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James Zborowski

3 Communication, love and death ‘In this world’, wrote Kenneth Burke, ‘communication is never an absolute’, before adding in parentheses that ‘only angels communicate absolutely’.1 ‘Since Augustine at least’, suggests John Durham Peters, ‘angels have been the epitome of perfect communication, a model of how we would talk if we had no obstructions’.2 The most extended topic of discussion in this chapter will be the representation of the often-troubled communication of two heterosexual romantic pairs from two classical Hollywood films: Only Angels Have Wings and

in Classical Hollywood cinema
Point of view and communication
Author: James Zborowski

This book explores the theoretical and critical concept of filmic point of view. Its case studies are six acclaimed and accomplished instances of ‘classical Hollywood cinema’: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Capra, 1936), Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939), Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, 1948), Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958), Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, 1959), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, 1962). The book’s particular contributions to the study of filmic point of view are to use ‘communication’ as an idea which permits new ways of approaching this topic, and to offer detailed explorations of the filmic representation of character experience (including character ‘consciousness’ and interaction), and of the relationship of film to other media of communication (especially print media and the novel). With respect to character experience, it is argued that the often-held distinction between an inner realm of thought and feeling and an outer realm of behaviour and objects fails to do justice to the human experience of ‘being-in-the-world’ and film’s ability to represent it. With respect to film’s relationship to other media, it explores the traversing of the public, the private and the social that narrative fiction film represents, in a way that aligns the medium with the novel. The book is offered as a demonstration and defence of the value of a ‘conversational’ critical method that entails detailed scrutiny of our film-viewing experiences and of the language we use to describe those experiences, and eschews the construction of a taxonomy designed for general applicability.

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Point of view and communication
James Zborowski

Introduction: point of view and communication This book engages closely with six masterpieces of the classical Hollywood cinema under three large topic headings. The films are (in chronological order, rather than as ordered in this book): Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Capra, 1936), Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939), Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, 1948), Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958), Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, 1959) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, 1962). The topics are point of view, distance and communication. I offer what follows as a work of

in Classical Hollywood cinema
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Education, communication and film studies
James Zborowski

Postscript: education, communication and film studies Two cheers for conversation Conversation can be a wonderful thing. There is something uniquely precious about free, face-to-face encounters between equals, especially if those equals are loved ones, and it is hard to imagine a life without such encounters being a life worth living. One important element of my case study films that I have tried to do justice to is the care and eloquence with which they stage various kinds of conversation, from rule-­ governed exchanges conducted in the public eye attempting to

in Classical Hollywood cinema
James Zborowski

2 Distance, representation and criticism This chapter provides a link between the principal focus upon point of view in the previous chapter, and the principal focus upon communication in the chapter to follow. To treat artworks as comprising spectrums or axes of distance has been demonstrated, as we shall shortly see, to be a powerful way of conceptualising how point of view works within them. After a survey of a range of existing approaches to point of view and distance from within and beyond film studies, I explore the handling of point of view and distance

in Classical Hollywood cinema
Buñuel’s technique
Mark Millington

sparing in his efforts to evoke atmosphere or create mood, and little attempt is made to connect us with characters on an emotional level. His aim is to establish a clear pattern of communication with the spectator, and therefore, at a certain level of spectatorship, to provide security. The transparency of his filming style is crucial in creating an effect of realism to anchor the subversive quality of his idiosyncratic narrative

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Performing the news as parody for the postmodern viewer
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

, the postmodern viewer is almost forced into an active and participatory role in finding news, much less reality, that seems credible, negotiable. In a world of supposed excess of meaning, excess of news sources and excess in general, audiences as individuals can and do reject the consensus that information devoirs the subject. Postmodern communication, especially in the more mainstream media, does not conduce communication. As Baudrillard

in Genre and performance
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Auteurism from Assayas to Ozon
Editor: Kate Ince

There have been vigorous debates about the condition and prospects of auteur cinema in France over the last decade, debates that seem mostly to have gone unreported in anglophone criticism of francophone cinema. But these have been paralleled by a revival of international debate about the status of the auteur: in their extended chapter on auteur cinema added to the second edition of Cook's The Cinema Book, Pam Cook and Mieke Bernink observe that this was definitely underway by 1995. This book summarises the development of auteurism as a field up to the 1990s, drawing particularly on Wright Wexman's historical overview. Georges Méliès was the first auteur. Following the advent of structuralism and structuralist approaches to narrative and communication in the mid 1960s, a type of auteurism was born that preserved a focus on authorship. The book presents an account of the development of Olivier Assayas' career, and explores this idea of what one might call 'catastrophe cinema'. Jacques Audiard's work reflects several dominant preoccupations of contemporary French cinema, such as an engagement with realism (the phenomenon of the 'new new wave') and the interrogation of the construction of (cultural) memory. The book then discusses the films of the Dardenne brothers and their documentaries. Michael Haneke's films can be read as a series of polemical correctives to the morally questionable viewing practices. An introduction to Ozon's films that revolve around the centrality of queer desire to his cinema, and the continual performative transformations of identity worked within it, is presented.

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Kate Ince

dominating the field of literature as they were by Cahiers du cinéma , and are distinguishable from the politique des auteurs by their tolerance and even embracing of literariness, a tendency often detectable in their close readings of individual films. Following the advent of structuralism and structuralist approaches to narrative and communication in the mid 1960s, a type of auteurism was born that preserved a focus on

in Five directors
Subjective realism, social disintegration and bodily affection in Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga (2001)
Julián Daniel Gutiérrez- Albilla

failure of communication or emotional dysfunction and annihilation, in the context of the decadent world of the traditional rural Argentine society, through the use of what could be defined as a subjective realistic cinematic style. 1 In Narration in the Fiction Film , David Bordwell ( 1985 ) distinguishes between the narrative and filmmaking strategies used in classical Hollywood cinema and those

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers