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Tardy, Jr. Pete Falconer suggests that the Italian western has replaced the classic Hollywood western as defining the genre in popular culture.
There are a few films mentioned as "afterlife Westerns", those films made following the demise of the western as a commercially viable genre and how genre conventions have been reworked for a younger audience. If there is a crossroad, then a new map is needed to make sense of the newer films such as Kristian Levring's The Salvation , Sweetwater - among the period and contemporary westerns of the past decade to star Ed Harris, and the direct to video productions that appear on Netflix.
Nur das Publikum hatte nie so richtig mitgespielt. Hier kam alles in hoch verdichteter, pointierter Form zusammen, was ihr Kino auszeichnete. Er hatte sie mitten in der Nacht angerufen und es ist schnell klar, dass er sich vielleicht einen One-Night-Stand erhofft. Er sei so einsam und habe sich an sie erinnert, sagt er. Auch Lundegaard, der geborene sad sack , ist so ein Verlierer ohne Schuld, aber auch ohne Hoffnung, jemals das aus seinem Leben zu machen, was er sich davon erhofft, weil ihm das, was er hat, einfach nicht ausreichen will.
Das ist das Paradies. Man muss es nur erkennen. Paul Newman in Harper Jack Smight - This is a sequel to an entry posted a year ago. Like many sequels, it replays the ending of the original. I get as soaked up in a movie as anybody, I think. Parts of those histories are traced in the book that came out in the fall, Reinventing Hollywood.
Some of my blog entries have already served to back up one point I tried to make there: that contemporary filmmakers are still relying on the storytelling techniques that crystallized in American studio films of the s. Relying on here means not only utilizing but also, sometimes, recasting. In keeping with earlier entries including one from the year before last , I want to explore some films from These show that the process of schema and revision creates a tradition.
Hollywood is constantly recycling, and sometimes revitalizing, Hollywood. Some of these are laid out in the third chapter of Reinventing.
Classically constructed films have goal-oriented protagonists who encounter obstacles, usually in the form of other characters. The goals are often double, involving both romantic fulfillment and achievement in some other sphere. Somewhere Godard says that love and work are the only things that matter. Hollywood often thinks so too. Alternatively, the goal might be prodding someone else to action Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. The plot is typically laid out in large-scale parts.
A setup is followed by a complicating action that redefines character goals. There follows a development section that delays goal achievement through characterization episodes, backstory, subplots, parallels, setbacks, digressions, twists, and new obstacles. There follows a deadline-driven climax that resolves the action and an epilogue sometimes called the tag that celebrates the stable state achieved and perhaps wraps up a motif or two.
And throughout, the film is bound together through recurring motifs that reveal character and character change or significant plot information. Think of the roles Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Or take The Big Sick , a semi-serious romantic comedy. His Pakistani-American family constitutes the main antagonist, as his mother and father want him to go to law school and submit to an arranged marriage.
In the development section , as she lies in a coma, he gets to know her parents, and a tense sympathy develops between them. In the climax portion, Emily revives and breaks off with him, his parents grudgingly accept his move to New York, and he mounts a somewhat successful one-man show there. The power of classical plotting is shown in its ability to spotlight a Pakistani-American protagonist, an Islamic family demanding that a son adhere to tradition, and the pathos of parents facing the death of a daughter. But that ability to flexibly absorb new subjects and themes and emotional registers has kept the classical template going for about a century.
Flashbacks were already well-established, but a more pervasive acceptance of nonlinear storytelling, so familiar to us now, became firmly part of Hollywood sound cinema in this period.
In this case, flashbacks function as memories. At the climax of Guardians 2 , Quill flashes back to moments of listening to music with his mother.
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These may remind us of things already seen, or fill in gaps, or plant hints about things that will develop. Here the flashback rearranges story order to build up curiosity and suspense, and it may come from purely from the narration or be motivated as character memory. Wonder Woman gives us a framed inset of this sort, when a modern-day Diana opens the chest harboring the World War I photo. That scene segues to the past. Another common framing strategy begins at the climax and then a long flashback lays out the conditions that led up to it. A reliable source tells me that Pitch Perfect 3 does this, starting with an explosion followed by a title announcing that the action began three weeks earlier.
In films like this, there may be no closing frame; the internal action of the flashback catches up, perhaps via a replay, with what we saw at the outset, and the film proceeds to the resolution and epilogue.
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Sustained blocks like this are fairly rare nowadays, I think. More common, as in the Forties, is an alternation of past and present.
Here clusters of events in alternate with incidents in Gloria Grahame returns to her young lover, and we flash back to their earlier affair. Neither protagonist is firmly established as recalling the events. Another feature of s flashbacks, the replay from different viewpoints, comes in here as well. The alternation of past and present is given a more geometrical neatness in Wonderstruck. In maniacally precise parallels, Rose in runs away to Manhattan to find her mother, while in Ben runs there to find his father.
The parallels are reinforced by a host of motifs: wolves, movie references, the asteroid in the Museum of Natural History, a bookmark, and so on. The linear chronology gets straightened out, and the gaps filled, by an integrative flashback played out among miniatures and cutouts adapted to the scale model of Manhattan. For modern audiences, Citizen Kane is the prototypical flashback film of the s, and its investigation structure, while not completely original, was hugely influential. Very modern, and not so much like the s, is the brief, fragmentary quality of the flashbacks; I counted thirty-six of them.
The boldest experiment in nonlinear time I saw this year was Dunkirk. The film juxtaposes timelines consuming a week or so, a day, and an hour, and then aligns them in unexpected ways. In this staggered array, the distinction between flashbacks and flashforwards loses its force. Any cut may constitute a jump ahead of the moment just shown, or a jump back to an earlier incident.
Christopher Nolan has acknowledged the influence of s cinema on his thinking about time schemes, and here he explores yet again how crosscutting different lines of action can stretch or condense story duration. Like flashbacks, subjectively tinted storytelling has a long cinematic lineage.
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Silent films displayed dreams, visions, anticipations, and deformations of mind and eye. Subjectivity came roaring back in the Forties, which is why Reinventing Hollywood devotes two chapters and several other passages to various techniques that go beneath the surface.
Memory-based flashbacks are common options today, but the inward plunge can take other forms. Armitage staring at him while stirring the tea. More complex is his view of Georgina at the upper window. The boy Chris sinks into a stellar cavity and becomes Chris staring at Mrs.
Armitage as if she were appearing on the TV screen. But the film tightly realigns us with Chris at the climax, so that the attacks from Rose, Jeremy, and others come as surprises. Chris, a photographer, channels his experience through vision, though the hypnotism scene blends sounds from the present with the rain drizzling in the past. Subjectivity goes more fully sonic in Baby Driver , about a whey-faced lad who lives in the auditory ether.
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