Psychohistorical Research Paper - Homework for you

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Psychohistorical Research Paper

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Реферат - Adolph Hitler Essay Research Paper What can - Иностранный язык

Adolph Hitler Essay, Research Paper

What can be said about Adolph Hitler that already has not been said? Scores of books have been written about him, many people have tried to analyze him, I even heard that he has been portrayed in movies the most out of all other historical figures. Of course there are those goof balls that say he escaped to Argentina after the war (I would not be surprised if those same people think Elvis is still alive).

So why do so many people write about a man that Nostradamus called an anti-Christ? They do it so that we may analyze specific patterns that may lead to abhorrent activities later, or the things that Hitler did were so horrific, they need some other explanation other than he was just a psycho-maniac hell bent on ruling the world. This is what Rudolph Binion has done here. He does a fine job weaving a mesh of possible insight into Hitler’s conscience and sub-conscience. My question is: How can we ever know if this analysis is accurate? I realize that neither psychoanalysis nor psycho-history are exact sciences, but when you take into account the theories of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, Binion’s ideas take on a degree of merit.

I must say that this was a hard read. I found the names, facts and situations very difficult to follow. Therefore, I am going to examine the parts in which I found graspable. First, there is the issue of Adolph and his mother. Many questions arise when examining their relationship. Why did Klara feel that she needed to breast feed for such an extended period of time? Why would Klara breast-feed young Adolph when breast-feeding was not a common practice in that area at that time? She had lost two children previous to the birth of Adolph. Guilt was the force that drove her actions. She felt that if she gave him all the love that she had, he would not die like the rest. Also, if she breast fed while Adolph was teething, the pain she was having inflicted on herself would, somehow, punish her for allowing her other children to die. As one might imagine, this had a negative effect on Adolph. One passage in the book explains how after long speeches or heavy exertion for Germany, he “would sink into blissful contentedness gorging himself with sweets” (p. 55). Through her breast-and-mouth incest Klara was using and abusing Adolph for her traumatic reliving. She must have felt how she was holding back his development in her protective, possessive, permissive embrace (p. 56). Perhaps this is the beginning of Hitler’s journey to becoming a dictator (the very term spells oral aggression raised to the highest power) (P.57).

While recovering from the trauma of being gassed, he vowed to be the savior of Germany and deliver it from its own trauma. Binion makes several parallels between his mother and Germany that may have had their start during this time. By referring to Germany as the Motherland, Adolph correlated his mother’s breast cancer and eventual death with the downfall of Germany after WW I and the internal strife that is being perpetrated because of the Jews. Binion goes on to point out that Hitler stated in many speeches that “Germany must be everything to Germans” just like the way a mother is everything to a baby. Also, in several addresses, Hitler said that there must be more room for Germans to live. This “living space” could be equated with a mother’s womb.

There are many Jewish references intertwined in Hitler’s unconscience mind. Klara Hitler died from breast cancer. Hitler may have gotten his contempt for the Jews while his mother was being treated for her cancer. Dr. Bloch, a Jew, was treating Klara. He wanted to give her morphine to make her comfortable, but Adolph insisted on iodoform treatment instead. The smell of iodoform reminded Hitler of the smell of the Zyklon B gas that he was hit with in WW I. I find it difficult to understand why Hitler opted for the iodoform treatment even after Dr. Bloch informed him that it was painful and virtually ineffective. While his mother was sick, Hitler stayed by her side like a loving son. He did everything for her. So why would he want to put her through such a regiment of treatments if they were not going to work? These are not the actions of a loving son. This perspective was observed in class and Binion does not really give an explanation to it (unless I missed it). So that question remains up in the air. Anyway, after his mother’s death, Dr. Bloch handed Hitler a bill, which amounted to 10% of Klara’s estate. This incident was the beginning of Hitler’s bitter hatred of the Jews. One point I did not understand was why Hitler, if he loved his mother so much, would opt for such a painful and ineffective treatment? Was he punishing his mother for allowing him to breast feed for so long? If that were the case, how would he know that these unconscience feelings and tendencies were of a negative nature? I might think that the way he embraced his views with such passion that he would be proud of what he was doing and no blame would be conveyed.

Who was Hitler going to blame for killing his mother? She had a painful illness that could have been prevented. Hitler, rather than blaming himself, blamed Dr. Bloch and the Jews. The Jews were destroying Germany very much like cancer destroyed his mother. Hitler even said, “The Jews are a cancer on the breast of Germany.”

