By Nigel Morris
Cinema's so much winning director is a advertisement and cultural strength challenging critical attention. not only successful advertising, this foreign recognition is in part a functionality of the films themselves. Polarised serious attitudes mostly put out of your mind this, and facts both unquestioning adulation or vilification& mdash;often vitriolic& mdash;for epitomising modern Hollywood. distinctive textual analyses demonstrate that along traditional advertisement attraction, Spielberg's video clips functionality always as a self-reflexive observation on cinema. instead of straightforwardly ate up realism or fable, they invite divergent readings and self-conscious spectatorship which contradict assumptions approximately their ideological traits. workout robust emotional allure, their ambiguities are profitably constructive in maximising audiences and producing media attention.
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Additional resources for The Cinema of Steven Spielberg: Empire of Light (Directors' Cuts)
Indd 28 THE CINEMA OF STEVEN SPIELBERG 30/10/06 1:44:21 pm a gas station and private zoo. A covered wagon emphasises the western dimension. Caged rattlesnakes enhance the menace. As Mann calls the police, bunting ﬂickers in the wind, producing ominous rattlesnake sounds. The truck, stationary ahead, starts once more. Whereas surprise, as Hitchcock explained it, operated at the crossing, here the effect is suspense: the spectator knows more than Mann, who is occupied with bureaucratic niceties, while the truck snakes around towards him.
Abstractions do not inherently interest audiences. Narratives nevertheless personify abstract ideas. They probe experience in hypothetical scenarios whose outcomes do not seriously affect the audience. A human aspect personiﬁes hopes, fears, desires, contradictions, confusions or aspirations, so these can be recognised and – perhaps – viewers recognise themselves in them. Partly motivating Duel, Duel and sustaining involvement, is precisely what it never delivers: an identity for, hence a reciprocal relationship to, the tanker.
Point-of-view shots, forward motion and, soon, involvement in a narrative played out on a radio phone-in encourage primary identiﬁcation with the camera position and secondary identiﬁcation with the still-unseen driver. The continuing enigma of who is driving, and where to, simultaneously solicits active involvement. Restriction to diegetic sound – later, voiced-over internal monologues and incidental music occur – naturalistically establishes the narrative as plausible. The ﬁrst external shot of the car, behind barbed wire, introduces western imagery.