Reinventing Hollywood : How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling

Reinventing Hollywood : How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling


In the 1940s, American movies changed. Flashbacks began to be used in outrageous, unpredictable ways. Soundtracks flaunted voice-over commentary, and characters might pivot from a scene to address the viewer. Incidents were replayed from different characters' viewpoints, and sometimes those versions proved to be false. Films now plunged viewers into characters' memories, dreams, and hallucinations. Some films didn't have protagonists, while others centered on anti-heroes or psychopaths. Women might be on the verge of madness, and neurotic heroes lurched into violent confrontations. Combining many of these ingredients, a new genre emergeda the psychological thriller, populated by women in peril and innocent bystanders targeted for death. If this sounds like today's cinema, that's because it is. In Reinventing Hollywood, David Bordwell examines for the first time the full range and depth of trends that crystallized into traditions. He shows how the Christopher Nolans and Quentin Tarantinos of today owe an immense debt to the dynamic, occasionally delirious narrative experiments of the Forties.
With verve and wit, Bordwell examines how a booming movie market during World War II allowed ambitious writers and directors to push narrative boundaries. Although those experiments are usually credited to the influence of Citizen Kane, Bordwell shows that similar impulses had begun in the late 1930s in radio, fiction, and theatre before migrating to film. And despite the postwar recession in the industry, the momentum for innovation continued. Some of the boldest films of the era came in the late forties and early fifties, as filmmakers sought to outdo their peers. Through in-depth analyses of films both famous and virtually unknown, from Our Town and All About Eve to Swell Guy and The Guilt of Janet Ames, Bordwell assesses the era's unique achievements and its legacy for future filmmakers. The result is a groundbreaking study of how Hollywood storytelling became a more complex art. Reinventing Hollywood is essential reading for all lovers of popular cinema.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0300197608
ISBN 13: 9780300197600

03 Oct 2017
David Thomson

ISBN 10: 1501102176
ISBN 13: 9781501102172

16 Nov 2017
Scott Eyman

ISBN 10: 0816641331
ISBN 13: 9780816641338

11 Oct 2019
Gilberto Perez

ISBN 10: 1493036297
ISBN 13: 9781493036295

01 Oct 2018
Jay Scarfone

ISBN 10: 030018042X
ISBN 13: 9780300180428

01 Mar 2019
Adina Hoffman

ISBN 10: 022635220X
ISBN 13: 9780226352206

29 Apr 2016
David Bordwell

ISBN 10: 0762455969
ISBN 13: 9780762455966

26 Jan 2017
Pascal Merigeau

ISBN 10: 038553485X
ISBN 13: 9780385534857

24 Oct 2017
Nancy J. Schoenberger

ISBN 10: 0226429415
ISBN 13: 9780226429410

19 Apr 2011
Dave Kehr

ISBN 10: 0231186444
ISBN 13: 9780231186445

12 Jul 2018
Joseph McBride

ISBN 10: 022649568X
ISBN 13: 9780226495682

19 Jan 2018
Dave Kehr

ISBN 10: 0520246225
ISBN 13: 9780520246225

10 Apr 2006
David Bordwell