The Ins and Outs of Identifying Classical Hollywood Storytelling

Think of it as an “I Spy” puzzle however for the fundamental ideas of classical period storytelling.

Paramount Pictures

By Meg Shields · Published on February twenty third, 2022

Welcome to The Queue — your day by day distraction of curated video content material sourced from throughout the net. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores find out how to spot the narrative conventions of classical Hollywood storytelling.

Before we decide our approach into the reeds of theoretical narrative conventions, let’s all be sure that we’re on the identical web page with respect to what “Classical Hollywood” is, precisely.

Classical Hollywood cinemais a time period utilized by historians to explain each the visible model and narrative conventions of American cinema between the 1910s and the Nineteen Sixties. If that seems like a comparatively imprecise span of time, that’s as a result of it’s! That stated, you’ll be eager to notice that that interval successfully covers the tightening grip of American movie as one of probably the most pervasive kinds of the medium. All to say: understanding some of the period’s inventive bones (broad strokes be damned) is crucial if you wish to determine Classical Hollywood’s affect and detractors.

As the video essay under suggests, a number of of the key narrative conventions that outlined Classical Hollywood storytelling are as follows:

  • psychologically outlined people
  • a wrestle to unravel an issue or obtain a purpose
  • a battle with different folks or exterior circumstances
  • characters have company and causality strikes the story ahead
  • there may be decisive victory or defeat

Because most theoretical ideas are greatest understood with examples, the essay (which takes the shape of a lecture) appears at two movies that embody these narrative ideas: Alfred Hitchcock’s voyeurism thriller Rear Window (1954) and a contemporary instance, Alfonso Cuarn’s Gravity (2013).

Be warned: the video essay under options spoilers for the aforementioned movies.

Watch “What is Classical Hollywood Narration?”:

Who made this?

This video essay about find out how to determine Classical Hollywood narrationis byJordan Schonig, who holds a Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago. They are a Film Studies lecturer and make video essays on, what else, movie. You can subscribe to Schonig on YouTubehere. And you possibly can comply with them on Twitterhere.

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Related Topics: Filmmaking, narrative units, The Queue

Meg Shields is the standard farm boy of your desires and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She at present runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How’d They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She can also be a curator for One Perfect Shot and a contract author for rent. Meg will be discovered screaming about John Boorman’s ‘Excalibur’ on Twitter right here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).


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