Classical film.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Innis College Courses
Corinn Columpar

INI115: Introduction to Film Study Lecture Outline
 Topic: The Classical Film Date: 8 January 2013 Agenda:
 1) Introduction to Second Semester 2) The Studio System and Hollywood’s “Golden Age” 3) Characteristics of Classical Hollywood Cinema 4) Film Form and Classical Hollywood Cinema Introduction to Second Semester • While the first term was devoted largely to formal analysis, which demands focus on films as self- sufficient entities and thus an exclusive privileging of the textual, the second semester will provide many opportunities to think about the extratextual and intertextual as well. • The meanings that spectators make when interacting with a film can be affected profoundly by extratextual materials surrounding that film, including publicity, reviews, DVD bonus materials, academic analyses, and the social reality that prevails during its production, release, and/or screening. • The intertextual relations between two or more films are determined by the connections and/or differences they have between them. • The second semester of our course is divided into three sections, each of which foregrounds one of these terms; we will be emphasizing the textual, then the intertextual, and the extratextual in turn. The Studio System and Hollywood’s “Golden Age” • The classical film is a product of the Hollywood studio system, which began to take shape in the late teens/early 20s, but was fully consolidated during Hollywood’s Golden Age, the 1930s through the 1950s. • Hollywood studios were vertically integrated companies that drew on their own pool of contracted laborers and developed a distinct identity based of the kind of films they produced and circulated. • The studios engaged in a variety of serial manufacturing that allowed for them to make films quickly and systematically. • The producer-unit system both depended upon and ensured the standardization of film form. Characteristics of Classical Hollywood Cinema -bound by rules that limit individual innovation -is characterized by formal unity
 -purports to be realistic
 -strives to be comprehensible and unambiguous -possesses a fundamental emotional appeal -regards telling a story as a film’s chief concern - conceals its artifice Film Form and Classical Hollywood Cinema • Film form in the classical film is dictated by conventions that affect both the narrative system and the stylistic system. • Classical narratives are characterized by tight causality and psychologically ba
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