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How s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling. A new video lecture! How Motion Pictures Became the Movies.
Film History: An Introduction (Int’l Ed)
Constructive editing in Pickpocket: Six Paths to a Poetics Oct. Adventures in s Suspense. Models of Mind in Explaining Film. Nordisk and the Tableau Aesthetic. One Forceful, Impressive Idea. Re Discovering Charles Dekeukeleire. Scene Transitions in Classical Cinema. Anatomy of the Action Picture. Film and the Historical Krisitn. On the History of Film Style. University of Chicago Press, A Labyrinth of Linkages.
Films, Files, and the Future of Movies. The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood. University of California Press, Textbook written in collaboration with Kristin Iflm and Jeff Smith. Eleventh edition, New York: Textbook written with Kristin Thompson first-named author. Third edition, New York: An Introduction in a fourth edition. When I was in college my university offered no thompsno in film.
The year after I graduated, two courses appeared: Those pretty much defined the early zones of film studies on most campuses.
Eventually the aesthetic survey became more popular than the historical overviews, and often it served as the introductory course for a major. Film majors were starting then too. An Introduction contributed to the rise in aesthetic surveys.
For reasons rehearsed herewe tried to make it more comprehensive and in-depth than earlier books of that type.
We tried to synthesize the ideas developed by film researchers about narrative, filmic modes documentary, animationauthorship, genre, and film as a vehicle of ideology. We also floated ideas about form and style we developed in our research. We included a chapter surveying film history. It was short and very selective, of course, but we tried to show that the expressive resources we surveyed conceptually could also be understood as part of a larger historical dynamic.
About a dozen years after the first edition of Film Artwe published our own version of a synoptic film history. Again, we tried to incorporate film research as we understood it, and—. I already wrote thisback in To save you a click, let me quote myself, with some light modifications. For a long time, and sometimes still, film histories written by Americans took a very partial look at the phenomenon of cinema.
For one thing, they tended to focus on a series of masterpieces, films that had been deemed important within a narrow canon.
The earliest lineup went pretty much this way: But in the s archivists began opening their doors to researchers. Thanks to wider and deeper viewing, new film historians, young and old, were questioning the canon. In England, Ben BrewsterBarry Saltand others were minutely analyzing changes in film technique in the earliest years. Specialists working on national cinemas, from Russia, Italy, and the Nordic countries, were showing that there was far more diversity in world cinema than was dreamt of in orthodox histories.
We were part of this generation of revisionists. In the s and s Kristin concentrated on European and American silent film, studying both stylistic movements and film distribution. She also studied particular filmmakers like Eisenstein, Godard, and Tati. I studied European and Japanese cinema.
We spent years working on a reconsideration of the history of American studio film in collaboration with Janet Staiger. Writing The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to we realized that asking fresh questions was both necessary and exciting. Most obviously, countries outside Europe and North America had been neglected.
Our book was, I think, the first synoptic history in English to make use of statistical information on production and exhibition, and the numbers brought out a striking omission. In the mids, the world was producing about feature films per year. About 35 percent of these came from the United States and Western Europe.
Sixty percent of feature films were made outside the western world and the Soviet bloc. Japan accounted for about 20 percent of the world total. The rest came from India, Hong Kong, Mexico, and other less industrialized nations. Such a stunning growth in film production in the developing countries is one of the major events in film history. Traditional histories, and film history textbooks, had virtually ignored the bulk of film-producing nations.
Only one or two major directors would step in from the shadows. Kurosawa summed up Japan, Satayajit Ray stood in for India.
The history of film was portrayed as Euro-American, with East Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa, appearing, if at all, in periods when westerners first got glimpses of their film culture. One would hardly know that there were many, and many great, Japanese filmmakers working in a long-standing tradition.
Documentary cinema, animation, and experimental film had attracted subtle historians like Bill NicholsMike Barrierand P.
In sum, we decided that we could write a plausible international history of cinema—not a be-all and end-all, but a new draft that reflected the rich variety of new findings and fresh perspectives. Like introducion historians, we had to be selective. More globally, we decided to concentrate on three lines of inquiry. First, we studied changes in modes of film production davod distribution. This inquiry committed us to a version of industrial history. How filmmaking was embedded in particular times and places, how it connected to local culture and national politics: For example, the early distribution of films followed the trade routes of late nineteenth-century imperialism.
Film history : an introduction / Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell – Details – Trove
That global system started to crack with the start of World War I. A new world power, the United States, became the major film exporting country—a position it has enjoyed for most years since then.
Secondly, we studied changes in film form, style, and genre. We treated these artistic matters as not wholly the products of individual innovators but also as more widely-developed practices and norms. This emphasis on norms allowed us to link, in some degree, the development of technique to opportunities and constraints presented by film industries.
We were obliged to seek out films lying outside the orthodox story. In those pre-DVD days, few of the titles we sought could be found on video, but we preferred to watch film on film anyway. So it was off to the archives. Fortunately, many collections were wide-ranging. Committed to documenting our claims with frame enlargements, not production stills, we were lucky to be able to take photos from many of the movies we saw.
In looking at national film industries and artistic change, we wanted to go beyond local observations. So a third question pressed upon us.
Film History: An Introduction
What international trends emerged that knit together developments in different countries? For example, we could point to the emergence of tableau cinema in many countries in the s. Not all trends march in lockstep, but there was enough synchronization to let us plot broad waves of change across the years of film. Our aim was a truly comparative film history.
Part intoduction the answer lies in the growth ihtroduction film journalism and film archives. Why did Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa, and other directors get so much fame in the s and s? True, they made exceptional films, but so did many other directors who remained unknown to a wider public.
Film History: An Introduction
What led Japanese anime to a period of international popularity in the s? The research programs that hisstory launched in the s were characterized by a greater self-consciousness than we had seen before.
Historians questioned their assumptions and explanations. Why presuppose that film technique grows and progresses in a linear way? To capture this new self-consciousness about purposes and methods, we incorporated something that had never been seen in a film history before: Originally in the printed text, in its latest intrdouction it can be found elsewhere on this site.