Presentation on theme: "Cinema as independent art form 1920s and 1930s. mise-en-scene creating the look and feel: since Georges Melies."— Presentation transcript:
Cinema as independent art form 1920s and 1930s
mise-en-scene creating the look and feel: since Georges Melies
1930s – the studio system The majors: MGM, 20 th c. FOX, Columbia, Universal Studios, RKO, Warner Bros. “Film factories” Actors and directors on contract: several films a year. “Star system”
Focus on glitz and glamour Representations of glamorous lifestyles Artificial jobs – focus on leisure and consumption Warner Bros. - more realistic, representation of the working class people, more down-to-earth plot.
Sex and violence in the 1930s Freaks, Scarface Condemnation and calls for censorship Hollywood Production Code introduced after 1934
Cinema of the code Will H. Hays: no skirt-lifting no single bed for unmarried characters. crime – always punished. no kissing or touching etc. no bathroom with toilet Result?: Creativity!
Significance Masterpiece of American cinema. Greatly innovative – combines many techniques used separately before. Story told in a very characteristic way. Innovative use of cinematography as well as mise-en-scene.
Orson Welles Citizen Kane was directed and written by 26-year-old Orson Welles (1915-1987), He also stars as the title character. Welles came to the attention of Hollywood because of his infamous “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast
The other important figure Gregg Toland cinematographer
Low angle shots
high angle shot
Deep focus photography
Story William Randolph Hearst Press magnate with political ambitions and colorful private life. Hearst practically blocked Well’s career in Hollywood.
Complex narrative structure Can be confusing: –the film begins with the death of the main character –the story of his life is told from multiple points of view
“News on the March” newsreel (a miniature version of the rest of the film) Followed by five narratives told as flashbacks
Entries from the diary of Mr. Thatcher (Kane’s legal guardian)
Interview with Mr. Bernstein (Kane’s business partner)
Interview with Jed Leland (Kane’s one- time closest friend)
Interview with Susan Alexander (Kane’s second wife)
Interview with Raymond, Kane’s butler.
the reporter The newspaper: always turned away from the camera or in shadows as he conducts his interviews He becomes a stand-in for the audience, often appearing only as a silhouetted head in the lower right corner of the frame.
Throughout the film we are limited to the knowledge that each narrator has about Kane, so the point of view changes with each new narrator.
Times of propaganda Sergei Eisenstein Leni Riefenstahl "Triumph of the Will” Wartime Hollywood - many crude propaganda films with crass stereotyping - but also more nuanced narratives Casablanca
The setting – atmosphere, refugees, war far away yet impact perceptible Characters: –Rick Blane (Humprey Bogart), Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) Public good over private desire.
Post-war America Post-war optimism and economic boom in the USA, newly-found confidence. America: key player in international politics. “Tinsletown” – celebration of prosperity and triumph, also celebration of national values through the triumph of law and order.
Film noir Also the dark mirror – many of the pioneers came from Germany (escaped from Hitler), brought traditions of German impressionism. Peak of popularity 1940s and 1950s.
Film noir Atmosphere of desperation and paranoia. No happy ending. Authority questioned: corrupt policemen, soldiers or politicians. Beautiful seducers – femmes fatales. Main characters: lonely types often criminals. Urban setting
City spaces shot on location rather than sets build in the studio (previously dominant form). Use of authentic spaces. Lighter, faster cameras.
Neorealism Italian movement – first significant development in the post-war European cinema. Movement of huge importance and impact: –Cesare Zavattini –Vittorio De Sica –Roberto Rosselini (Rome, Open City) –Luchino Visconti
Neorealism On location shooting. Use of non-professional actors. Working life characters and communities. Telling story through take rather than cut. Sense of defeat and exploitation – social conscience. sympathy for the common people
1950s the Hitchcock Era Alfred Hitchcock – one of the most famous directors ever. Master of Suspense famous for meticulous storyboarding. The advent of colour slow adaptation of the new technology: coexistence/