By Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell, Janet Staiger
How motion pictures are conceived,planned, and produced leaves a mark upon the flicks, at once and structurally. The kin among movie variety and mode of construction are, in keeping with the authors, reciprocal and at the same time influencing. The authors hint such subject matters as variety, economics, and know-how over the years, demonstrating how major alterations occurrred in Hollywood from the earliest days throughout the sixties.
(American Film )
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Extra info for The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Mode of Production to 1960
In the stylistic analysis of the cinema, the practice of unbiased sampling is unprecedented, but we believe it to be a sound way to determine historical norms. When the sample turned up what might be regarded as auteur films, we accepted this as inevitable in an unbiased sample and treated these films exactly as we did others. At least four-fifths of the sample, however, constitute a body of fairly obscure productions ranging across decades, studios, and genres. Furthermore, we have sought to test the conclusions about the UnS films by closely analyzing almost two hundred other Hollywood films of the 1915–60 period.
26 Even when personal causation remains central to a film, however, there is still the possibility of making it more ambiguous and less linear; characters may lack clear-cut traits and definite goals, and the film’s events may be loosely linked or left open-ended. ’ Motivation Understanding classical story causality takes us toward grasping how a classical film unifies itself. Generally speaking, this unity is a matter of motivation. Motivation is the process by which a narrative justifies its story material and the plot’s presentation of that story material.
The plot thus includes all the systems of time, space, and causality actually manifested in the film; everything from a flashback structure and subjective point-of-view to minutiae of lighting, cutting, and camera movement. The plot is, in effect, the film before us. The story is thus our mental construct, a structure of inferences we make on the basis of selected aspects of the plot. For example, the plot might present certain events out of chronological order; to understand the film, we must be able to reconstruct that chronological, or story, order.