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Classic HollywoodLifestyles and Film Styles of American Cinema, 1930-1960$
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Veronica Pravadelli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038778

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038778.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 15 January 2021

The Early Thirties

The Early Thirties

Modernity, New Women, and the Aesthetic of Attractions

(p.21) 1 The Early Thirties
Classic Hollywood

Veronica Pravadelli

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the early sound period. From a formal perspective, the dominant film style has an affinity with silent cinema; it is filled with superimpositions, extended dissolves, elaborate optical effects, and a wide range of “attractions.” Consequently, the films of this period rely heavily on visual rather than verbal devices. The chapter then argues that between the end of the 1920s and the early 1930s, American cinema privileges plots of female emancipation and images of the New Woman. The figure of the New Woman, combined with the aesthetic of attractions, can be interpreted in light of the “modernity thesis.”

Keywords:   sound period, silent cinema, aattraction, female emancipation, New Woman, modernity thesis

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