Download The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies PDF

TitleThe Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies
ISBN 139781423755494
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages309
Table of Contents
                            Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Continuing Tradition, by Any Means Necessary
2. Pushing the Premises
3. Subjective Stories and Network Narratives
4. A Certain Amount of Plot
1. Intensified Continuity: Four Dimensions
2. Some Likely Sources
3. Style, Plain and Fancy
4. What’s Missing?
Appendix: A Hollywood Timeline, 1960–2004
Notes
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The Way Hollywood Tells It

Page 154

many defocused planes (Fig. 2.32) helped associate the look with lyrical ro-
mance. Late in the decade, the long-lens shot became all-purpose and all per-
vading.The telephoto became the lens of first resort in many Westerns (The
Wild Bunch, 1969) and musicals (Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1969). A 500mm lens
followed a singer during one number in Finian’s Rainbow (1970).65 We also
find the long lens used to provide the squared-off planimetric image that
became a crucial visual scheme in the 1970s (Fig. 2.33). With the dissemi-
nation of the telephoto image, we also find early instances of wipe-by cuts.
In Darling (1965), the device marks an ellipsis. The long lens watches from
the street as a couple enters a luggage shop; a bus passes in the foreground;
cut to another vehicle passing, revealing the couple leaving the shop.

In sum, by the late 1960s, directors were comfortable with a wide range
of lens lengths, and several were using the two extremes quite boldly, some-
times mixing them in the same scene (Figs. 2.34–2.35). Wide-angle lenses
were often reserved for shooting on the set, where light, blocking, and fo-
cus could be controlled precisely, while the long lens facilitated shooting on
location.

Studio directors of the 1930s and 1940s were as likely to track out (from

Some Likely Sources / 143

2.33. The planimetric composition lines up planes
parallel to one another and perpendicular to the
lens axis. In Targets (1968) it creates a calendar-
picture family portrait.

2.34. Mixing wide-angle and long lens in the
same scene of The Ipcress File (1965): A wide-
angle shot presents the antagonists seen through
a phone booth . . .

2.35. . . . before we cut to a telephoto shot of the
fight on the steps.

Page 155

a detail or major character to the whole ensemble) as to track forward, but
by the 1960s, the closing-in framing was becoming dominant. Of course the
zoom lens enhanced this tendency, and we don’t lack examples of marked
zoom-ins at the period (Nikki, Wild Dog of the North, 1961; Send Me No
Flowers, 1964). Major twists in the plot of Seven Days in May (1964) are
signaled by ominous dollies up to faces. George’s revelatory “act 3” mono-
logue in Who�s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) is treated in a slow push-
in. The Chase (1966) supplies an interrupted push-in on one character dur-
ing a shot/reverse-shot passage. Practitioners also began to recognize that
an unexpected craning movement down and in could goose up the most or-
dinary scene (e.g., The Biggest Bundle of Them All, 1968).

The tactic of circling around an embracing couple can be traced back at
least to Vertigo (1957) and Hiroshima mon amour (1959), but the arcing
camera came into its own in the 1960s. We find arcing shot/reverse shots
(Town without Pity, 1961), arcing around a single figure to isolate him or
her (The Hustler, 1961; Popi, 1969), arcing to reveal new information in the
foreground or background (You Only Live Twice; Bonnie and Clyde, both
1967), and, of course, arcing around people gathered at a table (The Group,
1966; The St. Valentine�s Day Massacre, 1967). As early as Judgment at
Nuremberg (1961), the pictorial premises of the device are already in place.
The witnesses on the stand are pinned down by an orgy of spiraling and
craning camera movements. In this respect Stanley Kramer’s film looks, for
better or worse, utterly contemporary.

And what of the handheld camera, constantly rediscovered and always
declaring itself brand new? Since the 1920s, handheld shots were usually as-
sociated with violence, an optically subjective point of view,or news reportage,
and these functions were locked in place during the 1960s. In The Miracle
Worker (1962), Helen’s refusal to sit properly at dinner leads to a pitched
battle with her teacher, Annie, which Arthur Penn renders in bumpy hand-
held shots. An assault on a military base in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned
to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is presented as convulsive hand-
held footage. Seven Days in May (1964) opens with a violent street demon-
stration, and the thrashing shots recall television coverage of Jack Ruby’s
shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Because of its usage in cinema verité doc-
umentary, the handheld camera could imbue intimate confrontations in A
Man and a Woman, Who�s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Faces (1968) with
a spontaneous edge. Robert Rossen’s Lilith (1964) uses handheld shots spo-
radically throughout, sometimes to give a documentary feel to an asylum’s
encounter groups, at other moments to render the sensation of riding horse-
back. Handheld shots could also simply suggest authentic locations (The Al-

