AuthorMontgomery, Michael Vincent.
KeywordsMotion pictures -- Aesthetics.
Motion pictures -- Social aspects.
AdvisorRoen, Duane H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation considers Hollywood film locales rhetorically, as the site of many different kinds of community activities and perspectives. In particular, my focus will be on locales and mise-en-scene elements that replicate certain "chronotopic" patterns of time and space organized by our culture in its literature. These special patterns, along with their signifying functions, were first outlined by Mikhail Bakhtin during the period 1937-1938. As a first step, I begin with a broad survey, outlining the salient features of Bakhtin's individual chronotopes ancient and modern, and considering fundamental connections between these chronotopes and classical Hollywood genres of the 1940s. I devote my second chapter to the exploration of other important theoretical bases of Bakhtin's work; in particular, to the belief in the rejuvenating power of folk language and the carnivalesque. My argument is that the "idyllic chronotope" is given the same position of centrality in Bakhtin's discussions of space and time as carnivalesque speech genres are in his discussions of language. The appearance of an "idyllic interlude" in a work of literature or in a film can suddenly throw the rest of the represented world into moralizing "perspective" just as a carnivalesque insult or quip can "degrade" a high-sounding speech. My third theoretical problem will be the reception and processing of the film text. How does the audience of a film apply their socially-formed schema and knowledge of the characters' "situations" to a film text in order to construct meaning? Here I demonstrate how the "high-lighting" of a film text with recognizable chronotopes can help an audience to form judgments about characters and to construct analogies between character situations and situations arising in their own communities. In my fourth and final chapter, I branch out from Bakhtin's models to consider new chronotopes as they may develop during a particular historical decade. Specifically, I examine the representation of the "shopping mall" as it appears throughout a dozen or so 1980s films in order to show how the spatiotemporal worlds suggested by these films can be "opened out" into a study of teen culture and social mores across the decade as a whole.