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EAST 350 Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Exam Guide - Amplitude Modulation, Shanghai, City


Department
Asian Language & Literature
Course Code
EAST 350
Professor
Grace Fong
Study Guide
Final

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EAST 350

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Lecture 1
January 9, 2018
8:48 AM
Early Chinese Cinema: Myths and Realities
Tom Gunning - An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator
Articulates what is was like for the very first audience to see the film
Starts with the moment the film was shown and the audience got afraid of a train projection, he
asks did it really happen like that?
The story (Shadow magic) was told by later film historians trying to reconstruct primal scenes for
cinema.
Tom believes that idea feeds more into an ideology rather than reality.
It was a spectacle perceived as a spectacle, not an encroachment into your reality.
He argues for a reflexivity of the audience to the movement of the train, they saw it as a marvel
not a reality.
Part of his argument is the term 'cinema of attractions' used to characterize an early moment in
film. Film form not bound to narrative but presentation.
Early film is filled with tricks. Use of camera editing to create tricks not trying to present reality but
an illusion that the audience is already aware of.
Shadow magic chapter
The distribution of film outside Shanghai at that time was a logistical nightmare
Early moments of film consumption did not look the way it was presented in the shadow magic
film.
Film came in as a signal of modernity, not a spectacle.
The presentation of the Chinese audience's reception of film is described as primitive whereas it was not
so. The same way film was received in the west, it was also received in China.
Film is inherently not just modern, but modernist.
Two kinds of films:
o Attractions - actuality films
Ordinary as a spectacle of itself
Montage: the process or technique of selecting, editing, and piecing together separate sections of film
to form a continuous whole.
Reflexivity
Actuality
o Narrative/Classical (Hollywood)
Everything in a narrative film is supposed to be a "means to an end"
A sense of organisation is tied to narrative; clear lines of cause and effect
Redundancy - everything in the story aligns to point to the same ending. Redundancy is also present in
the making of the film itself, repetition of certain shots to reassure the audience where the events of the
film is taking place.
Montage (editing): creates formal redundancies that create cause and effect
Everything reinforces the '4th wall' created by a voyeuristic camera
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Realism - presents the everyday in order to present the rules of the narrative 4th wall
4th wall refers to an imaginary wall that separates the audience form the actors
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