The Classical Hollywood Cinema Twenty-Five Years Along

Connotation - implied meaning of word. BEWARE! Connotations can change over time.

Meter - measure or structuring of rhythm in a poem

But Hollywood film style did not originate or sustainitself in this fashion. There is no single creator or cadre of creators to whomone can attribute the style. Griffith is often considered the central innovator,but his films are in many respects untypical of what would become the classicalcinema. When Kristin and I asked Dore Schary about what films influenced studiofilmmakers of the 1930s, he said there was no single film, but everybody whomade films wanted some of the lively energy of the play version of The FrontPage. That’san interesting point, but it doesn’t identify the sort of breakthroughworks one finds in schools of literature or painting.

Foot - grouping of stressed and unstressed syllables used in line or poem

David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson

As a concept, the idea of large-scaleparts, or “acts,” dividedby the film’s most important turning points didn’t come to be commoncurrency until 1979. Even then, it was an idea circulated primarily among aspiringscriptwriters.

Plot - the arrangement of ideas and/or incidents that make up a story

Another way to look at a literary analysis is to consider a piece of literature from your own perspective. Rather than thinking about the author’s intentions, you can develop an argument based on any single term (or combination of terms) listed below. You’ll just need to use the original text to defend and explain your argument to the reader.

Structure (fiction) - The way that the writer arranges the plot of a story.


ACYROLOGIA: Also called acyrology, see discussion under .

Two criticisms about the CHC textual argumentare that it does not seem to account for spectacle or for emotional trajectoriesin narratives. I have mixed beliefs about the validity of these complaints. Aswith our divided labor in CHC, I will tackle the question from the modeof production angle.

ADAGE: A proverb or wise saying.

I believe that CHC’s analysis of the mode of production and style could beused to describe emotional trajectories by considering other aspects of the formalarrangement of devices (although as with motivations and causality, the spectatorwould need to be hypothetical). Indeed, one of the outcomes of thebook has been the application of the critical method to further film practicesand the attempt to work on emotional trajectories as well as the compositionof plot and story (see the work of Murray Smith, Carl Plantinga, and Greg Smith). Fromthe production perspective, the CHC does open the door to looking atthe industry’s discursive preferences about creating a story that producesemotional affects, which we certainly did discuss. Particularly in Kristin’ssections about scriptwriting, matters such as “punch” and clarityof action for comedic effects are product expectations to insure audience emotionalengagement.

ADAGY: The act of speaking or writing in adages.

Of course, questions have been raised about parts of the industrial and institutionalanalysis. One criticism of the mode of production sections was their failureto discuss the broader industry. When I read that, I actually laughed,partially in agreement. In my first draft of my dissertation, I had anextensive description and analysis of the industry, but wise counsel was thatI was writing two dissertations. I agreed, and we eliminated theindustrial details from the dissertation and the book, trying instead to focuson pertinent effects of the broader industry on its mode of production and leavingto others further detailing of industry structure, conduct, and performance. Afterall, we had over 1200 typescript pages, and not everything could be said to createa somewhat manageable book. So that, for me, has always been oneof those ironies about the project which I might have explained in the foreword.

Amelia Bedelia Up Close Closely Reading a Classic Story Pinterest

In relation to these criticisms of gaps in our discussion,I also wish we had spent a bit of time on a mid-level set of norms commonly referredto as genre. Idiscussed the production reasons for cycles (CHC, 110–12) that includegenres as well as stylistic practices. David deals with generic motivationas one of the four major constructive principles for classical construction,and he analyzed film noir as a group of films (CHC, 74–77).A glance through our index indicates that we have sporadic comments on thesegroupings and the sorts of affects they solicit, but a section on these clustersof texts as perceivable groups within the broader scale norms that we were tryingto describe would have been helpful to articulate our analysis of how the modeof production encourages the use of genre (its standards ensure both efficientand effective production) and how discursive systems articulate what constitutesgood (and not-so-good) storytelling practices.