New Ways of Understanding Hollywood Film
Martin Flanagan uses Bakhtin's notions of dialogism, chronotope and polyphony to address fundamental questions about film form and reception, focussing particularly on the way cinematic narrative utilises time and space in its very construction.
The theories of the Russian literary critic and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) are highly suggestive for helping to understand cinema, yet their usefulness has yet to be fully and accessibly articulated in relation to the key debates of Film Studies. At the heart of this text is the key notion of chronotope, which Flanagan adapts to show how time and space 'fuse together' in cinematic narrative. Similarly crucial are the Bakhtinian concepts of dialogism and polyphony, which help to address fundamental questions about film form and reception. The 'unfinalizable' Bakhtinian word seems to hold great significance for a changing media world where meanings seem constantly renewable, and diffuse practices of spectatorship outgrow earlier, rigid models of interpretation. Via case studies of a diverse range of films (from Die Hard 4.0 to House of Games, The Searchers to The Incredibles), this book vividly demonstrates that Bakhtin's theories can bring about an exciting intervention into some of the most contested areas of film theory.
Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction Dialogism and Film Studies: The Dialogic Spectator Chronotope I: Time, Space, Narrative Chronotope II: Time, Space and Genre in the Western Film Polyphony: Authorship and Power Hollywood Calling: Cinema's Technological Address Conclusion: Making It Real Notes Bibliography Filmography Index