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Aesthetical and narrative uses of the trench in the Hollywood cinema of 1918-1930

Elduque Busquets, A. and Salvadó, A. (2016) Aesthetical and narrative uses of the trench in the Hollywood cinema of 1918-1930. L'Atalante. Revista de Estudios Cinematográficos, 21. pp. 93-103. ISSN 2340-6992

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Throughout history of painting, the representation of landscape has been considered a laboratory for the human gaze on the world. The First World War and its new approach to the battlefield altered deeply the classical forms of representation, and replaced them with a mechanised and fragmentary vision, which was related with the development of photography and cinema. As Vicente J. Benet has analysed, Hollywod cinema used these deep changes in its filmic versions of the conflict, although it organised them following a narrative logic. In this text we intend to study how the battlefield and, particularly, the trench, are inserted in this logic of the history of landscape painting. We do so through some Hollywood films from the period 1918-1930. Firstly, we approach the trench as a composition value which can structure the image and guide the camera movement. In the second place, we study how it creates a dialog between its inside, melodrama scenery, and the outside, battlefield and danger. In both cases, we conclude that the trench as a form and as a narrative element plays a structuring and integrative role with the storytelling logic.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:65673
Uncontrolled Keywords:Landscape; First World War; Hollywood.
Publisher:Associació Cinefòrum L'Atalante

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