The Classical Hollywood Cinema Twenty-Five Years Along

I was struck by one aspect of thislittle scene as he broke it down into numbered shots (or “scenes,” asthey were called at the time). In 1915, two years before the continuity editingsystem really gelled and became nearly universal practice in American films,almost every shot description contained a suggestion of how clear spatial relationscould be sustained across a sequence. That is, most shots contained either adescription about where the character was looking (eyelinematches and shot/reverse shots) or moving in relation to the frame-line.

David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson

Some basic questionsHere is the opening of our book proposal.

And we did it all on note cards and typewriters.

Museums provided some of the earliest alternatives to thestandard accounts of Hollywood’s history, as when Richard Koszarski programmedfilms by then little-known directors like Maurice Tourneur, Benjamin Christensen,and Reginald Barker.

Filming Raffles (Goldwyn, 1930).

In those days, Robert C. Allen’s dissertation Vaudeville and Film 1895–1915:A Study in Media Interaction (finished 1977, published 1980) wasour primary source for the fledgling cinema’s relationship to vaudeville,and Nicholas Vardac’s Stage to Screen our source for its relationshipto live theater.

More specifically, The Classical Hollywood Cinema addressesfour questions:

The power of art essays – sanczanstandrekychojusiruterba

:See our FilmHistory: An Introduction, as well as Kristin’s study of German cinemaafter World War I in Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood: German and AmericanFilm after World War I (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006) andDavid’s work on the 1910s’ tableau style in On the History ofFilm Style (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) and FiguresTraced in Light (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).

The power of art essays | vacamandipofullocorjutesi

: There is, forexample, F. M. Scherer’s Quarter Notes and Bank Notes: The Economicsof Music Composition in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Princeton:Princeton University Press, 2004) and Lorenzo Bianconi and Giorgio Pestelli’santhology Opera Production and Its Resources, vol. 4 of The History of ItalianOpera (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). One of the livelieststudies in this vein is Ken Emerson’s Always Magic in the Air: TheBomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era (Viking, 2005), which showshow a pop-music company could develop its own forms, genres, and division oflabor.

Why didn’t we discuss reception? We anticipatedthis query and in our preface we wrote:

The Reckoning: Women and Power in the Workplace

A lesson from 1915
In the intervening years, the field of silent-film studies has burgeoned, andit now seems astonishing to look back thirty years to the situation when we launchedour project. Its twenty-fifth anniversary inevitably leads me to wonder whatI would do differently now.

:BothJanet and Kristin went on to publish later books with Princeton under Joanna’seditorship.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Essays - Transcendentalists

I started studying recent classical narrative films in the late 1980s, firstpresenting a series of analyses of individual films to a group of film criticsin Beijing in 1988. Subsequently I wrote essays on additional films and turnedthem into a book, Storytelling in the New Hollywood.

:Nicholas Vardac, Stageto Screen (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949).

The Classical Hollywood Cinema Twenty-Five Years Along

:Karl Popper, TheOpen Society and Its Enemies, vol. II: The High Tide of Prophesy: Hegel,Marx, and the Aftermath (London: Routledge, 1990), p. 19.