Friday, December 12, 2014

Film History - You Name The Era

We've looked at several "Eras" in American cinema:

The Silent Era (thus dubbed because of films being with synchronized sound)
The Hollywood Studio Years - 1930-1965
The Hollywood Renaissance - 1965-1975
Hollywood's Return to Myth - 1975-1990

Some argue that the 90s brought a new era with the rise of Independent filmmaking and festivals such as Sundance. Some argue that we've never really gotten out of the Hollywood's Era of the Blockbuster and Return to Myth (and point to the most recent blockbusters and franchises as proof).

But where are we today in American Cinema?

According to the authors, Mast and Kawin, of A Short History Of the Movies “three criteria have traditionally marked the transition from one…film era to another, although the three may not operate with equal force or absolute congruence in every period of film history.”  These three are:

1)    Structure of the film business – some kind of shift in the business of making (and distributing) movies
2)    Film technology – a major advance (or advances) in the way movies are made, which has effect on the majority of films made (becomes a norm)
3)    Content reflects cultural values – a shift in the dominant cultural value of the country which is then mirrored in the films being made

After completing our final readings and considering our film screening - you decide: what new era is American cinema in today? Feel free to come up with your own name, and also please explain what defines this era. How is it different from previous eras (or perhaps how is it the same?)? What are those changes in criteria (biz, technology, culture) and how have they affected the art form? Are we in the middle of a transition, and if so what might be in store for the future?

Please post up your thoughts in no less than 300 words, and be ready to discuss on Friday, Dec 19th.

"I STEAL FROM EVERY SINGLE MOVIE EVER MADE. I love it - if my work has anything it's that I'm taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together. If people don't like that, then tough titty, don't go and see it, alright? I steal from everything. Great artists steal; they don't do homages.”          -Quentin Tarantino