everything! This makes the style of storytelling objective, according to film academics David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson. It also allows us to accept simultaneous time or parallel editing (see page 25). Character driven. The American style of cinema is almost exclusively concerned with individual characters (and stars). This contrasts sharply with the Soviet montage style of
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During the course of this essay it is my intention to discuss the differences between Classical Hollywood and post-Classical Hollywood. Although these terms refer to theoretical movements of which they are not definitive it is my goal to show that they are applicable in a broad way to a cinema tradition that dominated Hollywood production between 1916 and 1960 and which also pervaded Western Mainstream Cinema (Classical Hollywood or Classic Narrative Cinema) and to the movement and changes that came about following this time period (Post-Classical or New Hollywood). I intend to do this by first analysing and defining aspects of Classical Hollywood and having done that,
In “A Century of Cinema”, Susan Sontag explains how cinema was cherished by those who enjoyed what cinema offered. Cinema was unlike anything else, it was entertainment that had the audience feeling apart of the film. However, as the years went by, the special feeling regarding cinema went away as those who admired cinema wanted to help expand the experience.
Throughout the term I have begun experiencing movies in a different way. The class has taken ideas of cinematography, theory, and film history and practically applied it to physically watching movies. By breaking down scenes and movies as a whole, the way I look at films in general has developed. A reflection on two of the films from this term, Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942) and North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959) will carry the bulk of the essay. Though, I will also be discussing how this class changed the way I saw a movie just a few weeks ago. Casablanca’s script and acting are of particular caliber, and North by Northwest unfortunately does not deliver with the dialogue and casting of lead actor Cary Grant. Though, overall, they both
Breathless is in many ways the antithesis of the classical Hollywood cinema; the changes have a direct effect on the relationship the film has with the viewer. Classical Hollywood cinema includes standards such as continuity editing, highly motivated, character-driven stories and a coherent narrative structure. Breathless defies these elements of traditional filmmaking, instead defining what we know as French New Wave.
David Bordwell wrote his article ‘The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film’ in an effort to convey the main idea that “art cinema” can be considered as a distinct mode of film practice, through its definite historical existence alongside other cinematic modes, set of formal conventions, and implicit viewing procedures. Rather than searching for the source of the art, or what drives the art in film, Bordwell compares art cinema to the classical narrative cinema, and highlights the differences in narrative structure. Bordwell makes the assumption that it defined itself against the classical narrative mode; especially with the way it deals with space, time, and the cause and effect link of events.
Although the best reasons for “going to the movies” are to be entertained and eat popcorn, understanding a film is actually quite complex. Movies are not only a reflection of life, they also have the capability of shaping our norms, values, attitudes, and perception of life. Through the media of film, one can find stories of practically anything imaginable and some things unimaginable. Movie-makers use their art to entertain, to promote political agendas, to educate, and to present life as it is, was, or could be. They can present truth, truth as they interpret it, or simply ignore truth altogether. A movie can be a work of fiction, non-fiction, or anything in-between. A film is an artist’s interpretation. What one takes away from a film depends upon how one interprets what has been seen and heard. Understanding film is indeed difficult.
Hollywood cinema is primarily subjected to telling stories. The inclination of Hollywood narratives comes not just from good chronicles but from good story telling. The following essay will discuss Hollywood’s commercial aesthetic as applied to storytelling, expand on the characteristics of the “principles of classical film narration” and evaluate alternative modes of narration and other deviations from the classical mode.
“The biggest mistake we have made is to consider that films are primarily a form of entertainment. The film is the greatest medium since the invention of movable type for exchanging ideas and information, and it is no more at its best in light entertainment than literature is at its best in the light novel.” - Orson Welles
The film Sunset Boulevard directed by Billy Wilder and staring the main characters of Norma Desmond, Joe Gillis, and Max Von Mayerling is ideal example of how important film making techniques help depict a movie's core theme intentions with vivid clarity. Classic Hollywood is the first thing that comes to mind when one speaks about this film's style. This signature category combined with the visual style of realism and it's continuity editing; detailed mise-en-scene and all of its characteristics; and lastly the use of reoccurring motifs with formalistic qualities make the audience grasp the central theme of just how vicious the actual motion industry can be to the individuals that keep its
Being one of the world’s most popular art forms, it was inevitable that these archetypes would find their way into film as well. In this essay I will argue that the
A set of practices concerning the narrative structure compose the classical Hollywood Paradigm. These conventions create a plot centering around a character who undergoes a journey in an attempt to achieve some type of goal (). By giving the
Theorist Vsevolod Pudovkin claims that narrative films are mainly a “product of construction” and cautious compilations of “selections of images that have been shot” (Renée).
What makes for a classic Hollywood film? Increasingly, films have evolved to the point where the standard by which one calls a “classic Hollywood film” has evolved over time. What one calls a classic film by yesterday’s standards is not the same as that of today’s standards. The film Casablanca is no exception to this. Although David Bordwell’s article, “Classical Hollywood Cinema” defines what the classical Hollywood film does, the film Casablanca does not exactly conform to the very definition that Bordwell provides the audience with in his article. It is true that the film capers closely to Bordwell’s definition, but in more ways than not, the film diverges from Bordwell’s definition of the typical Hollywood film.
In service of this argument, the essay unfolds in three parts. The first section sketches an appropriate framework for understanding how cinema marshals and moves viewers by engaging them in a fully embodied experience.4 The second section offers a brief overview of the film's plot before turning to an analysis of its triptych narrative and affective development. The third and final section considers the methodological, critical, and theoretical implications suggested by the preceding analysis.
According to film theorist Thomas Schatz, “a genre approach (to film) provides the most effective means for understanding, analyzing, and appreciating the Hollywood cinema (Schatz vii).” His approach to film is strongly supported by theorist Edward Branigan’s and the narrative representation of character interaction (Branigan), and André Bazin’s arguments that the objective reality pressed against audience interpretation.