Directions: Using word processing software to save and submit your work, please answer the following short answer questions. All responses to questions should be one to two paragraphs, composed of fifteen to twenty sentences, in length. Your responses should include examples from the reading assignments.
1. Identify the Big Five Hollywood studios (or “Majors”) of the 1930s and summarize their strategies for weathering the effects of the Great Depression.
2. Pick two of the following stylistic categories: sound recording, camera movement, color, special effects, cinematography styles. Analyze how innovations within these categories influenced the development of the Hollywood style. In what ways did these innovations complement the aims of classical continuity filmmaking?
3. What types of film content caused problems for the major Hollywood production companies during the late 1920s and early 1930s? How did the Hays Office operate to protect, rather than hinder, the interests of the American film industry? Explain how Production Code regulations helped modify the content of Hollywood movies.
4. Compare and contrast the production practices of the top three animation studios of the studio era: Disney, Fleischer, and Warner Bros. What sorts of animation techniques did each specialize in? How did their individual expertise influence the style and makeup of the studios’ signature characters?
5. Pick two of the following genres: the war film, the gangster film, the screwball comedy, the musical. Describe the evolution of these genres between 1930 and 1945, and provide examples of representative films.
6. Describe the immediate causes and effects of both of Britain’s Quota Acts. In each case, how did these effects contribute to or hinder the consolidation of the British studio system? What kinds of films resulted from these acts?
7. Compare and contrast popular cinema in Japan during the early and middle 1930s to Japanese cinema during the years of World War II.
8. How did the Paramount decision of 1948 change the U.S. film industry? To what degree did the decision alter the way the industry did business?
9. How did changes in postwar American lifestyles affect the domestic film market? Amidst a climate of more selective moviegoers, what type of film was judged to be capable of attracting audiences? How did the Hollywood Majors exploit technological advances to produce this type of film?
10. Identify the major segments of the U.S. filmgoing audience targeted by producers in the 1950s. What kinds of films were produced for each of these segments?
11. What factors lay behind the “upscaling” of Hollywood film genres during the 1950s? Identify the significant genres of the postwar period, and explain how each was affected by enhanced production values and increased thematic complexity.
12. Pick two of the following directors: Max Ophüls, Jean Renoir, Jean Cocteau. What were the particularly important or influential qualities of these directors’ postwar French films? In what ways did each director use visual style to complement his characteristic thematic or narrative concerns?
13. Why did the United States, as represented by SCAP (Supreme Commander of the Armed Powers), take a keen interest in the postwar Japanese film industry? What steps did SCAP take to help rebuild the Japanese studio system? In what ways did SCAP both assist and hinder the efforts of the major postwar Japanese directors?
14. In what ways did film production in the Soviet bloc nations adhere to and depart from the Soviet industry structure and the Socialist Realist aesthetic? Specifically, how did “de-Stalinization” affect film practice?
15. What were the essential traits of the postwar Hindi film? Identify its conventions using the films discussed in the text as examples.
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