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Hou Hsiao-hsien: A new video lecture! How Motion Pictures Became the Movies. Constructive editing in Pickpocket : A video essay.
Popular culture also called mass culture and pop culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of the practices , beliefs , and objects that are dominant or prevalent in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. The primary driving force behind popular culture is mass appeal, and it is produced by what cultural analyst Theodor Adorno refers to as the " culture industry ".
Film form and culture pdf
Hou Hsiao-hsien: A new video lecture! How Motion Pictures Became the Movies. Constructive editing in Pickpocket : A video essay. Rex Stout: Logomachizing. Lessons with Bazin: Six Paths to a Poetics.
Murder Culture: Adventures in s Suspense. Mad Detective : Doubling Down. Nordisk and the Tableau Aesthetic. Re Discovering Charles Dekeukeleire. Doing Film History. Anatomy of the Action Picture. Film and the Historical Return. Studying Cinema. Nearly everybody loves movies. But there are some people who seek out old movies. This of course creates a moving target. Everybody agrees that La Grande Illusion from is an old movie, though it still seems fresh and vital.
Now for the real question. Why would anyone be interested in watching and studying old movies? For one thing, old films provide the same sorts of insights that we get from watching contemporary movies. Some offer intense artistic experiences or penetrating visions of human life in other times and places.
Some are documents of everyday existence or of extraordinary historical events that continue to reverberate in our times. Still other old movies are resolutely strange. They resist assimilation to our current habits of thought. They force us to acknowledge that films can be radically different from what we are used to. They ask us to adjust our field of view to accommodate what was, astonishingly, taken for granted by people in earlier eras. Another reason to study old movies is that film history encompasses more than just films.
By studying how films were made and received, we discover how creators and audiences responded to their moment in history. By searching for social and cultural influences on films, we understand better the ways in which films bear the traces of the societies that made and consumed them. Yet another answer to our question is this: Studying old movies and the times in which they were made is intrinsically fun.
As a relatively new field of academic research no more than sixty years old , film history has the excitement of a young discipline. Over the past few decades, many lost films have been recovered, little-known genres explored, and neglected filmmakers reevaluated.
Ambitious retrospectives have revealed entire national cinemas that had been largely ignored. Even television, with some cable stations devoted wholly to the cinema of the past, brings into our living rooms movies that were previously rare and little-known. And much more remains to be discovered. There are more old movies than new ones and, hence, many more chances for fascinating viewing experiences. We think that studying film history is so interesting and important that during the late s we began to write a book surveying the field.
In this book we have tried to introduce the history of cinema as it is conceived, written, and taught by its most accomplished scholars. We have had to rule out certain types of cinema that are important, most notably educational, industrial, scientific, and pornographic films. We limit our scope to theatrical fiction films, documentary films, experimental or avant-garde filmmaking, and animation—realms of filmmaking that are most frequently studied in college courses.
Researchers are fond of saying that there is no film history, only film histories. The history of avant-garde film does not fit neatly into the history of color technology or the development of the Western or the life of John Ford. For others, film history means that historians work from various perspectives and with different interests and purposes.
We agree with both points. There is no Big Story of Film History that accounts for all events, causes, and consequences. And the variety of historical approaches guarantees that historians will draw diverse conclusions.
We also think that research into film history involves asking a series of questions and searching for evidence in order to answer them in the course of an argument.
When historians focus on different questions, turn up different evidence, and formulate different explanations, we derive not a single history but a diverse set of historical arguments. While millions are watching movies at this moment, a few thousand are studying the films of the past. One person is trying to ascertain whether a certain film was made in or Another is tracing the fortunes of a short-lived Scandinavian production company.
Another is poring over a Japanese film, shot by shot, to find out how it tells its story. Some researchers are comparing prints of an obscure film to determine which one can be considered the original. Other scholars are studying a group of films signed by the same director or set designer or producer. Some are scrutinizing patent records and technical diagrams, legal testimony, and production files.
And still others are interviewing retired employees to discover how the Bijou Theater in their hometown was run during the s. One reason is evident.
