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Film Studies 1020E Lecture Notes - Classical Hollywood Cinema, Establishing Shot

Film Studies
Course Code
Film Studies 1020E
Peter Brunette

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Art Cinema
17 November 2011
Spectatorship and Art Cinema
- difference expectations from each genre
- we bring expectations to films
- play with narrative
- the spectator performs particular cognitive operations with are no less active for being
habitual and familiar
- we perform operations in our brain while we watch films (filling in the details and
forming a hypothesis)
i) Expectations and hypotheses in Classical Hollywood Narrative
- trying to guess what happens next
- we are either right, or wrong
- we always do that when we watch a film
- based on data that pre-exist our spectatorship of the film we watch
- data then interacts with material presented during the film
- schemata
- cues (cause and effect)
Before we have seen a film:
- genre - what we know about the western, for instance
- stars - for example, John Wayne from Stagecoach
- cinematize conventions:
- artistic moments: the panoramic vistas of Monument Valley in Stagecoach
- credit sequence
- establishing shot
ii) Defying our expectations: Art Cinema, 1950 - 1980
- art cinema is about defying our expectations
- leave us wondering what will happen and why
- brings a new way of seeing the world
- it can be fun
There are problems with the Classical Hollywood Narrative:
- not real/too illusory -> realism
- consoling narrative closure, wish-fulfillments -> ambiguity
- narration effaced, not the expression of author -> authorship
- character and plot
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