COMM 150 EXAM 2.docx - Elia Kazan On the Waterfront u25cf...

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Unformatted text preview: Elia Kazan , On the Waterfront ● Kazan ○ Immigrant ○ Became a part of a group of creative artists interested in a techniques of acting ■ “Method acting” ■ Derived from the theories of Konstantin Stanislavski ■ Taught in america by Lee Strasberg ○ The acting style of the Studio, co-founded by Kazan, was premised on the idea of tapping into an affective memory that was equivalent to the moment in the drama and using that memory to make the moment more realistic. ○ He was briefly a member of the communist party because he wanted social change ■ Grew out of it ○ Committed to his art and the integrity of the process ○ He loved when the camera could bring out a performance ■ Elicited the most groundbreaking performances ● Acting Style in Early cinema ○ Very big movements ○ Looks like overacting ■ Because people in the back of the theater needed to see what was happening ● Differences between melodramatic theatrical acting and naturalist acting ○ In early cinema, the predominance of the full shot made the more stylized and gesture-oriented melodramatic acting more necessary to convey information, whereas the emergence of the close- up shot allowed for more naturalism in expression ○ Post WWII era, this naturalism would be furthered by method acting ● Changes in the Movie Industry ○ The courts broke up the monopoly of the major studies and television started to compete for audiences ■ Tv was free because of advertisements ○ Fewer people started to watch movies and as a result the 2 basic responses were ■ To go for even lower common denominator with films ■ To go for smarter niche-market products ● HUAC ○ House Un-American Activities Committee ○ Created to investigate Nazi influence in the late 30s, began to investigate the influence of the communist party ● Blacklists and McCarthyism ○ HUAC began investigating Hollywood for alleged ties to Communist propaganda ○ 10 people subpoenaed were convicted for contempt of congress after refusing to name the names ■ Hollywood 10 ○ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Over 300 actors, directors, and industry workers were blacklisted from being able to work in Hollywood ○ After following the McCarthy reign of coercion much more intensely, Kazan was called to testify ○ He stayed silent and then gave names ■ Told others to do so as well (give names that were already given) ○ Always insisted on the righteousness of his actions ■ Hollywood felt betrayed ○ Went from being a posterboy for new Hollywood realism, to a scapegoat, and then hated by the left and mistrusted by the right On The Waterfront ○ Drama about the reality of life at the docks as a symptom of the social and economic ills of the day ○ The Hook by Arthur Miller ○ Miller’s all my Sons and Death of a Salesman by Kazan ○ Kazan was now drawn to ambivalent situations in which the protagonist has to struggle over the right way Bud Schulberg ○ Writer with similar liberal commitments to Kazan’s ○ What Makes Sammy Run, The Harder They Fall, The Disenchanted ■ Powerful characters whose success depended upon pitiable humans who cowered before the very force that exploited them ○ Worked on the screenplay with Kazan ■ Zanuck hated it ■ They pulled in Sam Spiegel Cast ○ Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb, Eve Marie Saint Boris Kaufman, Cinematography ○ Russian ○ Prefered black and white to color because mood and overall thematic conception could be more directly communicated Leonard Bernstein, Score ○ Scored the music after the actual filming was done ○ Music highlights the moral ambivalence and makes aspects of the character develop more clear Industrial-Feudalism Conscience The Ambivalence of Conscience in On the Waterfront (post film) ● Three stages of the film relating to Terry Malloy’s conversion (slow changing of his mind) ○ First: exposes Malloy’s associations with a corrupt gang and lays out the nature of the corruption ○ Second: depicts his discovery of corruption as well as the depths of his own guilt ○ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Third: shows him battling for justice (listening to his conscience) and battling for his own rights..showing the way to reform and allowing for more rights for everyone What set of relations are established? (opening scene) ○ Spaces are dark and closed in, tight angles ○ People who inhabit these spaces are the drunk being pulled out by the police contrasted with charlie and his coat, faces of the “mugs” ○ Music is foreboding, frantic at the scene ■ Terry is the only one who seems to care what happened to Joey Doyle ○ Marlow Brandon was perfect for the part of Terry because he had the right kind of ambivalence in him ○ Actions and choices = consequences Between Good and Evil ○ Film presents opposing sides that Terry must negotiate with himself, the struggle is intense and have a pull on Terry’s conscious ■ Edie Doyle/Father Barry (goodness, kindness, justice) ■ Johnny Friendly (jungle law, industrial