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The Cinema of Attractions - Essay Example

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The development of early cinema can be considered as a new stage of social life of people. This development is considered to be one of the most important inventions. …
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The Cinema of Attractions

Download file to see previous pages... Still, the cinema of attractions is a way of the audience identification and the reflection of the needs of the society of nineteenth and early twentieth century. In case the cinema was able to show something, it was considered to be a good cinema. The early cinema is of the exhibitionist nature. The audience is targeted by the specific images they want to see. Gunning claims that it was very important the way camera interacted with the eyes of an actor. In such a way, the audience had a chance to feel an interaction with heroes on the screen. Both of them were watchers (Diiorio, 2003). The attention of a spectator was very important for the directors of early cinema. This aspect was specially supervised. That is why they were really concerned about visual contact between the viewers and the actors. Only images, which were shown to the audience, were important for them. We can illustrate this claim by the film directed by Edwin Porter “The Great Train Robbery” in 1903. In this film the bandit looks at the audience and makes a shot. The viewers are able to see the smoke of the gun. This scene happens in the beginning of the film and the audience catches its breath in a foretaste of further events or images. This move is referred by Gunning as exhibitionist move showing the views what will happen next. Gunning claims that: “the cinema of attractions does not disappear with the dominance of narrative, but rather goes underground, both into certain avant-garde practices and as a component of narrative films, more evident in some genres than in others”. If not images are practiced as the tools to exert influence on the audience, then music is often used by the directors of the later films. (after 1906). In the film directed by Victor Fleming “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), the events are surrounded by music (Faden, 2001). We can see the way the main characters show their inner states. This technique is used by the directors in order to make them understand further development of events. Therefore, the narrative is supported by music and there is a lack of exhibitionist strategy in it. Viewers obtain help from the directors in order to perceive what is going on the screen correctly. Thus, attractions in the early films were used as tools to grasp attention of the audience and in later films director’s techniques were used to understand moods of the cinema’s characters (Brewster & Jacobs, 1997). According to Gunning, “This is not to say that narrative films are entirely separate to the world of the cinema of attraction. On the contrary, narratives will often incorporate this form of cinema into their development. However, since this method of cinema does tend to disrupt the realistic illusion created by the audience’s lack of self-awareness, incorporating it usually has a result of slowing down the progression of the narrative” (Gunning, 2000). Therefore, the cinema of attractions comprises films before 1906 and avant-garde films, but nowadays many directors use these techniques as well. Modern Hollywood films are also based on the techniques of attraction, when the audience can see the face of the main character clearly and feel with him or understand him better. The exhibitionist nature of the cinema of attractions was mainly used for creation of a special atmosphere on the screen. There are special concepts of attraction in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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