Sunday 4 March 2012

Unique Characteristics Narrative and Stylistic of New Hollywood Cinema

The New Hollywood Era happened between the 1960’s to the 1980’s. After the fall of Old Hollywood, New Hollywood rose up to replace the old producer-driven mode of film making to something more dynamic and fresh which could attract the youth audience. These young film makers came from an educated background where they attended film school and therefore had a more thorough knowledge on film which came from a learned background instead of one where experience is gained through trial and error. Where the Old Hollywood cinema was one driven by the fact that most films were more or less standardized because all the cast and crew of the production were employees of a particular film studio which led to a lack of varied style on behalf of the directors who had to view themselves as employees rather than creative people. The New Hollywood cinema movement got rid of all the old systems by liberating the directors to be creatively active in their style of film making.

New Hollywood cinema used a linear narrative to present its story which made it for the audience to understand the content of the film. The three act structure was used to present the story by splitting it into an introduction, rising action and resolution.

Introduction: Introduce the main characters and how they fit into the world they live in.

Rising action: A build up of pace where the main character is trying to resolve the situation at hand but are unable to do so because of something they lack whether it be skills or complete knowledge of how to solve it. This portion contains the first turning point the story.

Resolution: Where the story is resolve along with whatever subplots the story may contain. The second turning of the story occurs here.

The mise-en scene and mise-en shot of for New Hollywood cinema focused on realism of character. Therefore not that many effects were applied to films of the New Hollywood movement. Even the lighting that was used was natural lighting which added to the feel of the movie being more realistic. The style of editing that New Hollywood cinema uses is parallel editing where two separate scenes are cut from one to the other to establish that two events are happening simultaneously and also to establish the relationship of certain characters. This kind of editing allowed for a deeper portrayal of the relationships of each character between one another thereby allowing the narrative to be driven forward. Continuity also played a major role in New Hollywood films to ensure a smooth transition of scenes which are shown from various perspectives. An example of a continuity technique was the eyeline match where the scene was cut from the gaze of the character to the object that the character was looking at. This allowed the scenes to be cut cleanly without awkward and out of place. In essence, New Hollywood Cinema had actually absorbed elements of French New Wave and Italian Neorealism, this can be seen through the fact that they did not use studio settings for their shots but rather went on location to do their filming.

“Bonnie & Clyde” is one example of a New Hollywood film which contained elements of humor, horror, graphic violence and sex. This movie led to some controversy during the rise of New Hollywood Cinema because during that time, such a movie was not easily accepted by the people film makers were targeting which led them to change their focus on who they want to target. The most controversial event due to New Hollywood films was the attempt at assassination of the president of the USA in Washington by John Hinckley Jr. John was a fan of “Taxi Driver”, he had watched the movie around 15 times because he idolized Jodie Foster who was an actress in the movie. His attempt of assassinating the president was his way of trying to impress her.
Bonnie and Clyde

The greatest change that the New Hollywood movement brought about was the emphasis on realism of character while featuring elements of anti-establishment political themes, use of rock music and sexual freedom which was against the culture of the day. It reached the heights of the film market allowing it to spread its influence to many countries. It also brought about a wave of popularity towards movie based music. Product placement is was also a common place thing in New Hollywood films. Different product brands would promote themselves by doing product placement of their brands in the films. An example of numerous product placement in a film is "Taxi Driver"
(Cola-cola product placement in Taxi Driver)
 (Wonder Bread)
Thus was the change from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood. This change injected new life into the film industry and revitalized it. It brought about a renewed interest in the younger generation to watch films thereby allowing New Hollywood Cinema to grab hold of a bigger target audience and make a bigger profit.


  1. Not much on the example given. From the example of 'Taxi Driver', it is a good one. But Im hoping to see a video or image from it, so that me and viewers can easily understanding your meaning. Overall, there is an explanation on the characteristic, but I hope there is more example with visual aids. :)

    1. Hi, thanks for your advice. About the movie "Taxi Driver", we had used it as our film analysis, so you can see the analysis of "Taxi Driver". We will make a good improvement for this part.

  2. May I know why there has the greatest change the New Hollywood filmmakers brought to the art form was an emphasis on realism of character and theme, use of rock music, and more overt sexuality?
    As been mentioned New Hollywood Cinema had absorb the element of French New Wave and Italian Neorealism, so it still can be a unique characteristic for New Hollywood Cinema?

    1. Hi, about the elements of the changes in the New Hollywood Cinema that you asked, you may refer to the historical of New Hollywood Cinema. We had provided the reason of the changes that would happened on that time.
      We think the absorption of French New Wave and Italian Neorealism into the New Hollywood Cinema is one of the unique characteristic. Although it absorb the elements of French New Wave and Italian Neorealism , but New Hollywood Cinema still can establish and create their own identity, that is why we think this is one of the unique characteristics.

  3. Good effort guys! When come into the product placements part, do you mind explaining further about it on the example of the movies and what are the products being placed? Thanks ya

    1. Hi. thank you. Yes, we will make the improvement on this part. Thanks for your advice. You can see this improvement for our revised article.

  4. I think you can provides some evident as you mention the transformation and changes of produced a film that later affected NH cinema. Maybe you can add in the director and his film as the examples.

    In your third paragraph, you mention about the characteristics of NH cinema. Could you please explain more on the used of natural lighting and parallel lighting in the film? because it is stated unclear. perhaps you might can add in some examples of the scene in the movie to enhance the explanation and give us a better understanding of it.

    Thanks you... =)

    1. Hi. Thanks for your advice. About the used of natural lighting and parallel lighting in the film, we will further explain in the revised article.

  5. Hi sir, thanks for your advice. We will improve it in the revised articles.

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