144 / A Stylish Style

Page 308

51, 158–62, 165, 173–89; films
commenting on, 139–40. See also
camera movement; close-ups;
cutting; intensified continuity;
lenses

Vogler, Christopher, 28, 34, 35
Volcano (1997), 5, 105–6, 112
Vorkapich, Slavko, 14, 15, 173

Wachowski brothers, 25, 54, 179
Wai Ka-fai, 92
walk and talk, 184–85
Wallis, Hal, 43, 249n26
Walsh, Raoul, 13, 23
Walt Disney company, 1, 3, 34, 53, 55
war films, 55, 57
WarGames (1983), 7, 122
Warner Bros., 1, 52, 57, 98
The War of the Worlds (1953), 53
Wayne, John, 83–84
A Wedding (1978), 74, 97
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945), 97
Weinstein, Harvey, 129, 132, 140, 157
Welles, Orson, 74, 152, 173, 182; bra-

vura following shots, 134; Citizen
Kane, 9, 23, 72, 124, 174; deep-focus
classics, 137; two-shots, 153

Wenders, Wim, 75
Westerns, 22, 24–25, 53, 56; action

film, 57, 108; long lens, 143
Whale, James, 52
whammo, 112–13
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

(1962), 57
What Happened to Mary? (1912), 104
What Lies Beneath (2000), 11, 182–83
What Women Want (2000), 11, 74
Where Eagles Dare (1968), 55, 108
Where the Boys Are (1960), 39–40, 96
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950), 83
White, Lionel, 90–91
White Heat (1949), 23, 83, 108
White Shadows in the South Seas

(1928), 117
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), 55
Who�s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

(1966), 36, 51, 144

Index / 297

Wicker Park (2004), 103
wide-angle lens, 118–19, 124–27, 137,

154, 160; Alice Doesn�t Live Here
Anymore, 174; Chinatown (1974),
125, 125; CinemaScope, 124–25,
125; The Deer Hunter, 126; The
Hill, 125, 125; The Hudsucker
Proxy, 126; impact aesthetic, 158,
159, 159; Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade, 158, 159; The Ipcress
File, 143; Panavision, 125, 142; The
Quick and the Dead, 160; Seconds,
86; Thomas Crown Affair, 130–31;
The Two Towers, 164; Two Weeks
Notice, 162; video-based editing,
151; Wild River, 125

Widerberg, Bo, 142
wide screen, 17, 124–25, 129, 143;

anamorphic, 125, 149; The Hud-
sucker Proxy, 126; long lens, 142;
tight close-ups, 133, 152; TV
conversion, 148–49

The Wild Bunch (1969), 23, 57, 142,
143, 155

Wilder, Billy, 21, 63, 113–14, 129
Wilder, Thornton, 98
Wild River (1960), 125
Wild Things (1998), 48
Williams, Tennessee, 32, 83
Willis, Bruce, 270n161
Willow (1988), 53
Wilson (1944), 55
Winchester 73 (1950), 83, 97
Wings of Desire (1987), 75
wipe-by cuts, 184; Con�dence, 175,

175; Jaws (1975), 128, 175; long
lens, 127, 143; Memento, 140

wipes, 14–15, 15, 49–50, 175. See also
wipe-by cuts

Witness (1985), 29, 36
The Wizard of Oz (1939), 53
Wolf (1994), 53, 84, 261n13
Wölfflin, Heinrich, 188–89
Wonder Boys (2000), 12
Wonderland (2003), 55
Wong Kar-wai, 75
Woo, John, 141

Page 309

Wood, Sam, 180
worldmaking, 58–60
The Writer�s Journey (Vogler, 1992),

34, 35
Wyatt, Justin, 5–7
Wyler, William, 137, 185

X-Men (2000), 54

Yang, Edward, 98, 187
The Yellow Rolls Royce (1964), 97
Yentl (1983), 90
Yes, Madam! (1985), 105

298 / Index

You Only Live Once (1937), 81, 84
You Only Live Twice (1967), 142, 144
You�ve Got Mail (1998), 95
Yuen Kuei, 105

Zanuck, Darryl F., 57, 130, 249n26
Zardoz (1974), 56
Zelig (1983), 75
Zemeckis, Robert, 75, 173
zooms: creeping, 135, 136, 152, 165,

262n46; lenses, 125, 144, 157
Zsigmond, Vilmos, 137
Zucker, David and Jerry, 55

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