Hollywod since 1948

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Critically assess the argument that the 'High Concept Film' represents an example of post-classical American Cinema.

When considering post-classical American cinema in relation to our argument we must first discover how this era in film history developed. Looking at it's relationship to that of the classical Hollywood tradition we can see that post-classical American cinema emerged through a set of aesthetic norms. It is suggested that up until 1960 there was a specific and consistent style that dominated American studio film making, a style whose principles remained quite invariable throughout decades, studios and genres. It is said that; 'Hollywood cinema sees itself as bound by rules that set stringent limits on individual innovation; that telling a story is the basic formal concern; that unity is a basic attribute of film form; that the film should be comprehensible and unambiguous, and that it possesses a fundamental emotional appeal that transcends class and nation'# Hollywood film making had been seen to illustrate the qualities of a classical art form, conveying notions of decorum, formal harmony, respect for tradition, proportion, not recently associated with American Cinema.

Through the work of Jan Mukarovsky we are able to see how and why we can define Classical Hollywood Cinema as an aesthetic system, giving rise to the notion that the Hollywood style has functioned as a set of norms. This early form of cinema shows how a particular set of aesthetic norms prolonged its presence enough to dominate American film production into the 1960's and structure themselves into the Hollywood mode of production. Mukarovsky highlights to us that periods of 'Classicism' tend to lean towards harmony and stability.

We now come to the transition between Classical American Cinema and what is now termed post-classical American Cinema, underlining what some post modernist critics have described...