Most film historians—teachers, archivists, journalists, and freelancers—are cinephiles, lovers of cinema. Like bird-watchers, fans of s television, art historians, and other devotees, they enjoy acquiring knowledge about the object of their affection. Movie fans may stop there, regarding the accumulating of facts about their passion as an end in itself. Film historians mount research programs , systematic inquiries into the past.
A research program also consists of assumptions and background knowledge. For a film historian, a fact takes on significance only in the context of a research program. A film archivist—that is, someone who works in a library devoted to collecting and preserving motion pictures—often comes across a film that is unidentified.
Perhaps the title credit is missing or the print carries a title that differs from that of the original film. The film presents a series of questions: What is the date of production or of release? In what country was it made? What company and personnel made the film? Who are the actors? It was probably imported rather than made in Belgium, where the print was discovered. Fortunately there are some clues in the print itself.
The lead actress, seated in the foreground, is a famous star, Francesca Bertini. Identifying her makes it almost certain that the film is Italian. But Bertini was a star from into the s. How can we narrow the dates further? The camera points straight toward the back wall of the set, and the actors seldom move closer to the camera than they are seen here.
The editing pace is slow, and the action is staged so that performers enter and exit through a rear doorway. All these stylistic features are typical of European filmmaking of the mids. Note that the identification depended on certain assumptions. Film historians need not worry about forgeries, as art historians must. Note, too, that the researcher needed some background knowledge. She had reason to believe that films staged and cut a certain way are characteristic of the mids, and she recognized a star from other films of the period.
Most historians go beyond identification and tackle broader subject areas. Consider another common situation. Its collection also includes scripts in various drafts; memos passed among writers, directors, producers, and other staff; and sketches for sets and costumes.
This is a rich lode of data—too rich, in fact, for one researcher to tackle. Some facts would be central to one program but peripheral to another. The company historian assumes that he can trace general tendencies of production organization, largely because film companies tend to make films by following fairly set routines. And both historians would mobilize background knowledge, about how companies work and how directors direct, to guide their research. Historians in any discipline do more than accumulate facts.
No facts speak for themselves. Facts are interesting and important only as part of research programs. Facts also help us ask and answer questions. Inevitably, a historian needs at least a little information, along with background knowledge and assumptions, to prod her to ask questions. But the historian does not necessarily sift through mountains of facts and then judiciously ask a question.
A historian may begin with a question, and sometimes that question might be better described as a hunch or an intuition or even just an itch. Nonhistorians often visualize the historical researcher as a cousin to Indiana Jones, braving library stacks and crawling through attics in quest of the treasure-lode of documents that will overturn popular opinion.
Certainly new documentation has a key role to play in historical research. Still, many research programs rely more on asking new questions than on unearthing new data.
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Search this site. With extensive analysis of films past and present, this textbook explores film from part to whole; from the smallest unit of the shot to the way shots are edited together to create narrative. It then examines those narratives both fiction and non-fiction as stories and genres that speak to the culture of their time and our perceptions of them today. Composition, editing, genres such as the gangster film, the Western, science fiction, and melodrama are analyzed alongside numerous images to illustrate the discussion. Chapters on the individuals who make films - the production designer, cinematographer, editor, composer, producer, director, and actor - illustrate the collaborative nature of filmmaking. This new edition includes:Additional resources for students and teachers can also be found on the companion website www.
Robert Kolker is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland, where he Kolker makes and encourages students to explore as mediations of culture. Kolker 4th Edition What do you look for in a film? Is its realism an important element for you? What constitutes its realism Amazon. Edited by Robert Kolker Keywords: film, media, politics, culture, film studies, media studies, political power. Others are devoted to cannibalism with monsters in human form feasting on human..
Film, Form, and Culture (fourth edition) offers a lively introduction to both the formal and cultural aspects of film. With extensive analysis of films past and present.
Purchasing options are not available in this country. Film Studies is a concise and indispensable introduction to the formal study of cinema. Ed Sikov offers a step-by-step curriculum for the appreciation of all types of narrative cinema, detailing the essential elements of film form and systematically training the spectator to be an active reader and critic.
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