Classical Hollywood Cinema and Film Studies
This introductory chapter argues that the existing literature on classical Hollywood could roughly be divided into two sets. On the one hand, there were those scholars who had analyzed the whole period arguing for continuities and similarities in most domains, from production to plot structure, from stylistic procedures to viewing experience, and so forth. On the other hand, critical work on Hollywood cinema had more often approached the topic by selecting a specific genre and period and making a statement about the peculiar relations between aesthetics and ideology. Often focusing on a specific genre, many investigated especially 1940s and 1950s Hollywood cinema in relation to cultural, artistic, and social dynamics. Indeed, for four decades, film noir, the woman's film, and melodrama have been the locus of such innovative research—from the theory of the “progressive text” in the early 1970s to “cinema and modernity studies” during the last twenty years or so.
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