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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 University Press Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038778.001.0001

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date: 19 October 2019

The Early Thirties

The Early Thirties

Modernity, New Women, and the Aesthetic of Attractions

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 The Early Thirties
Source:
Classic Hollywood
Author(s):

Veronica Pravadelli

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038778.003.0002

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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