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COMM 550

COMM 550 - COMM 550 Magnificent Obsession The Z Channel...

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COMM 550 September 20, 2010 “Magnificent Obsession: The Z Channel”- good documentary -we started with some films that existed before the actual coming-to-being of independent cinema -emergence of American underground cinema -really comes from European film, pre- WW II -strong connection with the art world in America -historical passage between Europe and America is important -TV arising and taking over radio -These films were having their own versions of them created in America -key development in the 1960s- it becomes increasingly possible for these experimental underground films to become full length -in the 1950s, developments in the film industry itself are influencing ???? -1959: Some Like It Hot -internal logics that used to hold Hollywood films together seemed to be crumbling by the same people who used to employ them -Freudian-like jokes (Kiss Me, Stupid) -“fucking with the classical form of Hollywood cinema” -“The Apartment”- Shirley Maclaine, ends with a card game between her and Jack Lemon- the kind of ending that emphasizes that even though Wilder may go into the film with a sense of structure that’s so classical it indicates an intense mastery of Hollywood screenwriting and directoring and in particular, specific genres -like the hysteria in Kiss Me Stupid -someone like Wilder is famous for being able to start with a display of a really sweeping mastery of conventions of Hollywood filmmaking -ex: entrance lines, like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot -recent ex: The Kids Are Alright, Annette Benning -Wilder has celebrities playing themselves, he’s critiquing the entire industry, while setting it in Climax, Nevada -in a way, he’s using the structural basis of Hollywood to make some fundamental reversals -filmmakers are bringing these repressed things about American life to the screen -the reason why people were invoking Freud, in films like Rebel Without a Cause- scene depicting the absent father, overbearing mother homosexuality -making a statement about America as a place that refuses to believe obvious comments -Kiss Me Stupid- FARCE -Separate structure from dynamics and separate form from force -you cant experience the form of a film easily, its more about the course of time -you have to consider the other aspects of these things - The Killing -the very geography of Hollywood films…. . -film noir- the question of what you will see if you go looking
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-the genre was re-invented in the 1970s - The Long Goodbye, 1973; Night Moves Chinatown -terminal noir is the ending of an entire period in Hollywood that is opened back up in Hollywood in the 1970s, like Chinatown -a complete reinvention of the figure, like the femme fatale -scenes in Chinatown where you don’t know the meaning of things yet- like when he puts the stopwatches under the title but we don’t know why just yet -1967- people will say that Bonnie & Clyde is the beginning of American independent cinema – because it takes the earlier “ganster” film genre, breaks it open, and makes it a
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COMM 550 - COMM 550 Magnificent Obsession The Z Channel...

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