Scholars of the Rhetoric Genre studies tend to look at genres as though they are typic social acts that would lead to actions that would be based on recurring societal situations. Carolyn Miller once wrote of a genre as a mode of social action (Miller, 158). In understanding the genre, it becomes easy to define the action that happens at one time in any setup. Our way of interpreting the reality in a movie or a film section (Barwashi; 348). In a way, we see makers of films putting a lot of effort into making people see the society in the film by all means. In fact, the first thing that comes up when someone delves into creating one is making people realize the setting. The genre
...e experience: $200 for fifteen minutes inside of John Malkovich’s mind. The first customer tries to explain why he would want to be someone else, but Maxine cuts him off, uninterested in what he has to say. As the word of J.M. Inc. spreads, the line slowly begins to get larger and larger. People will pay good money to “be all that someone else can be.” And this is ultimately how the movie industry works in relation to the spectator. In the end, movies are a business that lures the spectator in with promises of voyeurism and escape from the Symbolic into the Imaginary, for a price. People will line up for the premier of a new movie just like people will line up to experience Malkovich. In the end the whole experience and anything profound that we might take away from it, as Craig says to Lotte, “[is] just the thrill of seeing through someone else’s eyes. It’ll pass.”
Beginning the mid 1920s, Hollywood’s ostensibly all-powerful film studios controlled the American film industry, creating a period of film history now recognized as “Classical Hollywood”. Distinguished by a practical, workmanlike, “invisible” method of filmmaking- whose purpose was to demand as little attention to the camera as possible, Classical Hollywood cinema supported undeviating storylines (with the occasional flashback being an exception), an observance of a the three act structure, frontality, and visibly identified goals for the “hero” to work toward and well-defined conflict/story resolution, most commonly illustrated with the employment of the “happy ending”. Studios understood precisely what an audience desired, and accommodated their wants and needs, resulting in films that were generally all the same, starring similar (sometimes the same) actors, crafted in a similar manner. It became the principal style throughout the western world against which all other styles were judged. While there have been some deviations and experiments with the format in the past 50 plus ye...
Orson Welles’ cinematic classic, Citizen Kane, is a film that centers on a group of reporter’s investigation into the meaning of Charles Foster Kane’s last word, “Rosebud.” Through their investigation of his last words, the team of reporters, is presented with an almost, but not quite, complete picture of “Citizen” Kane’s life. By assuming that the man’s last word was as grandiose as his life, the reporters miss out on the bigger, more holistic picture, which is Charles Foster Kane’s life. The reporters’ emphasis of attention on what turns out to be a small and trivial, although they never find that out, aspect of Kane’s life, make Citizen Kane a perfect example of the pitfalls of over-interpretation.
In The Pathos of Failure, Thomas Elsaesser explains the emergence of a new ideology within American filmmaking, which reflects a “fading confidence in being able to tell a story” (280) and the dissolution of psychologically relatable, goal-oriented characters. He elaborates that these unmotivated characters impede the “the affirmative-consequential model of narrative [which] is gradually being replaced by another, whose precise shape is yet to crystallize” (281). Christian Keathley outlined this shape in more detail in Trapped in the Affection Image, where he argued that shifting cultural attitudes resulted in skepticism of the usefulness of action (Keathley). In Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, this crisis of action is a key element of the main characters’ failure, because it stifles the execution of classical narrative and stylistic genre conventions.
For Phoebe's presentation on twentieth century movies, there needs a lot to be covered for the topic. The first subject that Phoebe should cover is the classical hollywood narrative, and how it structures a film. The Hollywood movie narrative is the most important when it comes down to the film’s structure and storyline. The narrative itself is practically very cliche in terms of today’s standards. The narrative follows the simple story structure of beginning, middle, and end. This simple formula is used because every story needs this simple structure to conclude the stories. If the movie doesn’t get a proper ending, then audiences will be disappointed. Phoebe
The most trusted and well-known movie critic Roger Ebert collected, in the book “Great Movies”, one hundreds of superb essays on the best movies that have shaped the history of cinema. The selection extracted from his book offers an idea of the artistic criteria used to select the movies, and a passionate defence of the auteur film as rappresentation of life meaning. Ebert puts is finger on on a sad reality that sees hordes of moviegoers attracted, as moths from light, only by hyper-publicized movies whose content is often questionable. The author believes we born open minded, and gradually, because of the media brainwashes, we loose our curiosity. Hence, Erbert’s book is an hymn to exploration, sitting ourselves free from language barrier,
The words “writing about film”, to my mind, conjure up the Siskel & Ebert-like desiccation of film that one usually finds in a review column. Needless to say, such “writing” can hardly be found appealing to one who looks for more than the appreciation or dislike of a performance or the absurdity of story. In “A Short Guide to Writing About Film,” I discovered that writing on film should and can be a far cry from such drivel. It is a staunch review of technique in relation to writing specifically on film. Obvious technique, to be sure, but if approached the proper manner, these reminders can be quite useful in articulating the often hard-to-capture meaning or imagery in film.
