Week 2, January 15th The Post War Era 1945-1960. Readings: Thompson & Bordwell Part 4 The Post War Era Chapter 15 American Cinema in the Postwar Era 1945-1960. pp 299-323; and Alfred Hitchcock Box p. 320 Supplementary reading: Corrigan, Timothy, White, Patricia, with Meta Mazaj, Critical Visions in Film Theory; Classical and Contemporary Readings Part I Experiencing Film: From perception to reception. Judith Mayne “Paradoxes of Spectatorship”pp.88-110 and Part 4 Auteurism: Tania Modelski “Hitchcock, Feminism and the Patriarchal Unconscious” pp 375-386 Hayward, Key ConceptsHays Code pp 171 and Hollywood Black List“Orson Welles: Boy Genius and Films of the Period” pp143-147; Hayward Key Concepts: Realism pp. 298-300 Screening: Strangers on a Train (1951) Rear Window (1954), Director: Alfred Hitchcock www.hitchcockwiki.com/Night and Fog (1955) Alain Renais
Lecture Plan: Over View: Readings etc A few key film studies concepts: (Also refer text glossaryand relevant sections of Susan Hayward Key Concepts in Cinema Studies) Diegesis and Diegetic Sound Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) Surveillance, POV, Spectatorship Anamorphosis The Gaze/ The look
Mise en Scene The arrangements of visual weights and movements within a given space. In the live theatre, the space is usually defined by the proscenium arch; in cinema it is defined by the frame that encloses the images. Cinematic mise en scene encompasses both the staging of the action and the way it's filmed. Literally “what is placed in the scene” All that is before the camera!
Close-up (CU) A detailed view of a person or object. A close-up (CU), Medium Close-up (MCU) or extreme close-up (ECU) of an object or actor, usually only his or her head or perhaps an eye. As opposed to a long shot. (LS)Hayward Key Concepts pp317-320
Low Angle Low Angle- A shot in which the subject is photographed from below. As opposed to a high angle shot.
Dolly Shot or Tracking Shot (Trucking Shots) Dolly Shot, Tracking Shot, Trucking Shot- A shot taken from a moving vehicle, bicycle, automobile, train. Originally, tracks were laid on the set to permit a smoother movement of the camera. Often produced cinematic clichés such as train lines to infinity.
Aerial or Crane Shot Aerial or Crane Shot- A shot taken from a special device called a crane, which resembles a huge mechanical arm. The crane carries the camera and the cinematographer and can move in virtually any direction.
Deep Focus Deep Focus A photographic technique that permits all distance planes to remain clearly in focus, from close-up ranges to infinity.
High Angle High Angle A shot in which the subject is photographed from above. As opposed to a low angle shot.
Long Shot Long Shot- Often an establishing shot; a shot that includes an area within the image that roughly corresponds to the spectators view of the area within the proscenium arch in the live theatre. As opposed to a close-up.
Dissolve Dissolve- The slow fading out of one shot and the gradual fading in of its successor, with a superimposition of images, usually at the mid-point.
Montage Montage- Transitional sequences of rapidly edited images, used to suggest the lapse of time or the passing of events. Often uses dissolve and multiple exposures. In Europe, montage means the art of editing.Dialectical versus additive montage Click Image for Video Clip
Shot /reverse shot The camera cuts back and forth between two points of view (P.O.V.) in a scene, normally between two characters
180 degree rule. When planning a sequence of shots the director is aware of maintaining continuity through the convention of not "crossing the line", or of positioning cameras on the same side of the 180 degree line of action or axis of action.
Diegesis Refers to Narration – the content of narration or the fictional world inside the story. All that is really going on - on screen – to construct/represent a fictional reality.
Diegesis 22 A narrative's “time-space continuum.” The diegesis of a narrative is its entire created world. Any narrative includes a diegesis, whether you are reading or viewing -another form of reading - science fiction, fantasy, mimetic realism, or psychological realism.
Diegetic Sound Diegetic Sound/ Commentary Sound - sound whose source is neither visible on the screen nor has been implied to be present in the actionnarrator's commentary (voice over) such as ‘Voice of God’ in documentary and sound effects which are added for the dramatic effect such as mood music.
Non-Diegetic Sound Non-diegetic sound is represented as coming from a source outside the story space. The distinction between diegetic or non-diegetic sound depends on our understanding of the conventions of film viewing and listening. Occasionally this is illusionistic i.e. Sam the piano player in Casablanca who was singing diegetically (As Time goes By) and other hit compositions to piano previously recorded. We know that certain sounds are represented as coming from the story world, while others are represented as coming from outside the space of the story events.
Three-Point Lighting Three-Point Lighting A common technique of lighting a scene from three sources. The key light is the main source of illumination, usually creating the dominant contrast where we first look in a shot. Fill lights are less intense and are generally placed opposite the key, illuminating areas that would otherwise be obscured by shadow. Backlights are used to separate foreground elements from the setting, emphasizing depth in the image.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC5UhVwcIyg Rear Window Origins: Cornell Woolrich’s short story “It Had to be Murder”John Michael Hayes (screenplay)
Cast James Stewart...L. B. JefferiesGrace Kelly... Lisa Carol Fremont Wendell Corey... Detective Lt. Thomas J. DoyleThelma Ritter...Stella , Insurance company nurse Raymond Burr... Lars Thorwald Judith Evelyn..Miss Lonelyheart Ross Bagdasarian... Songwriter Georgine Darcy... Miss Torso Sara Berner... Wife living above Thorwald
Cast continued Frank Cady... Husband living above Thorwald Jesslyn Fax...Sculpting neighbor with hearing aid Rand Harper...Newlywed man Irene Winston..Mrs. Anna Thorwald Havis Davenport...Newlywed woman Marla English.. Girl at songwriter's party
Heat wave During a heat wave, normally itinerant news photographer L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) finds himself confined by a broken leg to a wheelchair in his Greenwich Village apartment. Each day, and often into the night, he has little to do but gaze out his rear window at the activities of his neighbours in the surrounding apartments.
Jeff’s main visitors are his fiancée Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), a high-fashion model and Stella (Thelma Ritter), an insurance company nurse who provides him with therapeutic massages.
Heat Wave Plot device More than a plot device explaining why everyone has their windows open, the heat wave intensifies a crisis for which it also serves as a metaphor for vulnerability. With windows open, the heat intensifies a crisis for which it also serves as a metaphor.
Jeff: I wonder if it's ethical to watch a man with binoculars and a long focus lens. Do you, do you suppose it's ethical even if you prove that he didn't commit a crime?Lisa: I'm not much on rear window ethics.Jeff: Of course, they can do the same thing to me, watch me like a bug under a glass if they want to.
Lisa: Jeff, you know, if someone came in here, they wouldn't believe what they'd see.Jeff: What?Lisa: You and me with long faces, plunged into despair because we find out a man didn't kill his wife. We're two of the most frightening ghouls I've ever known. You'd think we could be a little bit happy that the poor woman is alive and well.
Character Parallelism Hitchcock scholars (Mulvey, Modleski, Woods et. al.), have discussed the way the relationship between Jeff and Lisa parallels the lives of the neighbours they are spying upon. Many of these points are considered in Tania Modleski’s The Women Who Knew Too Much.