Harper Cossar

in Letterboxed

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780813126517
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135618 | DOI:

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This book examines the differences between Academy ratio and widescreen films through selected case studies. The underlying assumption is that widescreen's aesthetic history can be examined as moments of stylistic experimentation. This book has three goals: first, to examine widescreen's aesthetic and experimental history prior to the introduction of CinemaScope and other processes; second, to expand the literature with the concept of rupture as specific historical sites of deviation from the canonical group style within genre films by auteurist directors; and third, to argue that widescreen should not be thought of as simply a number of film processes introduced in an industry that needed an economic jump-start in the early 1950s—rather, widescreen since the 1950s has come to define the very shape of cinema, and the Academy ratio has been relegated to the shape of television screens and computer monitors.

Keywords: widescreen; screen ratio; cinema; home video; Academy; computer monitors

Chapter.  9270 words. 

Subjects: Film

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