Classicism and Modernism

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Hollywood in the 30’s and 40’s was the golden-age of a new era of filmmaking. The films of that period went beyond the silent films being produced in the past. Diagetic sounds like dialogue and more advanced filmic techniques would push cinema to a new mode of filmmaking, that being classicism. The classical Hollywood structure was being developed in the past with silent films but it came to full fruition in the 30’s, where many filmmakers would produce feature-length films with fully developed storylines and the use of glamorous lighting and larger-than life characterizations to give audiences a more cinematic experience. Genre films like: the gangster, comedy, western, horror, and other various genres of the era, provided large revenue for studios and the creative means for filmmakers to manipulate the mise-en-scene to make each genre films slightly different from the rest. Classicism would provide audiences with clear-cut characterizations, simple storylines, non-intrusive directing, and simple but entertaining conclusions that neatly wrap up the story. The production code which was called the “MPPDA” at the time, would censor many films and even cause many of them to either be cut down in content or never be shown. This harsh censoring was caused by an incident that some say was due to the graphic content of Hollywood pictures themselves. William H. Hays was the president of the Hollywood production code in the 30’s until the 1950’s; he died on, March 7th, 1954. The production code of the time was aptly named after Mr. Hayes and it was called the Hays Production Code. If a picture did not have a stamp of approval then it would have a hard time getting released and distributed in Hollywood. Some filmmakers got away with cen... ... middle of paper ... ...d, the sled is a McGauffin are sadly not getting the whole picture, as this film is all about Kane and his lost past but I guess it is indeed up to interpretation as many people can see different facets of this truly Modernistic film that influenced countless classics and is still considered to be one of the best films of all time. In closing, this unit was indeed interesting as I got to revisit some classic films and I got to view a terrific French film. I had so much fun that I hope, Unit 3, is just as good as the former units in class. Film is indeed rightly considered something to be savored and critiqued for as long as we live. Works Cited Spadoni, Robert. Uncanny Bodies-The Coming of Sound Film and the Origins of the Horror Film. Berkeley University of California Press, 2007. Various. Wikipedia. 4, 12,2010. .
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