Film 2700 Study Guide for Second Test (Monday May 23) There will be 40 multiple choice questions
Major themes of these films and art movement, Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”
Mise-en-scene – the LOOK of the film
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921)
Nosferatu the Vampire
Metropolis and M
Some of the earliest horror and science fiction films
Making film in Russia after 1917 Revolution -- challenges Kuleshov Effect – editing experiments (man’s face and editing creates geography) Montage
How did his films link to the Revolution’s goals?
Collisions of images
Hitchcock also used it in Psycho (1960)
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Odessa Steps sequence – montage characteristics
Hollywood’s version of Montage (links) vs. Eisenstein’s (collisions)
Leni Riefenstahl and Hitler
Her 1930s films – were they Fascist propaganda or rich documentaries?
How did Hitler and Nazis want to use film and media?
How did Leni R. use editing, camerawork, lighting, tracking, close-ups, music
Triumph of the Will (1935) documentary
Olympia (1938) documentary on the Olympics
We saw portion of the documentary “The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl”
Rise of Hollywood way of making films 1910s-1920s Independents turn into the Major film studios in Hollywood, become an oligopoly
Each must turn out 52+ features every year
Factory System and Vertical Integration
Own the top 10-15% of theaters – picture palaces
Squeeze the little theaters – block booking, must show studio films
Role of the Studio Producer -- key in Hollywood studio
vs. role of directors, writers, actors (much less control)
Classical Hollywood film style (called invisible, pulls viewer into story, used
heroes and stars)
Star System (benefits and drawbacks)
Role of the Actor/Actress in Hollywood Studio system
Creating a star/role of publicity and fan magazines (fan mags move from retelling
movie stories to pictures and stories about the stars)
Scandals (and resulting Hays Office/ industry PR org. to rein in the stars) Sex appeal and stars in 20s – Clara Bow in the film “It” (and Rudolph Valentino as the Sheik)
The Coming of Sound
Early experiments and use of sound/music with silent film
Sound on Disc problems – synchronization and amplification (singin in the rain)
Hollywood’s initial attitudes (pre Jazz Singer)
Warner Bros. why does the studio gamble on sound? How to use it?
The Jazz Singer, (1927) how did it use sound, and why so popular?
Fox studio’s optical sound on film
Hollywood’s panicked reactions – cameras, actors, sets, dialogue, foreign
End results of coning of sound; costs $$, new genres, hits small theaters,
Censorship and the Depression
Talkies mean BIG business for the studios
Stock Market Crash Nov.1929
1931-1932 movies in Depression crisis – what was going wrong
violence and sex Their solution –
Gangster films genre – appeal of the gangster to Depression US, Scarface
Fallen Women/Sex themes films; bad girls sleep their way to the top, Baby Face
Even little Shirley Temple in racy short films like War Babies
Censorship calls from religious groups
Hollywood responds with the Production Code Administration
rules of the Production Code (you’ll also find these in textbook + on Ulearn)
How could filmmakers work around it to still discuss adult or naughty themes?
How did the Code limit the reality/social problem discussion of movies?
Citizen Kane (1941) directed by Orson Welles
Why is it considered by many a TOP movie in film history?
Orson Welles’ theater and radio background and his working methods
William Randolph Hearst and Journalism – the topics
Deep focus photography, low angle shooting, montage scenes, the plot, use of sound
What happened to the film, and what’s its legacy?
Hollywood in World War II
Background to WWII – why did Americans have to be CONVINCED to go to war?
Office of War Information – what kinds of movies did they ask Studios to make?
Films made for the military – Private SNAFU cartoons (what did they teach?)
On the Home front – what’s happening back in US? Jobs, Rosie the Riveters, rationing,
Popularity of movie going across the USA
Propaganda shorts like “You John Jones” – what do they “teach” the US public?
Wartime themes in films, military troupe is united community, brave mothers, patriotic musicals, nostalgic American mythology and history, loyal citizens
More inclusion of African-Americans in Hollywood films; Nicholas Brothers (Harold and Fayard) in “Stormy Weather” was the clip I showed
Wartime Romance – how is “Casablanca” both a typical Hollywood romance,
and full of elements of World War II films? Characters, themes, script, dialogue, patriotism, even sex, sacrifices.
Film Noir 1940s-1950s
What are the characteristics of Film Noir movies?
How did they get that name? what historical elements combined to make them?
Describe typical characters, plot elements, visual style, endings, locations, anti-heroes and femme fatales, dialogue
How did these films possibly criticize the post-war trend to push women and men into very narrow life roles? How on the other hand did film noir plots deal with all the men and women who acted out?
How were some Alfred Hitchcock films impacted by Film Noir themes?
What kinds of movies since then have used film noir themes?
I’ll discuss examples Double Indemnity (Barbara Stanwyck again), Sunset Boulevard
(Gloria Swanson), and Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt and Vertigo
Decline of the Hollywood Studio System 1946-1950s
WHY did US film attendance drop so rapidly after 1946?
Social/cultural changes – baby boom, suburbs, cars, drive ins, radio and TV
Family audience splinters into three – adults who like biblical blockbusters, teens
who like monster flicks and art film lovers
1948 Paramount decree from US Supreme Court – how did it change the Studio
Changed role of the Studio in film production; packagers, not producers
Division into Roadshow/blockbuster films and small independent films
Fewer films, cost more, play longer
Technological changes; widescreen, stereo sound, COLOR to be different from TV
Teenager film genres – horror, sci fi, mystery, beach blankets
Part of rise of Teenage consumer market and culture (music, TV film clothes etc) Censorship/ what happens to the Production Code/ rating system
Art House films and independent productions
By the early 1960s, old Hollywood is pretty much dead, but a new one will be rising out of the ashes…..