Hitler wanted to rid Germany and the world of not only all Jews, but also communism. He saw Russia standing in the way of attaining Germany’s living space. He saw communism as the enemy of the world partly because Karl Marx was a Jew. Hitler always spoke of the racial-ideological (anti-Semitic, anti-Communist) motive for war against Russia (p. 60).

Binion sates in the end that his research turned up volumes of source information “that were so rich, yet so spotty” (p. 129). This says to me that so much information has been written about Hitler that most of it may be just drivel. Unfortunately, in order to get the most clear-cut perspective on such an infamous historical figure, one must sift through the massive amounts of data. My point is, How does Rudolph Binion decipher between what is accurate and what is nonsense to come up with an analysis that seems to be viable? I think that, even though he used an enormous amount of resources, it all comes down to Hitler’s mind and what his unconscience was doing. All the research in the world cannot tell us what that was.

Hitler Among the Germans, Rudolph Binion, 1984, Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, Illinois

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Psycho 2 Essay Research Paper In about

Psycho 2 Essay, Research Paper

In about 2 or 3 pages discuss the significance of this piece of dialogue and tell how this scene encapsulates one of the pervading themes of the film.

In Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock, the conversation between Marion and Norman has shown extreme importance to both the plot and the themes of the movie. As the movie shown Norman s psychotic mind, we but give great evidence of how the environment had influence on him. With the comparison of other character s personalities, audiences are actually persuaded back to see the similarity of his mind to normal people s. Traps are also discussed in this significant dialogue, to show his logical thinking of his situation. As scenes of logics shown from Norman comes up one by one, Norman s rational process of thinking give as a big question Is he really a Psycho or just the smartest murderer?

In comparison from Norman Bates psychotic mind to Marion Crane and Sam Loomis s, they are very similar as shown in one of the example in the dialogue. In the dialogue, Norman s logical explanation of his situation has shown his rational mind, as normal as any other people. He explained to Marion his loyalty to his mother which if her mother really is like described, he is the best boy a mother can have. In comparison to Marion, the psycho has actually even more logically than she is – a normal person, as he point out she can t hide from the traps once she choose to step on them. I think that we re all in our private traps-clamped in them. And none of us can ever get out. We- we scratch for all of it but we never budge an inch. The logic of his mind can even explain and redirect a normal person, and therefore, the dialogue is very significant in the proving of Norman Bates is actually a very clever person.

Even, after their conversation, the murder of Marion to Norman s personality is a symbol of sexual act or rape in his psychotic mind. In comparison to Marion and Sam, his sexual desire is similar to their unrespectable affairs in hotel rooms. These shows the complication of Norman Bates mind is actually going the same way as any other normal people s mind, but in a more extreme level. The abnormal behaviours of normal people in some time of their life are shown to be even more irrational than a so-called psycho. The theme of don t laugh at the psycho of his abnormal behaviours, they are just some interaction of their environment that we might do the same under the same circumstances.

From the cause of the pathologically-crazed mind of Norman Bates, we can understand the parental influence of child can be. From the actual history of Norman s parents, the hardness of his mother as a widow have make him suffer as well. His love has also brought great jealousy when she had fall in love with another man. After he poisoned his mother and her lover, he cover his guilt by splitting personality to virtually suggest his mother is still alive. With his taxidermist skill and wearing clothes of hers, he recreate her personality. In the dialogue Mother, uh – what is the phase? She isn t quite herself today. suggested he was trapped with his mother when she was young, but had even greatly disturbed his mind making situation that her mother is still alive and argue with him. The reason of the psychotic mind of Norman has shown in the conversation between him and Marion, therefore tell audience the background where a child is born can even affect a child s mind to craziness and insanity.

Some traps although we are born into, we may also choose to step in more traps in our daily lives. The trap that Marion semi-consciously step into in the theft behaviour, and even in our society, gambling, smoking and drinking are also behaviours of unawareness of the negative impact, but being too short-sighted. As Norman Bates himself describe the so negative effect of steeping into traps, he deliberately murdered Marion and everyone knows it is not a crime that you can get away with easily. But his short-sighted mind in fulfilling his desire of killing and sex has overwhelmed his mind, as both personality desire the same thing. The dialogue in the movie suggested Norman Bates logical thoughts, but with great cleverness, he still chose to step in more traps.

In conclusion, Norman Bates has murdered people with a good way of covering his mind. His cleverness has let him pretended to be a illogical psycho, therefore fooled the spectators. The conversation before the climax of murdering Marion has shown aspects of psycho into life, and therefore tell the audience more things about the truth of life. These aspects in the dialogue all come down to one encapsulate on them of the movie, the freedom of choices people made in people s life, choosing money, sex or got no choice at all. And even the procedure of choosing is discussed when traps are in all people s lives, and will make people never come back again to the normal society.

