Hollywood Cinema Essay

947 words - 4 pages

The birth of the Hollywood cinema as we know it in it's current form came about in the late 1960's. In a market previously dominated by musicals and historical epics. The box office sales were dwindling at a rapid rate and the production houses couldn't grasp the baby boomer market, instead, the youth of that generation were turning towards French New Wave cinema and Japanese films.The baffled studios turned to a new breed of filmmakers. This new generation of Hollywood filmmaker was film school educated, anti-establishment and most importantly from the point of view of the studios, young and therefore able to reach the youth audience they were losing. This group of young filmmakers, actors, writers and directors were called the New Hollywood by the media of the time, briefly changed the business from the producer-driven Hollywood system of the past and injected movies with a jolt of freshness, energy, sexuality, and an obsessive passion for film itself.The biggest change that came about from the New Hollywood era was the emphasis on realism. Due to the costs of producing the films decreasing and new technologies coming about, films could be shot on location rather then building sets.Other defining points of Hollywood cinema are: a plot which takes shape in a sequence of chronological order, A character has certain traits and reacts to certain situations, A protagonist is the central character, active, goal-oriented, positive motivations. The antagonist is in conflict with the central character's effort to solve a problem. A story must have resolution, an ending, closure for characters and situations.A perfect example of the "New Hollywood" style of cinema is the 1996 action classic "The Rock". The plot behind the film is that a group of U.S. marines, under command of a renegade general, take over Alcatraz and threaten San Francisco Bay with biological weapons. A chemical weapons specialist and the only man to have ever escaped from the Rock are the only ones who can prevent chaos.This plot line is very typical for a Hollywood blockbuster, it has all the elements that identify the narrative styling. The film starts out with the orientation, a complication arises and then there is a resolution.Technical and symbolic codes are what really define a style of cinema and within that style also the genre of film itself. The director uses these codes to shape the movie into a genre, so that the audience will know roughly what to expect when viewing, and to put the characters into context.In Hollywood blockbusters technical codes such as special effects are always to be expected, in "The Rock" we are not let down. Explosions, jet planes soaring around and launching missiles all add to the thrill the audience gets when they view this film. Audiences have come to expect...

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