The ABCs of Classic Hollywood
By (author) Robert B. Ray
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ABCs of Classic Hollywood by Robert B. Ray
Book DescriptionSpeaking about the kind of filmmaking now known as Classic Hollywood, the most popular and influential cinema ever invented, Vincente Minnelli once gave away its secret: "I feel that a picture that stays with you is made up of a hundred or more hidden things. They're things that the audience is not conscious of, but that accumulate." How would we go about finding those things? What method would enable us to retrieve them, and by doing so, to understand better how Hollywood films got made? The ABCs of Classic Hollywood attempts to answer those questions by looking closely at four movies from the 1930-1945 period when the American Studio System reached the peak of its economic and cultural power: Grand Hotel, The Philadelphia Story, The Maltese Falcon, and Meet Me in St. Louis. To avoid the predictable generalizations that have plagued Film Studies, Ray works with the movies' details, treated as initially mysterious, but promising, clues: e.g., Grand Hotel's coffin and room assignments; The Philadelphia Story's diving board and license plate PA55; The Maltese Falcon's clocks and missing bed; Meet Me in St. Louis's violinist and ribboned cat. By producing at least 26 entries for each of these films (one for every letter of the alphabet), Ray demonstrates that a movie's details contain the record of the work and ideas that produced them, the endless negotiation between commercial efficiency and seductive enchantment. In our unconscious memories, we recognize something in the movies, something tantalizing and just out of reach. This book unlocks those memories, making them conscious and explicit, so that they will help us understand the most powerful and important storytelling system ever designed.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195322927
(210mm x 139mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 15-May-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Robert B. Ray
Walden x 40, Paperback (October 2011)
Details a fresh approach to an American classic
How a Film Theory Got Lost and Other Mysteries in Cultural Studies, Paperback (April 2001)
In the 1920s, when film criticism was as new as the cinema itself, a particular way of thinking about the movies developed in Paris. This collection of essays discusses this mystery and others like it: Why did photography and the detective story originate at exactly the same time?
Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1980, Paperback (May 1985)» View all books by Robert B. Ray
An analysis of the ideologies and artistic conventions of American movies includes examinations of films such as Casablanca, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather.
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Author Biography - Robert B. Ray
Robert B. Ray is the author of A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema 1930-1980, The Avant- Garde Finds Andy Hardy, and How a Film Theory Got Lost and Other Mysteries in Cultural Studies. He is also a member of The Vulgar Boatmen, a musical group that has released four Cds. He is Professor of English at the University of Florida.
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