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November 1994


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Nov 1994 09:19:25 -0600
text/plain (28 lines)
Cal Pryluck responds:
">Can you all deny that there was a massive change in around 1963, that the
>very form changed, the very style? I know there is a major difference in
>style and it is that that interests me. I don't want to group movies or
>films, but one has to start from somewhere.
This would be a more persuasive proposition if it included a few reference
films to illustrate the "massive change" and "major difference."  Sometimes
intuitive statements such as these turn out to be defensible; but they are
difficult to argue against in the absence of some evidence."
It is intuitive, but also somewhat correct.  One can argue that there's
been far more continuity in Hollywood style than not, but some changes
did occur in a noticable way.  For a starting point see the conclusion of
the last chapter of THE CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA by Bordwell, Thompson
and Staiger.  They point out that industry-watchers noticed a change
setting in around 1960 because Hollywood had reached a certain "maturity"
of institutions and because of outside influences such as the art cinema
coming from Japan, Europe and so forth.  We could also point to the collapse
of the studio "stable" of actors, directors, etc. and the concurrent impending
collapse of the Production Code.
I suppose 1963 is resonant just because for many of us it seemed to be the
Year When the World Changed (JFK's death, Beatles and Dylan's first hits,
etc. etc.), but it is as arbitrary a point as any other.
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN