Shadows on the Past: Studies in the Historical Fiction Film (Culture And The Moving Image)
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Studying popular Hollywood films from "Gone With the Wind" to "Reds" and such distinguished European films as "La Marseillaise" and "The Rise to Power of Louis XIV", Leger Grindon examines how historical fiction films interpret the present through a representation of the past. The historical fiction film is characterized by a set of motives and, Grindon argues, deserves to be considered a genre unto itself. Appropriation of historical events can insinuate a film's authority of its subject, veil an intention, provide an escape into nostalgia, or direct a search for knowledge and origins. Utilizing the past as a way of responding to social conflicts in the present, Grindon shows how the genre promotes a political agenda, superseding the influence of scholarship on the public's perception and interpretation of history. Leger Grindon is Assistant Professor of Film and Television Studies at Middlebury College.
song express the introspection and conflict in the spectacle. In a major change from Eisenstein's work in the 1920s, the film bases its episodes, not upon massed conflict, but in ominous ceremony. From the coronation in part one to the mock crowning and procession ending part two, ceremony, legitimate and disguised, acts as the framework for the history. The structure seems appropriate because Ivan the Terrible endorses the continuity of government and reinforces the authority of the leader
the body of the picture had been shot and in response to Wanger's concern about conveying the "spirit" of the Revolution. A newsreel-like voice announces the date, Jul\' 26, 1794, and describes Paris as in the grip of anarchy and fear. Then six characters are introduced in closeup head shots, harshh' underlit Copyrighted Material From The Bastille to The Black Book I 81 over a background of flames. The first three are terrorists and villains: "Robespierre: a fanatic with powdered wig and
Roberto's opera demonstration, responds to his challenge by having him arrested, and finally steals the money raised by the Action Party to escape from the battle Roberto longs to join. Franz's egotism matches the count's, and he reaches for the pleaCopyrighted Material Visconti's Senso I 121 sures of the aristocracy: He seduces the count's wife, breaks into his villa, and, lounging atop mounds of hidden grain, preys upon the countess for money. Livia's illusions make her his chief victim.
the leftist opposition. In 1962, after the Algerian settlement, de Gaulle initiated, contrary to procedures established by his own constitution, a referendum on the direct election of the president. The measure was opposed by all parties as an illegal and authoritarian attempt to consolidate power in the presidential office. But the public endorsed the move , and the general emerged , oictorious. These years were a time of consolidation for the regime in which the official powers of the
pace and a graphic diffusion of the landscape engender anticipation and an almost melancholy temper; later, as the battleship races to confront the fleet, accelerating montage and a sharp linear composition build excitement in a climax evocative of Griffith. In Eisenstein there are no central characters to provoke associations or distract from the momentum of the images. Growth from microcosm to macrocosm animated editing chains such as the "Proletariats, Learn to Bear Arms" montage from October,