rr-3 - Rick Altman American Musical notes Chapter 2-Dual...

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Rick Altman American Musical notes Chapter 2-Dual Focus Narrative Parallel not sequential structures, (multiple cinematic pairings to reinforce and lead viewer to interpretation; narrative--arrangement of scenes within sequences (montage segments); characters, paired songs, , roles, trips, locations, activities, feelings, scenes, visual and musical motifs) Oppositions that are resolved, reflecting social paradoxes (operating as myth) Primary oppositions Secondary oppositions “The American film musical has a dual focus, built around parallel stars of opposite sex and radically divergent values .. . .The dual focus structure requires the viewer to be sensitive to simultaneity and comparison [rather than the IMR chronology and progression—the outcome is never in doubt] (19) The structure [of the American film musical] is “not a continuous chain of well-motivated events but as a series of nearly independent fragments, each a carefully constructed duet involving the two principal personages” (as demonstrated by New Moon). “Whereas the traditional approach to narrative assumes that structure grows out of plot , the dual focus structure of the American film musical derives from character ” (21). “The plot, we now recognize, has little importance to begin with; the oppositions developed in the seemingly gratuitous song-and-dance number however, are instrumental in establishing the structure and meaning of the film. Only when we identify the film’s constitutive dualities can we discover the film’s function. [keys interpretive process—“Traditional narrative analysis usually stresses other scenes involving the same character, but in the musical the basic context is constituted by a parallel scene involving
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course SLS 492 taught by Professor Swenson during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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rr-3 - Rick Altman American Musical notes Chapter 2-Dual...

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