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Iowa Western Community College German Expressionism in the 1930s Essay

Iowa Western Community College

Question Description

Help me study for my Film class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

In designing future assignments, let me know if you have Netflix, which will allow us a broader ranger of film choices and length of viewing. If you have other platforms you use, please let me know.

The following is the online assignment,. Please view three clips on Youtube from the following films: 42nd Street (black and whit original 1933), Frankenstein (1931), Scarface (1932 with Paul Muni.) Please make sure you are watching the 1930s version of these films. They will all be in black and white.

1930s Hollywood is known for creating genre films which were templates that saved money in production and offered escape from the worldwide economic depression of the time. Synchronized film had only been introduced a few years prior and the public greeted the new technology with enthusiasm. The large theaters were packed with appreciative audiences. After viewing the clips from these three different films, discuss the importance of sound, and how the moving camera work that was so prevalent in silent cinema is reduced in at least one of the films. You can also relate these three different clips to German Expressionism. Which was your favorite clip and why?

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Final Answer

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Genre Films
The period of the 1930s in the film marked several important films. Some of these
important films include 42nd Street (black and white original 1933), Frankenstein (1931), and
Scarface (1932 with Paul Muni.). Sound played a major role in the success of these films.
The use of sound is particularly meaningful in the film Frankenstein (1931). For
example, in this film, Frankenstein’s joy and amusement about his creation when he yells “It’s
alive” is iconic and significantly felt by the audience. However, the repeated waggle of the
eyebrows and too much writhing body with the words “It's alive” do not create the same feeling
among the audience. The grunts of the monster establish more personality to its character, which
cannot be realized in a silent film. Another scene where the use of sound is clear is prior to the
wedding of Frankenstein when they listen to the grunts of the monster and speed all over the
home to search for him. In this scene, the application of sound provides the creature a more
threatening demeanor. In this context, suppose this was a silent film, the casts would have to talk
about hearing the monster to create an anxiety about where to find the monster.
The absence of any form of a soundtrack in Frankenstein further establishes more
deliberate frightening components of the movie. For example, the audience can listen to the
unadulterated slaying of the doctor. The scene appears to protract because of the lack of any
cushion between the viewers and the hands of the monster over the throat of the doctor. Also, in
this scene, the viewers can move their sight away from the scene, however, they are unable to
entirely detach from it.
Furthermore, the use of sound in these movies enables events to take place offscreen.
Where Frankenstein's assistant, Fritz shouts, the vie...

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University of Maryland

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