With the change in subject matter, the naturalists also abandoned the idea of a polite or refined style. Wells to Virginia Woolf and Rebecca West; Pound himself was eventually put off by the cloacal aspects of the work. In undertaking this project I have become much less certain of our knowledge of the latter period, more aware of the gaps and lacunae in the historical record, and excited by the opportunities for further research. Register a Free 1 month Trial Account. At least a portion of what Jacobs reveals by her wholesale investment in comments from the trade press is her real service to our understanding of the films in the 1920s: her illumination of the sexist comments made by many reviewers, perhaps collected comprehensively for the first time? A healthy abundance of citations of trade press reviews of the films she discusses quickly becomes an embarrassment of riches.
There is, to his eye, no grand ingenuity, no skilful adaptation of means to end, no moral or even dramatic plan in the order of the universe. Nonetheless, the culture wars of the early twentieth century had a decisive impact on the ways in which reviewers judged films, on the novels and stage plays chosen for adaptation by the studios, and on the narrative models available to both screenwriters and directors. It rises above the appeals of patriotism, sentiment, humor and romance — although it has all those things — to shake the whole emotional structure of spectators with an epic portrait of two fascinating and violent men. In describing film after film, we get an often too-long description of the plot followed by numerous and sometimes overly long citations from the trade press, which in the 1920s was writing for distributors who were looking for clues about how a picture would do in their theatres. In contrast, the Hollywood cinema of the 1920s seemed almost depressingly familiar. Her analysis—focusing on the influence of literary naturalism on the cinema, the emergence of sophisticated comedy, and the progressive alteration of the male adventure story and the seduction plot—is a comprehensive account of the modernization of classical Hollywood film style and narrative form. The animal frankness and health of these pictures constituted the ground of their offense.
You have used that pretty often. About the Book The Decline of Sentiment seeks to characterize the radical shifts in taste that transformed American film in the jazz age. I suspect that Dreiser, writing so of his own creed, would be tempted to make it stupid, or, at all events, unintelligible. I am very grateful for the movies he sent my way, and also for his editorial suggestions, which, I am afraid, were more honored in the breach than in the observance. I will contrast the films that came to be identified as sophisticated, on the edge of what censors or more conservative viewers would tolerate, with others that were dismissed as sentimental or simply old-fashioned. Van Wyck Brooks concludes: We can see from this that to Mrs. Its foundations are the emerging prominence of naturalism in literature as it began, in H.
Many of his best scenes lose force because they are too intense, too long continued, too often repeated or too explicitly described in words and pictures. ²³ Revolted as the reviewer was, he quoted extensively from the speech made by the producer Arnold Daly who also played the role of Frank in defense of the play. Her analysis—focusing on the influence of literary naturalism on the cinema, the emergence of sophisticated comedy, and the progressive alteration of the male adventure story and the seduction plot—is a comprehensive account of the modernization of classical Hollywood film style and narrative form. The advocates of naturalism questioned aesthetic as well as moral principles of judgment. Sentimentality, for the young intellectuals of the 1910s and 1920s, was often associated with a highly moralized view of literature and life.
This work is proposed as a history of taste. While there are precedents for it in art history, I do not know of any in the field of film studies. The whole story of the play, the atmosphere surrounding it, the incidents, the personalities of the characters are wholly immoral and degenerate. These provide all-too-brief draughts of cool water after the dry journey through most of the descriptions of the films under study. This book was written for film students and students who have deep knowledge of the topics. Even the hardest-edged works of art possess some kind of connection with the frailties that make the subjects of that art — humans and their humanness — what they are. Thus, although there had been naturalist writers in America at least since Frank Norris, and defenders of naturalism among even such traditional critics as Howells, the way in which this movement upset the hierarchy of traditional tastes did not become apparent until the 1910s, amid debates about the American literary canon.
It is assumed that since this is for people studying this topic in great detail, there is no reason to pick this book up unless that is your purpose. You can expect to receive your order in 6 to 10 working days for most Australian capitals, however, please check below to see indicative delivery timeframes for your area. By choosing to defend her argument with a comprehensive review of how the Hollywood trade press covered the films of the 1920s, she limits herself to its a cappella voice, its relentless singing in unison, its opining on how the pictures would play to certain audiences, how women and men would react but never how a human being would react and whether a film would appeal to a more or less sophisticated crowd, depending how close to a large metropolitan area the film was screened. Griffith does not seem to know the meaning of restraint. More would have served her purpose well. And genres later identified as women's genres were not necessarily so considered during the silent era. Vance Kepley saved me from many stylistic infelicities and, at a crucial juncture, volunteered a much needed bottle of gin.
Here we have a sweet commingling of virtuous conformity and complacent optimism, of sonorous platitude and easy certainty—here, in brief, we have the philosophy of the English middle classes—and here, by the same token, we have the sort of guff that the half-educated of our own country can understand. The Decline of Sentiment seeks to characterize the radical shifts in taste that transformed American film in the jazz age. In appreciating Sennett, Seldes defied both the strictures of genteel taste regarding the subject matter fit for representation and the preference for a polite and polished style. And, apart from the agreeable manners of Mr. Then, in 1920, came the success of Beyond the Horizon, the first play by a member of the group to be produced on Broadway, and the vastly greater success of Main Street.
The problem is that once you have gotten your nifty new product, the the decline of sentiment jacobs lea gets a brief glance, maybe a once over, but it often tends to get discarded or lost with the original packaging. Insofar as taste can be said to have a history, it seems to me to consist in the systematic alteration or, more conservatively, preservation of criteria of judgment. In addition, the cinema had its own narrative and stylistic traditions. In that same year, Mencken began publishing his collected Prejudices. Historians frequently characterize the decade in terms of the development of the stereotype of the flapper—epitomized by the stars Clara Bow and Colleen Moore—and of a new sexual permissiveness, both reflected in films and, perhaps, reinforced by them. And is sentiment such a bad thing after all? As Kermit Vanderbilt has shown, for most American literary scholars that canon was largely comprised of British authors until the 1910s. Howells was being vilified by 1920.