Distance, representation and criticism
in Classical Hollywood cinema
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Chapter 2 demonstrates, by reviewing existing theoretical accounts and by using as a case study Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, 1959), that to conceptualise an artwork as comprising a range of axes or spectrums of distance is a powerful way of exploring its handling of point of view (and its achievements in this regard). It uses the work of Robert Pippin and Harold Adams Innis to offer a reading of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as a film concerned with the cultural and historical effects of different media of communication, including the distances these different media span and create. In its conclusion it offers a synthesis of the arguments of various members of the ‘Frankfurt School’ and the ‘Toronto School’ in order to suggest certain aesthetically- and historically-specific properties of the narrative fiction film as a medium of expression and communication – particularly its relationship to publicness and privacy.

Classical Hollywood cinema

Point of view and communication

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