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Download PDF by Robert B. Ray: A Certain Tendency in the Hollywood Cinema, 1930 - 1980

By Robert B. Ray

From the airborne dirt and dust jacket: "Robert B. Ray examines the ideology of the main enduringly well known cinema on the planet – the Hollywood motion picture. Aided through 364 body enlargements, he describes the improvement of that traditionally overdetermined shape, giving shut readings of 5 common circumstances: Casablanca, It's an excellent existence, the fellow Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Godfather, and Taxi motive force. just like the heroes of those video clips, American filmmaking has shunned dedication, in either plot and process. rather than picking left or correct, avant-garde or culture, American cinema attempts to have it either ways.

Although Hollywood's advertisement luck has led the realm viewers to equate the yankee cinema with movie itself, Hollywood filmmaking is a selected procedure designed to answer particular old occasions. As an artwork constrained in theoretical scope yet wealthy in person adaptations, the yankee cinema poses the main attention-grabbing query of pop culture: Do dissident types have any probability of last freed from a mass medium looking to co-opt them?

This isn't the world's most sensible experiment (you can see a part of the scanner's hand from time to time), however it is a readable reproduction of this hard-to-find booklet till a qualified test comes alongside. "

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Or when Louis Jourdan, in utter confusion about his feelings, rushes to the Jardin du Luxembourg to sing the title number of Gigi, Minnelli leads him into a wholly mysterious, wholly subjective landscape of the imagination, pregnant with the symbols of his newly discovered love for the one-time schoolgirl. Such a confrontation with their innermost worlds always gives the characters a kind of spontaneous certainty from which, ultimately, they derive their energy. The Minnelli musical thus transforms the movements of what one is tempted to call, for lack of a better word, the “soul” of the characters into shape, color, gesture and rhythm.

While in the early days of film studies, our experience was that of the film as (singular) performance and our theory was that of the film as book/text/narrative, the experience today is of the DVD as book (chapter divisions, pause-button, “leafing through” with fast-forward or rapid scanning), while theory tells us we require a different conceptual vocabulary: often enough one where the performative, the “embodied” and the “located” play a significant role, and the cultural context of reception forms the horizon of analysis.

Abducted by Cultural Studies, Rescued by Philosophy? The itinerary I have been trying to trace has an avowedly personal dimension, and thus cannot claim to be impartial or even representative. But it is one that is embedded in a number of institutional contexts, which in turn are part of the history of film and cultural studies in Britain, where “London” (here exemplified by the British Film Institute and Screen magazine) exerted a gravitational pull, but one that was balanced by various regional forces, especially the “new universities” that first established academic film studies (Warwick, East Anglia, Kent), by the Edinburgh Film Festival that became the home for a mixture of avant-garde filmmaking (with a strong feminist slant), cinephile retrospectives (of Sam Fuller, Douglas Sirk, Frank Tashlin, Raoul Walsh, Jacques Tourneur) and specific debates (such as the one on Foucault, France and “popular memory”), and last but not least, by the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, which provided the most significant intellectual counterweight to Screen theory in the 1980s, with a world-wide response.

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