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Classic Hollywood Cinema - Essay Example

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In “an excessively obvious cinema,” Bordwell argues that the typical Hollywood film “possesses a fundamental emotional appeal that transcends class and nation.” This essay assesses the validity of Bordwells contention by analyzing the representation of gender in Orson…
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Classic Hollywood Cinema
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Download file to see previous pages This essay prompts readers to revise Bordwells contention in a certain way. Movies have an emotional appeal that transcend gender, because these movies both demonstrate the second-class status of women in society, although Citizen Kane (1941) has shown womens subtle struggles in fighting their patriarchal society.
In Citizen Kane (1941) and Shane (1953), men are the more powerful and stronger gender than women. Through a subjective camera, Welles makes the audience feel that they are breaking and entering a mans innermost property, with the “No Trespassing” sign framing the psychological intrusion into Kanes most-prized property, the Xanadu estate. Welles combines camera tilt with lap dissolves to shoot the high gate and focus on the large steel “K” sign on top of the gate. This sign stands for Kanes perception of himself as a human being and a “man,” where he is superior to his women and the people around him. In Shane, Joe (Van Heflin) and Shane work together on the ranch. They swing their axes together, as if in the harmony of brotherhood and masculinity. Their control over their environment also indicates their control over society. Through alternating shots, Stevens depicts the strength of men in the physical and psychological sense. Shane further demonstrates the patriarchal culture of the setting through the rough-and-tumble way that men resolve their conflicts. During this time, law and order do not concretely exist yet, because America is in its “becoming” stage. The West is divided, where ranchers and homesteaders, or “squatters” as ranchers call them, are in conflict over property rights. They cannot resolve their land dispute over rational discussion, since they hate to give concessions to each other. They desire a zero-sum game, where one wins and other loses. This kind of thinking is a facet of realism, where anarchy drives ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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