feudalism, immorality) Pigeons and Symbolism ○ They are used as a parallel to the people who tend them ○ Flock animals who are frightened by hawks ○ Cooped up, caged in by their surroundings ○ Roof is an escape for Terry, where he can look out to the rest of the world, but he cannot escape this cooped up world Priest’s conscience is awakened (scene where Joey Doyle is killed) ○ Father Barry's character is based on Rev John M Corridan (the real waterfront priest) ○ Karl Malden, actor who plays Father Barry, hung around with a priest before filming ■ 2 choices for kids in the neighborhood, join the gang or join the church ○ Father Barry is made to reflect on what it means to tend his parish ■ Not hiding in the church, going out to the world and fighting for justice The Shape-up (scene with picking who gets work) ○ Workers have to fight against one another for whatever scraps are left ○ Those who have taken loans from the mob or paid kickbacks to get work do not have to worry about getting a job ○ The mob watches and laughs ■ Pop Doyle is upset that his daughter has to see this Priest Learns about Industrial Feudalism ○ Talks to workers who did not get picked Like it ain’t part of america ○ Union doesn't help workers, it exploits them Justifying Oppression ○ Scene in the back of bar with mob members and Terry Gimme ○ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Johnny Friendly's Psychology stands in for the larger problem ■ He justifies his oppression by saying that he was once oppressed, so now he is getting his ○ Schulbergers feeling that it is the most vicious person that rises to the top of this kind of social system ○ Psychology is a symptom of the material conditions ■ Jungle law of winner take all and positions of power justified by the resentment of having to endure the same Quid Pro Quo and Conscience ○ Everything has a price in the world ○ Mob is linked to a belief system in which the choice are black and white or right and wrong Making the Case for Justice (Church Scene) D and D vs. Democracy (deaf and dumb) ○ Father Barry makes the case for doing the right thing ■ Doesn't really understand the reality of America ● Procedural Justice is trumped by deaf and dumb ● Freedom of speech and assembly is trumped by fear of violence Getting to know the good (scene where Terry and Edie meet Competing Philosophies (scene at restaurant with Edie and Terry) ○ Negation of golden rule from the golden warrior ■ Sick it to the other guy first (thesis) ○ Edie.. shouldn’t we care about people (antithesis) ○ Edie offers an outside perspective, having being protected from this world ■ Learning about this world for the first time Forced to choose by institutional powers Wise Up ○ Johnny is less friendly and more menacing ○ Terry sees that the choice is not an easy one ○ Forced to choose between loyalty to his brother and the system he is involved with and the greater good Christ in the Hole (scene where “kayo”is killed by whiskey bottles purposely dropped on him by mob) ○ The Martyrdom speech helped Kazan and Schulberg air their ideological commitments and to challenge the silent liberals to speak out against corruption and injustice on all fronts ○ Power relationships are established through visual hierarchies ■ Mob at top and workers and Father barry at bottom of hole The Agony of Conscience (Father Barry and Terry talk) Confessions (Terry confesses to Edie) On Gangs and Conscience: Either/Or ○ Any systems or collective that forces you to make an either/or choice is problematic Brothers and Martyrdom (scene in taxi with Charlie and Terry) ○ ○ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Kazan said scene was largely improvised Charlie is choosing his own death here, as penance for his having held Terry back ■ Conscience has been raised, but he is too deep to be redeemable Love and Ambivalence (scene where Terry goes into Edie’s apartment) POV and Decisions ○ Charlie is eliminated because he acts out of conscience ○ The darkly lit long closed in alley is a visual representation of the scenes ide ■ Trapped in a bad space with few ways out ○ We get a subjective POV shot of Terry seeing Charlie Moving Beyond Jungle Law (scene in bar with Father Barry and Terry with gun) Testimony Scene ○ The man upstairs is an interesting addition here, the corruption goes beyond the bad apple theory in America to a criticism of systemic problems Led by conscience or by desire for revenge? Winning the war ○ Ambiguity is everywhere, as getting his rights is tied once again to the personal desire to show Johnny Friendly ■ Music plays an important role Triumph of Justice ○ Reactions to the ending of the movie were ambivalent ○ The symbolism of Terry leading the workers might deceive the causal viewer, because for a moment, individual revenge and Christian brotherhood seem united ■ It will seperate ○ Kazan says final scene was not utopian ○ Film argues that injustice can be remedied, but that individuals are frequently casualties of the conflict between right and wrong in society ○ Workers get their day of work and there is hope of a union