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FILM TV (10)
Study Guide

[FILM TV M50] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 22 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Film and Television
Course Code
FILM TV M50
Professor
Sampson
Study Guide
Final

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UCLA
FILM TV M50
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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ENGL / FTV M50 Notes
29.09 Week 1 Lecture 2 Narratives/Genre
The Western
First Western movie 1903 The Great Train Robbery , developed through repetition in Hollywood
drama.
Wasn't taken very seriously, as it was a B-movie (mass produced, low budget).
John Wayne: actor in many B-western
In-cap scene: come live with me, I have a ranch
John Ford
Western silent film director who transitioned into sound pretty well.
Many silent films, the big / classic Western: The Iron Horse and 3 Bad Men
Plotlines: laying out the railroad and 3 outlaws who help people
1930s directed non-Western films: The Informer and The Long Voyage Home
1939 Stagecoach , returns to Western, a summary film that revitalized the Western genre.
Trailer doesn't have anything particularly new—archetypal characters, typical story,
essentially a summarization of everything in the genre. HOWEVER, Ford brought reality in,
giving interest to characters and landscape, with an unconventional push-in close-up that made
John Wayne a star.
John Ford spent quality time developing character relationships, emphasizing the
difference between social standing and the relationship between male and female protagonists.
He made Monument Valley the West for most people (it's in Arizona).
John Ford also took special care in angles and stunts in action scenes, which were short
but concise with full utilization of the atmosphere and music to heighten to the tension
Example of composition done well: in beginning stagecoach leaves the town
(symbolizing civilization) towards the untamed, unknown wild; repeated at the end,
emphasizing People vs. Wild theme.
"Saved from the blessings of civilization."
Paradigms centering around avoidance of choice
1. Characters open-ended
2. Outlaw vs. official hero: Age, women/domesticity, the law
3. Ideological conflicts reduced to character conflicts
4. Ideological conflicts never TRULY resolved
Reflected in the Western
Simplifies outlaw vs. official hero conflict
This makes the conflict very clear.
Western highlights our unconscious prejudice towards youth, vigor, courage,
immaturity, inherent wisdom, no overthinking. Women are reduced to simple, clear roles—the
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good (conformist) with high morals and a secondary role, and the bad (deviant) woman with
low morals, low class, and a untraditional gender role.
Western also uses the setting that there is just enough law for life to not be an anarchy,
but not enough that people take it into their hands
Societal ideologies and conflicts made plain and essential
Every Western has white civilization in the middle of the wilderness - decrease
population and roles and conflicts become extremely simple.
Contemporary examples are “Lost” and “The Walking Dead”.
Stories America tells itself about itself
Grappling with the myth of manifest destiny, the West is a mythology etched deep in
the heart of America.
The Western is American self-image, so it can comment on the problems of American
society: societal prejudice, problems of civilization, limits of the law, wilderness as a testing
ground for each individual.
Western was a result of the Great Depression, and it became a classic when it began to
comment about American crises. It is the perfect visualization of the dilemma over choice.
Western films
Red River post-WWII disillusionment, the peril of dictatorship, the necessity of youth to
face their icons.
Fort Apache evil of sacred establishments, history built on lies and myths.
Darker Westerns
Winchester '73 obsession, hatred and revenge, threats to masculinity.
High Noon societal cowardice, conformity, the futility of pacifism.
Shane film about the West itself, mythology of the Western.
Theme: the homestead vs. the horizon
"You could just move on from your problems into the wild." There's always another frontier; thisi is
central to Western mythology.
John Ford in 1946 takes a lot of time in developing homestead vs. horizon. On of his
movies begins with the opening of a door and the closing of a door; it also shows the price of
living in civilization.
Example: Rick in Casablanca vs. Luke Skywalker in Stars Wars
Wants a home, with community and a place to go to vs. no rules and adventure.
The Hobbit
"The world is not in your books, your bags; it's out there," says Gandalf, so Bilbo goes out. But,
"I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden; that's where I belong," says Bilbo to the
dwarves. Essentially, the reason he goes out on an adventure is for to get a home for the
dwarves.
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