In the early years of narrative cinema there was little pressure on filmmakers for the ‘evolution of film forms before nickelodeons’ (Salt, 1990, pp31) as cinema neither became a mass nor high cultural product and was still a novelty but ‘Production companies’ profits were based principally on the sales of longer fiction films’ in the later years (Musser, 1990, pp256) so focus was made for the production of popular narratives so I will show how the early development of narrative evolved from trick films to complex narrative. I will analyse the short film Mary Jane’s Mishap (1903, Smith) and an extract from the seminal The Birth of a Nation (1915, D.W.Griffith). Mary Jane’s Mishap was made when ‘multi-scene films were becoming popular’ (Salt, 1990, pp32) It is notable for its use of experimental transitions. To ‘separate successive scenes’ (Salt, 1990, pp32) Smith used vertical wipes to transition to wider framed shot. This efficiently showed an ellipsis in time from the funeral to people visiting her grave. D.W.Griffith also used inventive shots but popularised them rather than inventing them, such as tracking shots adding pace the characters movement and the narrative. In the silent-era of film insert titles were important in explaining the narrative to the primitive viewer not well-versed in film, especially in films where the audience were not familiar with the story unlike ‘Porters The Night before Christmas‘(Musser, 1990, pp258). Griffith used insert titles which ‘changed around 1905 into summaries of the action’ (Burch, 1990, pp221) As the film had a ‘self-sufficient narrative’ (Burch, 1990, pp221) that ran for over three hours, with poor camera quality to recognise characters. But they were ‘systematically anticipating t... ... middle of paper ... ...ows this film as being a transition between the early trick films and narrative cinema. The Birth of a Nation has evolved in ‘relation to the articulation between shots in term of space and time’ (Gunning, 1990, pp89) it is of the third and fourth ciné-genres. As the ‘multi-shot narrative’ of approximately three hours long is edited as to the ‘cut is de-emphazised’ (Gunning, 1990, pp89) and is placed in the ‘fourth genre’ as the plot is disrupted through parallel editing (Gunning, 1990, pp90). In conclusion, we can see in film narrative The Birth of a Nation has progressed from the trick film narrative of Mary Jane’s Mishap to being identified according to Gunning as being of the third genre, due to both profitability and popularity of realistic cinema Moving from being of theatrical proscenium to complex cinematography to tell a story suited for the screen.
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...
Citizen Kane has earned the prestigious honor of being regarded as the number one movie of all time because of Welles’ groundbreaking narrative and plot structures that paved a path for the future of the film industry. Though critics have viewed the film with such prestige over the years, a present day viewer might encounter a great amount of confusion or difficulty as to why Citizen Kane is the number one movie on the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all time. Especially considering the modern day film industry, Welles’ production does not measure up to the amount of thrill and entertainment audiences experience today. Not even considering the possibilities with special effects and technology, Citizen Kane seems to lack an exciting plot that might involve some action or twists instead of the gossip of a man’s life that we no longer appreciate. In 1941, the general public could greatly appreciate the connections between Kane and William Randolph Hearst unlike young adults watching the film now.
Suspense is a 1913 film that portrays the story of a tramp intruding into a family’s home, where a mother takes care of her child while her husband is away. The plot is a common one that had been used previous times before the film’s release, such as in The Lonely Villa (1909). However, through taking advantage of the single frame shot, the filmmakers were able to create a masterful aesthetic of two separate stories that turn a basic plot into a complex story. The film created an inventive way of illustrating stories within cinema by allowing the audience the chance to consume more narrative in less time within just one take.
Art can be traced to the pre-historic era; it has evolved from pre-historic art to contemporary art. Over the centuries art has changed and taken various forms, under this huge spectrum comes Film. which is rather a new form of art. It has become a means of creative expression as well as performing the purposes of mass media such as providing the audiences with information, transmission of culture and amusement.
Higson, Andrew (2002). ‘The Concept of National Cinema’. In Williams, Alan (ed), Film and Nationalism, pp. 52-67. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Gunning, T. (1986). The cinema of attractions: Early film, its spectators and the avant-garde. In T. Elsaesser (Ed.), Early cinema: Space, frame, narrative (pp. 56-62). London: BFI.
Since the beginning of film, technology has played an important role in the evolution of the medium. Film, much more so than literature, relies on the ever-changing nature of technological development to stay relevant. In 1980 when Seymour Chatman wrote “What Novels Can Do That Films Can’t (And Vice Versa),” there were no such thing as DVD players and the VCR was a newly introduced, and thus non-perfected, product. Today when viewing a film, one has the luxury of returning to previous scenes immediately and effortlessly in order to further soak in and contemplate filmic choices. In his essay, Chatman focuses too heavily on narrative drive and, in saying that film cannot describe, does not give full merit to the idea of returning to and repeating a film for purpose of textual analysis.
Phillips, Gene D. Conrad and Cinema: The Art of Adaptation. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1995.
Bordwell, David & Thompson, Kristin 'Narrative as a Formal System: Time,' in Film Art: An Introduction 7th ed.,2009 New York: McGraw, pp. 84–86.
Before looking into the rise to dominance of Hollywood, we must gain an insight into the history of the cinema industry. The first practices of cinema entertainment was with Thomas Edison’s invention of the kinetoscope in 1896, which gave the audience the chance to view nickelodeons in fairgrounds and later on short films but it wasn’t until 1903 with the ‘Great Train Robbery’ (directed by Edwin Sporter) The pistol shot used in the Great Train Robbery is used in more contemporary films such as James Bond. The audiences started to show interest as now the cinema developed a narrative for the first time with the story shown through a series of various camera shots. It was then that longer movies with more complex story lines and innovative editing were released, and cinema’s possibilities as a form of market as well as entertainment were then recognised.