2/19/09 1930s Film Genres (1998: 23 million Americans a week go to the movies (10% of the popultion) (1938: 80 million Americans/week (65% of population) -This many people were going to the movies because the industry worked hard to follow the country?s interest What is a genre? (Literally: ?type? or ?kind? (Systems of conventions ? developed and repeated throughout narrative history -Plot elements -Character types ? stars often become tied to specific genres -Iconography ? recurring and often symbolic images (Might be a specific dress, tools of the trade, setting -Film style (A way society works out tension -Genre story formulas often come up during specific periods of time and address what is going on in society -Ex: a lot of films being westerns in the 1950s Social Context (Severe economic hardships (Disillusionment, depression, etc. -Anger that American Dream had failed (1933: New Deal ? goal for government was to lift people out of the depression (Films of the 30s present: 1.Pure fantasy and escapism 2.Talked about the American Dream 1930s Genres (Gangster film ? celebrate marginalized heroes; all working class and uneducated; spoke to viewers in a very concrete way; a lot of power associated with gangsters -Little Caesar (1930) -The Public Enemy (1931) -Scarface (1932) -Genre was killed by Production Code (Horror film ? for a while this was an A movie drama; wasn?t just cheap films -Came from German Expressionism ? Nosferatu (1922) -Dracula (1931) -Frankenstein (1931) -The Mummy (1932) -The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) -Popular because in many ways it is about playing out psychological tensions; in the end the monster is destroyed and there is a sense of relief ? a threat that can be contained (Comedy ? new developments; involved a critique of the social system (can actually be better than tragedy) -Opens up potential to ask questions and established social order to be overturned -Comedy of Character ? based on an identifiable character (Distinct physical and verbal types: Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, Marx Brothers (Story formula: outsiders assault ?the system? ? poked at social standards through humor (Marx Brothers ? Duck Soup (1933) -Screwball Comedy ? needed a new way to have onscreen romance (Conventions: witty, fast-paced dialogue (Confusions and improbable situations ? much more plot-driven (Clash of opposites ? wealth: unfulfilled vs. working-class: free-spirit (Story formula: gender and class differences can be overcome by love (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) ? credited as the first screwball comedy (It Happened One Night (1934) ? swept the Academy Awards; really spoke to the moment (Musical ? epitome of escapism; world where money isn?t a problem -Backstage Musicals: musical numbers in a theatrical setting (Songs not necessarily there for the plot but there for entertainment (Made use of the fact that sound and image could work well together (Key director: Busby Berkeley (1895-1976) ? musical director for a number of films -He was his own unit within MGM studios; king of backstage musical -Busby Berkeley Style ? created specifically for camera (Geometric patterns (using people), (Clever transitions ?goal to make every musical number look like it was done in one take (Cinematic camera ? camera moved very smoothly (Eroticism ? hints at eroticism without anything being blatantly erotic -Integrated Musicals: musical numbers in a ?normal? setting; musical numbers actually drive the plot (Musical dance numbers advance the plot ? express inner thoughts that one could not necessarily speak (Fred Astaire (1895-1987) and Ginger Rogers (1911-1995) -Worked very well together and kept being paired in musicals -Top Hat (1935) ? film designed to take you out of world you were currently in
Want to see the other 2 page(s) in Feb 19, 2009?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!