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Unformatted text preview: GE Goals for Area V Gain understanding for human expression in different (sub)cultures Focus on culture(s), identity (ies), and diversity Emphasis on cross-cultural exchange --> Across different cultures Across different historical periods within similar cultures My Goals for RTVF 188 Enable you to: Sharpen your abilities to think critically about film and film culture Construct a strong argument orally and in writing Open your minds to new ideas and new forms in different cultural contexts You don't have to like the films in the course (though you will like some). You just have to think about them! Classical Hollywood Cinema (CHC) A mode of film production and style in the U.S. Our course model for basics of dominant commercial cinema, but remember, CHC refers to a particular period. 1920s-1960 (no longer exists but established norms) 5 major studios (Warner Bros., Paramount, RKO, MGM, 20th-Century Fox) Vertically integrated: production, distribution, exhibition A number of smaller film companies Influenced other national film industries and later periods of American film production Characteristics of story/narrative in CHC
The following elements dominate story-telling during this period/mode of production: Posing of a key enigma (i.e., a central puzzle or problem) within the context of a story Working through that enigma toward resolution Achievement of a sense of closure of issues raised in the course of the story. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) Dorothy wants to leave home and go over the rainbow. Once there, she wants to go home again. Back in Kansas: "There's no place like home!" Characteristics of story/narrative in CHC It creates a sense of verisimilitude (i.e., an impression of believability) It emphasizes the importance of individual action and agency Concentrates on one or two characters (stars) Provides clear character motivation Uses camera placement and editing to allow audience to understand what characters are thinking, feeling It constructs a logical, coherent organization of time and space (even in fantasy films) Continuity editing ("invisible") Continuity Editing Defining Alternative Cinema A kind of "umbrella" term under which many different kinds of films can be grouped In general, the term suggests a kind of film that somehow breaks the rules of conventional storytelling in film. (in one way or another: e.g., character, story, film style, audience expectations, subject matter). Defining Alternative Cinema
May play with or depart entirely from the "rules" of traditional film narrative and expression Why? Norms of story-telling can vary from culture to culture and period to period. Goals for filmmaking may vary also. But ... Sometimes, unexpectedly, alternative films attract new audiences and become commercial hits and eventual classics. Sometimes their innovative techniques are adopted by mainstream filmmakers. And Alternative film has also implied a concern with the avant-garde or the experimental. We'll end the semester with at least a couple of examples of experimental film. Characteristics of Alternative Cinema Character motivation may see contradictory or unconvincing Stories may not be constructed linearly, or may contain a lot repetition, or show little clear connection between cause and effect. Unexplained digressions or tangents Resolution may be ambiguous or nonexistent. Abrupt or ambiguous endings Time and space may not be constructed to create an impression of verisimilitude may feature confusing editing structures Challenges Posed by Alternative Film May be difficult to understand for those of us used to mainstream Hollywood film May be difficult to watch (e.g., subtitles, puzzling stories or characters, alienating subject matter or form) May challenge our perceptions of what film "should" do or be ...
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