Movies, Mass Communication Entertainment

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Lecture from a Mass Media class at Montana Tech.

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Movies, Mass Communication Entertainment

  1. 1. MoviesMass Producing EntertainmentResource Manual:Ralph E. Hanson, Mass Communication: Living in a Media World
  2. 2. We will cover:• The history of moving pictures• Rise and fall of studio system | Blacklisting• Style and Genre• Classical Narratives• Day for Night, La nuit américaine (Truffault, 1973)• Or, Good Night, and Good Luck (Clooney, 2005)
  3. 3. Early Movie Technology• 1878: Eadweard Muybridge, watch movie
  4. 4. Early Movie Technology • 1894: Thomas Edison opens first kinetoscope parlor. • See Annie Oakley.
  5. 5. Early Movie Technology • Lumière brothers invent portable movie camera and projector. • A Trip to the Moon.
  6. 6. Telling a Story With Film• 1903: Edwin S. Porter directs The Great Train Robbery• Contains 12 separate scenes• Is shot in a variety of locations• Tells a realistic story• Established basic film storytelling conventions
  7. 7. D.W. Griffith • 1915: Birth of a Nation, the first feature-length film • established “classical editing” -- editing for dramatic intensity and emotional emphasis rather than purely physical reasons. •
  8. 8. The Studio System• Stars worked directly for studios• Block bookings• Vertical integration• Development of talking pictures
  9. 9. Response to the Studio System • 1919: United Artists created by directors and actors. • Rebelled against the controls placed on them under the studio system.
  10. 10. The Blacklist • 1947: HUAC holds hearing on communist influences in Hollywood. • Hollywood Ten resisted testifying, were jailedHollywood 10: Herbert Biberman, AlvahBessie, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, and blacklisted.Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Lawson,Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott,and Dalton Trumbo.
  11. 11. The Blacklist • By 1953, as many as 324 were blacklisted, including many prominent screenwriters. • Blacklist continued until 1960 when Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo hired to write Spartacus, Exodus.
  12. 12. Senator Joseph McCarthy • 1950. McCarthy was the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. • A prominent attack on McCarthys methods was an episode of See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, March 9, 1954.
  13. 13. Movies React To Television• Movie audiences peak in 1956—80 million tickets sold per week• By 1953, ticket sales drop to 46 million per week• First round of 3-D movies, larger format theaters• Growing popularity of color• Growth of multiplex theaters
  14. 14. Styles and Types (Modes) of Filmsstyle REALISM CLASSICISM FORMALISMsTypes Documentary FICTION Experimental(modes) Good Night and Good Luck Avatar/ Gone With the Wind Fellini Films Manufactured Landscapes Boogie Doodle NB. These are not airtight categories and often overlap.
  15. 15. What About the Classical”Style?•Often handsomely mounted, story oriented, highpremium placed on the the entertainment value ofthe story which conforms to popular genre.•Characters often played by “stars” and roles areoften tailored to their personal charms. Audience isencouraged to identify with their goals/values.
  16. 16. CLASSICAL NARRATIVES• Derived from live theatre (Aristotelian Poetics and the “well-made-play”) the classical narrative model is based on a conflict between a protagonist, who initiates the action and an antagonist who resists it• Beginning, middle and end with cause and effect plot escalation.• Most films in this form begin with an implied dramatic question -- we want to know if the protagonist will get what they want in the face of opposition.
  17. 17. What About Genre? • Definition: A recognizable type of movie, characterized by certain pre-established conventions. Common genres are Westerns, Drama (Romance, War, Action etc.), Thrillers, Sci-Fi, Comedy, etc. A ready-made narrative form. • Genre was developed by French directors François Truffault, Jean-Luc Godard and their Cahiers du cinema associates in the mid-50s. Simultaneously with their Auteur Theory, they also developed the theory of film genre. • Believed that the genius of American cinema was its repository of ready-made forms saying “The tradition of genres in a base of operations for creative freedom.”
  18. 18. La nuit américaine (Day forNight). Truffault, 1973A committed film director struggles to complete hismovie while coping with a myriad of crises, personaand professional, among the cast and crew. (Fromimdb.com)Director:François TruffautWriters:François Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard,Stars:Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud and FrançoisTruffaut
  19. 19. Good Night, and GoodLuck. Clooney, 2005Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bringdown Senator Joseph McCarthy. (From imdb.com)Director:George ClooneyWriters:George Clooney, Grant HeslovStars:David Strathairn, George Clooney and Patricia Clarkso

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