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dc.contributor.advisorKennedy, Denis
dc.contributor.authorRowland, Neil
dc.date.accessioned2019-07-29T15:05:31Z
dc.date.available2019-07-29T15:05:31Z
dc.date.issued2004
dc.identifier.citationNeil Rowland, 'Narrative and ideology in contemporary Hollywood cinema, 1990-1999', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Film, 2004, pp 351
dc.identifier.otherTHESIS 7353
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2262/89065
dc.description.abstractThe main purpose of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between ideology and the narrative structure of popular Hollywood cinema in the 1990s, particularly the manner in which a closed narrative structure serves to reproduce the dominant ideology. I also attempt to account for its ongoing popularity with both filmmakers and contemporary, Western(ised) audiences. Primarily, I employ a materialist, deconstructive methodology, drawing my conclusions from a series of 'symptomatic' readings of certain popular films. Chapter One establishes and qualifies the structural identity of the individual act of comprehension and the canonic, three-act Hollywood screenplay, then describes the manner in which their similar (closed) narrative structures serve to affirm certain crucial ontological categories of the prevailing realist epistemology and, thus, to reproduce the dominant ideology; the dominant ideology depends for its moral authority upon certain realist ontological categories, especially those of 'reality' and 'representation'. I continue by theorising why the specific affirmation performed by these closed narrative structures is particularly favourable to the goals of the dominant ideology and also why the closed narrative structure is so popular with certain readers. The ability of the popular 1990s film to perform this affirmation depends upon its readers' ability clearly to recognise the presence, progress and resolution of its closed narrative structure. Chapter Two describes in detail the various narrative strategies employed by these films to assist this recognition; typically by indexing as clearly as possible the roles of the hero and villain, the opposing champions in a conflict the resolution of which typically coincides with the closure of the narrative. Chapter Three discusses the manner in which the ostensible content of the popular 1990s film further orients readers to the closed narrative structure by invoking only familiar, ideologically-sanctioned discourses to produce a textual transparency that allows a more unmediated access to its progress and resolution. Chapter Four attempts to situate the popular 1990s film within its social, political, economic and ideological context. It asks in what ways (if at all) the popular films of the 1990s constitute a distinct mode of film practice. I conclude that these films are not particularly distinct but rather represent a continuation of certain 'blockbuster' industrial principles established in the mid-1970s (and consolidated during the 1980s), principles, I argue, that actually result in a more reactionary film. I then attempt to justify the critical value of establishing this continuity (based on the necessarily reactionary quality of these films) by demonstrating the central and determining importance in these films of their main ideological/reactionary function (performed, as I have already noted, by the closed narrative structure). To do this, I show that the ostensible content of these films is highly fractured and contradictory as a direct result of the greater (ideological) importance of satisfying the narrative prerogatives of the closed narrative structure over the secondary, almost incidental prerogatives of the content. Chapter Five rounds off my discussion of the contemporary commercial cinema by examining possible alternatives to the dominant strategies outlined in the preceding chapters. It also investigates the possibility of a viable political cinema operating within the mainstream, a 'progressive realist cinema' that accepts for purely practical reasons its status as commodity, making certain necessary concessions to the dominant institutions of Hollywood, at the same time that it attempts to disrupt or problematise their ideological underpinnings. The chapter concludes with a detailed examination of certain alternative narrative strategies deployed in a range of contemporary progressive realist films.
dc.format1 volume
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherTrinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Film
dc.relation.isversionofhttp://stella.catalogue.tcd.ie/iii/encore/record/C__Rb12398915
dc.subjectFilm Studies, Ph.D.
dc.subjectPh.D. Trinity College Dublin
dc.titleNarrative and ideology in contemporary Hollywood cinema, 1990-1999
dc.typethesis
dc.type.supercollectionthesis_dissertations
dc.type.supercollectionrefereed_publications
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoral
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
dc.rights.ecaccessrightsopenAccess
dc.format.extentpaginationpp 351
dc.description.noteTARA (Trinity's Access to Research Archive) has a robust takedown policy. Please contact us if you have any concerns: rssadmin@tcd.ie


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