Film and Historiography HUM 3280: Narrative Film Fall 2011 Dr. Perdigao August 24, 2011 A history of film Evolutions, masterpieces, and periodization Different ways of studying the relationship between history and film, constructing a film history Historiography: the study of the methods and principles through which the past becomes organized according to certain perspectives and methods (Corrigan 368). Hollywood filmas framework for conventional histories of the movies (Corrigan 373) Periodizationstandardization and differentiation (Corrigan and White 394) Recognizable themes, plot devices, characterizations, genres, and visual styles, extends to costuming, casting, editing, and sound practices (Corrigan and White 394)
Measuring time Early Cinema (1895-1913) Classical Cinema (1913-1945) Silent films (1913-1927) Sound films, golden age of Hollywood (1927-1945) Postwar Cinema (1946-1965) Contemporary Cinema (post-1965) Early Cinema (1895-1913) (Corrigan and White 394-395)
Markers: rapid development and experimentation during the period 1895: public exhibition of movies 1910: rise of the star, or celebrity, system 1907-1913: beginning of the international dominance of Hollywood March 22, 1895: showing of Workers Leaving the Lumire Factory New forms of entertainment emerging in the nineteenth centuryvaudeville halls and popular literature, dime novels After 1905, nickelodeon theaters showing fifteen minute long movies, replaced by movie palaces between 1914-1920 (Corrigan and White 379)
Characteristics: shift from scenes to shots and beginnings of continuity editing; experimentation with crosscutting, close-ups, and long shots Foundations 1640: Kirchers magic lantern (Corrigan and White 375) 1839: Daguerres daguerreotype 1877: Muybridges images as movement 1892: Edison and Dicksons Kinetoscope (machine selling for about 200 dollars; twenty-five cent admission) 1895: Lumire brotherspublic viewings with Kinetoscope: actualits; Cinmatographe as alternative to Edisons use of Armats and Jenkinss Vitascope Mlis A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Recording of social and historical realities (Corrigan and White 375) Kinein: Greek, to move (Dick 2) Recording image to recreating it, telling a story Origins http://americanhistory.si.edu/muybridge/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrRUDS1xbNs&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIkLok-BYIk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrhVvp2IfYA&feature=related E. S. Porters The Great Train Robbery (1903): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRBi08Z00Ec&feature=watch-nowbutton&wide=1 Classical Cinema (1913-1945) (Corrigan and White 395-397) Silent and sound films Effects of World War I on American culture, represented in film energetic optimism and trembling fear (Corrigan and White 395)
Developments in early twentieth century (1910-1920): standardization of film production, establishment of the feature film, and cultural and economic expansion (Corrigan and White 395) Normalized running time of 100 minutes for narrative film Characteristics: full development of narrative realism and the integration of viewers perspective into editing and narrative action (Corrigan and White 396) Classical Cinema (1913-1945) New developments: representation of simultaneous actions, complex spatial geographies, and psychological interaction of characters through narrative (Corrigan and White 396)
Point-of-view shots developed placing viewers within characters perspectives 1926: Warner Bros. introduced the Vitaphone system, synchronized sound with images Introduction of sound in 1927, with The Jazz Singer premiering on October 6 Roaring twenties: Great Depression; spirit of optimism with Roosevelts New Deal Presence of musicals in the 1930s 1930s-1940s developments in sound: synchronous sound to show reality; asynchronous sound to communicate psychological realities (Corrigan and White 378)
1930s and improvement of Technicolor Classical Cinema (1913-1945) Elaboration of movie dialogue, emphasis on characterization; emergence of generic formulas for narratives Screenwritersfrom novels to films (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Hays Office and Production Code Violations Motion Picture Production Code, Hays Code
Established by Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), later Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Adopted in 1930, enforced in 1934, maintained until 1968 Attempts to clean up film industry, after moves toward censorship in film The Formula developed by Will Hays, hired as president of the MPPDA in 1922 Follows 1915 Supreme Court ruling that free speech did not extend to film (Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio) Promoting traditional values, protecting children, establishing standards of
good taste Coding http://course1.winona.edu/pjohnson/h140/hays_code.htm http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93301189 http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html http://www.mpaa.org/ratings/ratings-history Postwar Cinema (1945-1965) (Corrigan and White 397-398) World War II contexts and aftermath Doubts about human nature, social progressideas about what art can do Deterioration of American family, fears of the other as extension of Cold War culture Civil Rights movement in the 1950s Spread of television in 1950s 1948 Paramount decision, 1968 relaxation of codes and development of ratings system
United States v. Paramount, antitrust laws violation, separation of production companies and theaters that arose with vertical integration (Corrigan and White 380) More experimentation in film, testing boundaries, 3-D format developed in 1950s Contemporary Cinema (1965-present) (Corrigan and White 398-399) Vietnam Waranger and confusion, fragmentation in American culture, idea of national identity Revolutionary 1960s, 1970sideas about sexuality New Hollywood, influence of European cinema
VCRS (and Beta players!), cable, dvds, dvrs Changing modes of production, dissemination Multiple perspectives, opportunities to watch again, put together puzzles Characteristics: image spectacles and special effects and fragmentation and reflexivity of narrative constructions (Corrigan and White 399) Mid-1960s, Dolby sound reduces noise and enriches sound (Corrigan and White 378) Re-assessments Evolutionary/revolutionary film history, ideas of progress
Technological, economic, and artistic dimensions (Corrigan and White 374) Chronicling history Film archives 80 percent of films made before 1930 have disappeared (Corrigan and White 402) 1930s movement to restore and preserve films 1950s developments in film theory
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