Techniques Of Classical Hollywood : A Formal & Narrative Analysis

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Matthew Paciorkowski Dr. Scott Richmond Intro to Film 7 November 2014 The Techniques of Classical Hollywood: A Formal & Narrative Analysis After an eventful night, Hildy and Walt are in the press office working on one of the biggest stories of their lives. Bruce, Hildy’s fiancé, runs in the room fed up with her behavior. He tells her that he is about to leave on a train, but she does not care. She just continues to write her newspaper article. Hildy’s choice to ignore Bruce serves to drive the goal of the narrative movement; she is reunited with the man she is meant to be with. The ending is exactly what the audience wants. However, this segment is not just a predictable ending. This segment serves as a statement about marriage, feminism, and working women. His Girl Friday (directed by Howard Hawks, written by Charles Leaderer) uses a series of formal and narrative techniques to unite Hildy and Walter. David Bordwell’s ideas explain how narrative, fabula, syuzchet, and the “Classical Hollywood” system apply to the segment and the film in general. Techniques such as these bring the audience’s attention to the film’s motifs: careerism, women, marriage, and feminism. Formal techniques such as lighting, space, focus, and framing add a feeling of speed and urgency to this segment. High key lighting highlights every aspect of the scene, allowing the audience to observe every detail of this chaotic diegetic world. Deep space and deep focus also serve the same purpose. Framing

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