that will represent their issues and ensure them of fair treatment, but this is only aspirational Psychology of Crowds ○ Kazan used the moral ambivalence that he felt naming names to come to terms with the protagonists feelings ○ In Terry’s choice there is a struggle that the individual must go through when choosing ○ It is not an easy choice about doing the right thing, rather a grey murkey good that involves great sacrifice and very little reward ○ The problem with Friendly’s union is that it is led by leaders who are more concerned with preserving their own power than they are with their duty to help the people they are nominally supposed to protect A new way ○ Won 8 oscars ○ Film cost 900,000 and grossed 9.6 million ○ Disapproved Zanuck’s studio logical claim that no one wanted to see a movie about a bunch of “sweaty dockworkers” Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window (prefilm) ● Biography ○ Born in London 1899 ○ Family was Catholic ○ Began in film industry in 1919 ○ Did a stint with UFA ○ From 1939 on he worked for the us, first at MGM and then mostly for paramount ● Themes ○ Suspense Thriller: key in on the macabre and mysterious aspects of life and are often interspersed with great humor, whimsy and wit ○ Unique blend of story, systel, mood and technique for manipulating the audience ○ Stories begin from some transgression against social order and then the crime or mystery unravels ○ Wanted to provoke the gaze of the viewer and pull them into a relationship with the story ○ Deal with subtle differences between normal and abnormal ● The Public Enjoys Fear ● Suspense ○ Detail is key; controlling the plastic material of the image and using it to evoke anxiety from the audience ○ Must let the audience have information ○ McGuffin or Red-herring: misdirecting the audience ○ Tension comes through information; make the audience suffer ● The Satisfaction of Temporary Pain Must Look (psycho scene looking into woman's room) ● The Pleasure of Looking ○ Film is about looking and seeing ○ Visual Pleasure (scopophilia) is derived through such looking is called voyeuristic ○ Rear Window is an explicitly self-reflective film about the kind of visual pleasure that one gets while watching a film and about what visual lures get viewers to want to watch ● Making the Film ○ BAsed off of the literary source “It Had To Be Murder” written by Cornell Woolrich ○ Jeff is main character who has broken leg ○ John Michael Hayes is the screenwriter ○ James Stewart and Grace Kelly are the leads ○ Entire picture was shot on one set ■ Required months of planning and constructing ● Look of the Film ○ Color: Technicolor ○ 1.66:1 was Paramounts aspect ratio ● ● ● ○ MGM and Wb went to 1.75:1(1953) ○ Universal introduced 1.85:1 widescreen (1953) What is established? ○ Presences, anxieties, plot-likes ■ Plays our expectation throughout the film ○ Hitchcock subjective camera Spaces ○ Movie unfolds on a single set within the limited space of Jeff’s apartment and the Greenwich Village Courtyard Themes ○ Things attract the gaze of the viewer (Jeff) ○ Structured around the parallel development of the love story and the resolution of the crime ○ People's views of themselves and others Hitchcock and the Appetite of the Eye ● Hitchcock's Most Cinematic ○ Most self reflexive movie ○ His visibility as a storyteller is part of what we expect in one of his films ■ Goes beyond his cameo appearances to his constant intrusion into the story via subjective camera or leading the audience, and even further into his constant winks at the audience ○ Films are acknowledged as constructions and he constantly reminds us that it was he who constructed it ○ Films depend on us looking ■ Jeff serves as a surrogate for the spectator ● Moving from Hitchcock’s view to Jeff’s ○ Being with a crane shit that is from a position that no character can occupy ■ Moves towards jeffs window and slowly around his room to give us more information about him ○ Jeff is a photographer of extraordinary events ■ Leg is broken from car crash ○ It is Jeff’s desire to see that got him into this position and state of mind ● Trapped in a Cocoon ○ Seeing things from Jeff’s point of view ○ Sound becomes verisimilar all diegetic ot live sound from his perspective to capture the distance ○ He is bored and itching for something to watch ■ Feels trapped ○ Trapped in his plaster cocoon for 6 weeks ■ Symbol of metamorphosis, transformation from what he was into something else ● Formally ○ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Scene shows us the way in which the spectator’s gaze is provoked or lured into looking ○ Helicopter was added in post-production ○ Hitchcock establishes a kind of dialectic of seeing tied to the subjective point of view Neighbors as types of cinematic spectacles or lures for the gaze ○ Miss Torso: Sex ○ Ms. Hearing-Aid: Visual Art (abstract modern piece called “hunger” ) ○ Musician: Music ○ The couple with the dog: ordinary everyday ○ Miss Lonelyheart: melodrama and pathos ○ Newlyweds: dark comedy (also serve as counterpoint to badly-wed Thorwalds) ○ Thorwalds: both the familiar (invalid) and the uncanny... crime… ○ Also singer who is a sonic presence presumably on the same fourth wall that Jeff occupies ○ Jeff cannot stop looking at their private lives from his safely voyeuristic position A race of Peeping Toms ○ Stellas words ○ Voyeurs drawn toward looking at others ○ Jeff is avoiding commitment ■ He has a distinct image of what he wants ○ Uses self image to remain detached ○ He would rather look out at the world from the safety of his voyeuristic position Introducing Lisa ○ She is the aggressor in the relationship, the active to his passive ○ She is the perfect kind of woman for a man who likes to look ○ She knows how to attract the gaze of men ○ Their inner worlds are different, their fantasy lives are worlds apart ○ Sadist/libertine paining Identities in Conflict ○ Parallelling the Thorwald's across the way, Lisa and Jeff fight ○ Jeff is clinging to a fixed image of himself as a rugged adventurer ○ Hitchcock inserts the abnormal to create suspense and drive the narrative ○ Lures us and Jeff into wanting to know what has happened ○ The intrusion of the abnormal into the mundane everyday world that Hitchcock felt was most compelling ○ The most provocative thing is to avoid surveillance Hitchcock intrudes to provide information Jeff does not have ○ We see Thornwald leaving with a woman from his apartment The day after, More troubling sights for the voyeur Busting on David O. Selznick ○ He looks like Thornwald character and they make fun of him through the movie ○ Jeff uses his neighbors to think through his own issues ■ ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● He is projecting onto them the unhappiness that he associated with the idea of marriage ○ Thorwald is the Id to his Ego as Jeff suspects him of the crime What does Lisa have to do? ○ She has to “be” ○ Jeff prefers fantasy women that he can gaze at through his lens to the one who is there ○ Other movie called Vertigo, Jeff like Scotty ignores real-life love in Lisa ○ As a voyeur, he prefers one-way relationships based on looking to one rooted in mutual regard, recognition and concern Jeff pulls Lisa into his Fantasy ○ Lisa begins to see what he sees ■ Becomes romance as a mutual or shared fantasy Introducing Doyle ○ Separation between private fantasy and public accusation ○ Jeff asks to invade Thorwald’s privacy ○ Doyle tells Jeff the back story and lets Jeff know the detail that only we know (that Thorwald left early in the morning with his wife) ○ Since we identify with Jeff, it leads us to doubt Doyle Lisa Fills in the Gaps ○ Jeff’s desire for Lisa is now apparent since they are fascinated by the same spectacle ○ Lisa still needs to do more to catch Jeff’s eye Doyle’s Explanation ○ Jeff is looking into a private world, people do a lot of things in private that they couldn’t explain in public ○ Backwards logic ○ Leaves them deflated with irrefutable evidence that Jeff was wrong ○ Hitchcock makes us suspicious Rear Window Ethics ○ Ethics of looking at one’s neighbor ○ Justifying voyeurism by saying that anyone who leaves their windows open is a willing exhibionist ○ Hitchcock is asking what it means in a modern world filled with voyeurs to love thy neighbor Modern Neighbor ○ An assemblage, a montage, of community ○ The neighbor as watchful eye, looking out for signs of abnormal Lisa Enters Jeff’s Spectacle ○ Lisa leaves and enters into Jeff’s frame of vision, becoming part if the spectacle that he watches ■ He looks at her with true longing and desire Lisa becomes Jeff’s fantasy girl: “Willing to go anywhere and do anything” ○ ○ Provoking the audience building the tension, providing a momentary fright and then relieving the audience Lisa is caught, and Jeff is caught looking ○ ● ● ● Thorwald breaks down the fourth wall and looks directly into the camera, confronting the viewer and setting off a new line of tension. While Stella and Jeff try to arrange for Lisa’s bail, Hitchcock gives us information that they do not have, as Thorwald studies Jeff’s apartment and sets out to cross the same distance that Lisa has already crossed. Just as Jeff did in relation to Lisa the scene before, we now want to warn Jeff of Thorwald’s movement. ○ We are shown the world through Thorwald’s eyes Seeing through Thorwald’s Eyes ○ Hitchcock is going out of his way to make Thorwald sympathetic ( a typical of Hitchcock’s villains) ■ It is distance and separation that allows us to make people into monsters ○ The final climax is shown as Thorwald tries to throw Jeff over the threshold that has protected him as a voyeur into the world below Cutting and Fighting: Montage is always better ○ The camera, a symbol of his existence, cannot protect him; it is confrontation with reality Lessons ○ The ordinary can be just as fascinating to look at as the battlefield or the bush ○ Seems to argue that if we awaken from our position of detachment to being part of the action, we can be better “seers” and perhaps better neighbors ○ Yet at the same time Hitchcock seems to al...
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