Sunday, November 29, 2015

Episode #71 - Kristin Thompson (How Green Was My Valley)


"You always start with saying, 'What is this film trying to do?'"

If you've taken a film studies course in the last couple decades, you likely came across Film Art on the required book purchases. Chances are you first learned how to investigate the structure of a film (narrative, editing, mise-en-scene, sound, etc) before learning how to recognize ideology, or apply psychoanalytic theories. Wherever one's interest lie in looking at cinema, the work by film scholar Kristin Thompson over the last four decades has provided intensive groundwork into looking at Hollywood cinema's most intuitive principles and beyond. Kristin sits down to traces her entrance into academic film studies and developing a method for understanding form as adapted from Russian theories, the history of classical structure as developed by Hollywood and its legacy both abroad in the silent era and continuing into even today's so-called "VFX-driven" movies, and her work on The Lord of the Rings franchise and its game-changing success in the new century. Finally, the two sit down to look at John Ford's How Green Was My Valley, which employs unique methods of narrative strategy and compositional staging to create a poetic "three-hankie picture" (and well deserving of its 1941 Oscar).

0:00-3:03 Opening
4:21-11:36  Establishing Shots - Manhunter
12:21-58:18 Deep Focus - Kristin Thompson
59:27-1:02:07 Mubi Sponsorship
1:03:49-1:22:27 Double Exposure - How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)
1:22:31-1:24:09 Close
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Notes and Links from the Conversation
The 2015 Film & History Conference
—Notes on Manhunter: Glenn Heath Jr., Tony Williams, Ben Sachs
—The Deja Vu scene in question
—Peter on Mann's debut film, Thief
—Linda Williams on Body Genres 
David Bordwell on Kristin Thompson
Dudley Andrew
Tino Bailo and United Artists: The Company Built By The Stars
Douglas Gomrey, The Coming of Sound, Film History: Theory and Practice
—A manifesto on "Revisionist Film History"
—Lemon and Reis's Russian Formalist Criticism
—Barthes' "The Third Meaning" is discussed in Image-Music-Text
—"The Concept of Cinematic Excess" appears in Philip Rosen's Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology
Sawing through the Bough: Tout va bien as a Brechtian Film" appears in Thompson's Breaking The Glass Armor
The Classical Hollywood Cinema: 25 Years Later
—Bordwell and Thompson blogs on silent cinema.
—Kristin on Zemeckis's The Walk
—Kristin on Gravity: Part 1 (Narrative), Part 2 (Visual Form)
CHC discusses the role of novelty and innovation in "Technological Change and the Mode of Production" (Pages 474-478).
—Henry Jenkins interviews Kristin on The Frodo Franchise: Part One, Part Two, Part Three
Posts on The Hobbit for Observations in Film Art
Kristin on the performances of Mark Rylance
"Is there a blog in this class?" post for 2015
—Kristin's work in Egyptology is part of the Amarna Project; some comments by her on Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings
—Kristin on How Green Was My Valley

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