Sunday, 27 May 2007

The Way Hollywood Tells It

The Way Hollywood Tells It
The Way Hollywood Tells It, by David Bordwell, analyses the continuation of the narrative and stylistic trends established by classical Hollywood. It rejects the notion of a post-classical cinema, arguing that the new distribution techniques of blockbuster films (Star Wars, etc.) do not affect the classical construction of the films themselves, that post-modern self-referentiality (in Toy Story, etc.) has precedents from the studio era, and that narrative experimentation (Memento, etc.) is accompanied by classical principles to avoid alienating the audience.

Bordwell, one of the most respected American film writers (whose Film Art is perhaps the most popular film studies textbook), has written this as a sequel to The Classical Hollywood Cinema, his groundbreaking analysis of Hollywood modes of production from 1917-1960. Contemporary American Cinema, the only other book devoted to post-1960 American cinema, goes into more depth than Bordwell's, though its analysis is less impressive.

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