The Classical Hollywood style, according to David Bordwell remains “bound by rules that set stringent limits on individual innovation; that telling a story is the basic formal concern.” Every element of the film works in the service of the narrative, which should be ideally comprehensible and unambiguous to the audience. The typical Hollywood film revolves around a protagonist, whose struggle to achieve a specific goal or resolve a conflict becomes the foundation for the story. André Bazin, in his “On the politique des auteurs,” argues that this particular system of filmmaking, despite all its limitations and constrictions, represented a productive force creating commercial art. From the Hollywood film derived transnational and transcultural works of art that evoked spectatorial identification with its characters and emotional investment into its narrative. The Philadelphia Story, directed by George Cukor in 1940, is one of the many works of mass-produced art evolving out of the studio system. The film revolves around Tracy Lord who, on the eve of her second wedding, must confront the return of her ex-husband, two newspaper reporters entering into her home, and her own hubris. The opening sequence of The Philadelphia Story represents a microcosm of the dynamic between the two protagonists Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven, played by Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Through the use of costume and music, the opening sequence operates as a means to aesthetically reveal narrative themes and character traits, while simultaneously setting up the disturbance that must be resolved.
I will begin my essay by looking closely at the narrative of Sunset Boulevard to see where and how the film represents the Hollywood Studio System. At the beginning of the film the audience is introduced to Joe Gillis, a script writer who is struggling to pay his rent as he in unable to sell his scripts to the ‘majors’ of Hollywood. The film follows Joe to ‘Paramount Pictures’ one of the major studios in Hollywood, which the film pays a large self reference to as the producers of Sunset Boulevard as well as representing the studio system.
An evaluation of Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross and Miller’s Death of a Salesman both depicts a protagonist that grapples with a moral discrepancy of ideals and disillusionment. This conflict is directly affected by a personal choice that later becomes irrevocable. Shelly from Glengarry Glen Ross and Death of a Salesman Willy, struggle to preserve their reputation. Intertwined with external pressure and family dynamics, these characters represent the quintessential elements of a tragic hero.
All About Eve is an American drama from the 1950’s about a woman named Eve Harrington who manipulates her way into the life of Margo Channing, a Broadway star. The implicit meaning of the movie is the plot of Eve working her way into the light of fame. The explicit meaning of the movie, however, is exposing people’s obsession of fame, ambition, and stopping at nothing to get there. My viewer expectation is that I would not be interested in the movie because older movies are tiresome to me, especially if they are in black and white. However, I was surprised that I really enjoyed watching this movie and I was very impressed with it. Part of analyzing the film is being able to understand and figure out the intentions of the movie. This movie could be misinterpreted because people may believe it is trying to expose the truth of life in theater. However, the film All About Eve is really about is the obsession and want for fame – at any and all costs. This theme gives significant insight into the human condition, and is cultivated through the genre, brilliant screenplay, casting, costumes, director’s style and mise-en-scene, cinematography, camera angles, and sound effects.
In David Mamet’s play, “Glengarry Glen Ross”, a group of sales representatives, Shelly Levene, Richard Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow, are placed into a competition that sets all of them against each other. Their bosses challenge the four men to compete against one another in a sales competition where the winner with the most sales will receive a brand new Cadillac and the two people with the least sales will lose their job. With the ultimatum of losing their job, the men struggle to out due each other in hopes that they will come out on top (Mamet 21). Through dialogue and tone, Mamet presents the characters with a sense of desperation and determination; thus, he propels the story into countless affairs of deception and cheating, and ultimately shows how people are willing to do whatever it takes when driven to the edge and placed into a do-or-die situation.
“Entertainment has to come hand in hand with a little bit of medicine, some people go to the movies to be reminded that everything’s okay. I don’t make those kinds of movies. That, to me, is a lie. Everything’s not okay.” - David Fincher. David Fincher is the director that I am choosing to homage for a number of reasons. I personally find his movies to be some of the deepest, most well made, and beautiful films in recent memory. However it is Fincher’s take on story telling and filmmaking in general that causes me to admire his films so much. This quote exemplifies that, and is something that I whole-heartedly agree with. I am and have always been extremely opinionated and open about my views on the world and I believe that artists have a responsibility to do what they can with their art to help improve the culture that they are helping to create. In this paper I will try to outline exactly how Fincher creates the masterpieces that he does and what I can take from that and apply to my films.
Modernism and Postmodernism are movements that sought to break free from traditional ways of thinking. Each movement offers its own unique characteristics that separate them from one another. Miller’s essay on tragedy where he gives his ideas on why the common man is just as worthy as being viewed as a tragic hero, help readers identify Willy Loman as a tragic hero. When readers read Miller’s play, they can associate his work as a work of Modernism. Mamet’s play, on the other hand, is a Postmodernism work due to the fact that it has no tragic hero, there is no tragedy present, it is just a play about a couple of salesmen and their everyday lives. There is no meaning to be searched for since Mamet makes no attempt to give one.