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The Classical Hollywood Cinema : Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 - David Bordwell

The Classical Hollywood Cinema

Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960

Paperback Published: 28th July 1988
ISBN: 9780415003834
Number Of Pages: 652

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'A dense, challenging and important book.' Philip French Observer

'At the very least, this blockbuster is probably the best single volume history of Hollywood we're likely to get for a very long time.' Paul Kerr City Limits

'Persuasively argued, the book is also packed with facts, figures and photographs.' Nigel Andrews Financial Times

Acclaimed for their breakthrough approach, Bordwell, Staiger and Thompson analyze the basic conditions of American film-making as a historical institution and consider to what extent Hollywood film production constitutes a systematic enterprise, in both its style and its business operations.

Despite differences of director, genre or studio, most Hollywood films operate within a set of shared assumptions about how a film should look and sound. Such assumptions are neither natural nor inevitable; but because classical-style films have been the type most widely seen, they have come to be accepted as the 'norm' of film-making and viewing.

The authors show how these classical conventions were formulated and standardized, and how they responded to the arrival of sound, colour, widescreen ratios and stereophonic sound. They argue that each new technological development has served a function within an existing narrational system.

The authors also examine how the Hollywood cinema standardized the film-making process itself. They describe how, over the course of its history, Hollywood developed distinct modes of production in a constant search for maximum efficiency, predictability and novelty.

Set apart by its combination of theoretical analysis and empirical evidence, this book is the standard work on the classical Hollywood cinema style of film-making from the silent era to the 1960s. Now available in paperback, it is a 'must' for film students, lecturers and all those seriously interested in the development of the film industry.

The classical Hollywood style, 1917-60
An excessively obvious cinema
Story causality and motivation
Classical narration
Time in the classical film
Space in the classical film
Shot and scene
The bounds of difference
The Hollywood mode of production to 1930
The Hollywood mode of production: its conditions of existence
Standardization and differentiation: the reinforcement and dispersion of Hollywood's practices
The director system: management in the first years
The director-unit system: management of multiple-unit companies after 1909
The central producer system: centralized management after 1914
The division and order of production: the subdivision of the work from the first years through the 1920s
The formulation of the classical style, 1909-2814. From primitive to classical
The formulation of the classical narrative
The continuity system
Classical narrative space and the spectator's attention
The stability of the classical approach after 1917
Film style and technology to 1930
Technology, style and mode of production
Initial standardization of the basic tehnology
Major technological changes of the 1920s
The Mazda tests of 1928
The introduction of sound Part Five: The Hollywood mode of production, 1930-6024. The labor-force, financing and the mode of production
The producer-unit system: management by specialization after 1931
The package-unit system: unit management after 1955
Film style and technology, 1930-6027. Deep-focus cinematography
Widescreen processes and stereophonic sound
Historical implications of the classical Hollywood cinema
Since 1960: the persistence of the mode of film practice
Alternative modes of film practice Envoi
The unbiased sample
A brief synopsis of the structure of the United States film industry, 1896-1960
Principal Structures of the US film industry, 1894-1930
Lighting plots and descriptions
Select Bibliography
Photograph credits
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415003834
ISBN-10: 0415003830
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 652
Published: 28th July 1988
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 19.05  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 1.23
Edition Number: 1