Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir
Lighting performs essential functions in Hollywood films,
enhancing the glamour, clarifying the action, and intensifying the
mood. Examining every facet of this understated art form, from the
glowing backlights of the silent period to the shaded alleys of
film noir, Patrick Keating affirms the role of Hollywood lighting
as a distinct, compositional force.
Closely analyzing Girl Shy (1924), Anna
Karenina (1935), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), and
T-Men (1947), along with other brilliant classics, Keating
describes the unique problems posed by these films and the
innovative ways cinematographers handled the challenge. Once
dismissed as crank-turning laborers, these early cinematographers
became skillful professional artists by carefully balancing the
competing demands of story, studio, and star. Enhanced by more than
one hundred illustrations, this volume counters the notion that
style took a backseat to storytelling in Hollywood film, proving
that the lighting practices of the studio era were anything but
neutral, uniform, and invisible. Cinematographers were masters of
multifunctionality and negotiation, honing their craft to achieve
not only realistic fantasy but also pictorial artistry.
Subjects: Film Studies, Technology
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