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March 31 , 2008

Classical Hollywood cinema: Point of view and communication


Classical Hollywood cinema: Point of view and communication offers a new approach to filmic point of view by combining close analyses informed by the tools of narratology and philosophy with concepts derived from communication studies. The book interrogates prevailing assumptions about film's ability to represent character experience, and offers an alternative way of understanding and describing films' achievements in this regard. It also prompts readers to think in detail about the similarities and differences between films and novels as media of expression and communication. Each chapter stages a conversation between two masterpieces of classical Hollywood cinema and one critical concept that can enrich our understanding of them: Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Capra, 1936) are interpreted in relation to point of view; Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger, 1959) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford, 1962) are considered with reference to the concept of distance; and Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls, 1948) and Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939) are explored through the lens of communication. Each encounter reveals new, exciting and mutually illuminating ways of appreciating not only these case studies but also the critical concepts at stake. Designed to be accessible to the educated general reader, this book will be of particular interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of film or literature, and scholars of point of view or the classical Hollywood cinema.
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