Psychohistorical research paper


Alfred Hitchcock is renown as a master cinematographer (and editor ), notwithstanding his overall brilliance in the craft of film. His choice of black and white film for 1960 was regarded within the film industry as unconventional since color was perhaps at least five years the new standard. But this worked tremendously well. After all, despite the typical filmgoer?s dislike for black and white film, Psycho is popularly heralded among film buffs as his finest cinematic achievement; so much so, that the man. a big name in himself, is associated with the film, almost abovehis formidable stature. Imagining it in color, Psycho would not appear as horrific, and maybe it would also not be, as a whole, as unified as it now stands, nor memorable. Black and white has a quality of painting things starkly, showing plainly truths about character. the emotional determination or mood, as in vulnerability, and other inexplicable, purely artistic elements. Regular among his works, Hitchcock opens the film with a hovering crane shot coasting over the setting of Phoenix. Arizona. Even without the mysterious. chilling soundtrack, the shot itself watched in silence evokes a timid passage into danger. In a long take it sweeps across the cityscape to build initial curiosity in the viewer, and then surpasses a curtain-drawn window into the presence of a hotel room?s trysting occupants. Immediately the viewer is called into confronting his/her discretion regarding those things we are not customarily meant to see, in such ideas as privacy and good taste. How far should the law step into a man?s world before he is discovered with reasonable certitude for engaging in illegal activities? This question can still come to mind about Norman Bates when he?s interrogated by Arbigast, even though it follows his murder of Marion Crane. Norman obviously growing in tension, the camera sadistically watches him from a low angle, bearing its aim on his throat as he feverishly chews and swallows candy corn bits. He?s suggested as a victim in a way, despite the viewer?s (probably, (in moral optimism)) routine support of the law. One can feel sorry for him. And how much do we question Norman?s character as he spies Marion undressing through the parlor wall peephole? Particularly today the viewer would likely question it less than one watching Psycho during its first, theatrical release, what with modern films? overwashing of the senses in gore. mechanical sex and violence to program unconscious indifference in viewers. Maybe it doesn?t come to mind as readily because right after seeing the profile shot of Norman hiding in the peephole light and shadows, there?s a cut to the camera?s — or the viewer?s — voyeuristic assault on Marion?s privacy. This lessens Norman?s culpability. But noticing him in the act brings wonder to uncovering peoples. secrets. Maybe these examples suggest engrossment of passive violence or wrong to such a modest intensity that the horror of the murder scenes still shock today?s viewer. Of course those scenes are further dramatized by Hitchcock?s fast editing; indicative of how wild and dangerous events occur within a trice of time in real life. And the awe is preserved by not mulling over the active violence in any indulgence, or further screen time. Mastery of just a few core elements in film apparently intensify its experience ; of all, a compelling synergism for even an ordinary story.

Реферат: History Essay Research Paper The film Europe - Сайт рефератов, докладов, сочинений, дипломных

History Essay Research Paper The film Europe

History Essay Research Paper

The film Europe The Mighty Continent was an attempt entertaining film that was

made from an entirely different angle than other history films. Although Peter Ustinov

was charismatic at the outset his repetition of how important his family was to Europe

became a persistent annoyance that took away from the film. The viewer will spend more

time trying to figure out his accent that learning about history.

This film was made from one point of view. Throughout the entire segment all Peter

Ustinov and John Terraine talk about is the rich upper class. This film is wonderful to

teach students about Europe the Rich People who live in it. We learn about high class

Europe paintings and musicians who Peter Ustinov is more than overjoyed to point out

how important his family was in every major endeavor in Europe. We learned about Le

Beau Monde and how they were influenced by the Demi Monde. What about the middle

working class? What about the lower class and peasants? The rich upper class was a

very small percentage of the entire population. It is only natural that the majority shaped

the way Europe was heading in the beginning of the twentieth century. When do we hear

about the majority?

This film had one major significant insight that the viewer could take with them. This

video told of how Europe united ?for one brief moment? to conquer the Boxer Rebellion

in 1900 and showed how powerful Europe was together. It did not last long because of

industrial rivalry between Germany and Britain.

I think there are three major reasons why the film will be given minimal praise. First

this movie is littered with insignificant tiny facts about Peter Ustinov?s family. If these

little tid-bits of information were only once or twice during the film they would have

been more effective at keeping the viewers attention. This tactic was overdone and

became more annoying than entertaining. Second I feel that this film gibes insight only

to the wealthy higher classes and their influence on Europe. It does not tell us the

different effects that the other classes accomplished at this time. This film is great if you

want to learn about one aspect Of European life but for the total picture of Europe?s

advance in the Twentieth Century there should be more detail in all of the social classes.

The third reason is because this film would be morre suited for a European audience.

This film would be enjoyed by high class Europeans. John Ustinov has a very specific

idea of Europe?s history not the whole picture.

This film was a good attempt at a different technique to entertain and teach. It is good

to show students for a change of pace or to show specifics but to show the whole of

Europe?s rise into the Twentieth Century it was ineffective.

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Bio-Psycho-Social - Research Paper by Kbrow369

Bio-Psycho-Social Essay

Below is an essay on "Bio-Psycho-Social" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Counseling Center
Bio-Psycho-Social Report

Client: A
Assessment method: Self Report
Dates of assessment: 7/11/13, 7/19/13, 7/22/13

Referral Source: Client A volunteered to have this bio-psycho-social history conducted in front of her classmates. She appeared to be ok with having the questions asked; there didn’t appear to be any apprehension.

Clinical observations: Client A is a forty-three year old African American female. She demonstrates appropriate posture, gait, and speech. She demonstrated appropriate and congruent gestures, facial expressions and affect given the content of this interview.

Bio-psycho-social Summary:
Client A reports no knowledge of any drug use while her mother was pregnant with her.

Client A reports her birth weight at seven pounds and nineteen inches long. Client A reports that as a baby she was not outgoing. She states she can remember her mother telling her that she did not like to be awakened from her sleep. Client A states that as a toddler she remembers having every childhood disease possible such as measles, mumps and chickenpox. Client A cannot remember her milestones; she does not know when she started crawling, walking, or talking. Client A states there was no known trouble in her early years.

Client A attended Head start and she states she can remember being shy and not playing with the other students. She reports se can remember her mother dropping her off at school and being a little apprehensive to leave because she was standing off to the side and not playing with the other children. It was not a dramatic experience but it was noted

In her school age years Client A reports she was fairly healthy, nothing more than common cold or the flu every now and then, ever hospitalized. Client A states, “Whenever I got sick I could remember asking my mother to call the pastor to pray for me”. Client A states the pastor would do it; he would take out the time even though she was a little.

American Psycho Essay Research Paper Entrails torn

American Psycho Essay Research Paper Entrails torn

American Psycho Essay, Research Paper Entrails torn from the body with bare hands, eyes gouged out with razor blades, battery cables, rats borrowing inside the human body, power drills to the face, cannibalism, credit cards, business cards, Dorsia, Testoni, Armani, Wall Street; all of these things are Patrick Bateman s world. The only difference between Bateman and anybody else is what is repulsive to Bateman and what is repulsive to the rest of the world. Bateman has great interest in the upper class life, fashions, and social existence, but at the same time he is, at times, sickened by the constant struggle to be one up on everybody else. On the other hand Bateman s nightlife reveals a side of him never seen during the day. Bateman is relaxed, impulsive, and confident while

torturing and killing. He doesn t have to worry about being better than anyone else. The only competition he has is his last victim. Torture and murder are the two true loves of Patrick Bateman. From the beginning of the novel the reader is introduced to an almost mind numbing amount of details of Bateman s social life, wardrobe, cosmetic products, etc. The reader is almost frustrated with the overabundance of details. Why is it important to know what kind of hair gel Bateman used on Tuesday before an important meeting with his friends? What s the point of numerous chapters of extreme analysis of Genesis, Whitney Houston, etc? Bateman s obsessions are extremely complex but at the same time he doesn t limit himself to one area of obsession. Bateman s knowledge of fashion is truly

amazing, but what about his knowledge of weapons. His knowledge of pain is a true genius in itself, but how many people can spit out specifications on the frequency responses of various brands of stereo receivers and speaker systems like Bateman? The point can be made that Bateman is simply trying to be better than everyone else, have more stuff, look better, and out do his rival workers, but that s too simple. Bateman is obsessed with perfection. But why? Boredom, lack of a personality, and pursuit of happiness all come to mind. It s hard to tell what exactly would make a person with so much so unhappy. Boredom does play a role in Bateman s demented world, and so does lack of personality. It can certainly be said that Bateman is simply looking for happiness. I think Bateman does

somewhat satisfy his boredom, and does make himself feel happy at times, but he is repulsed by the constant battle to find something new or better. This is the novels great contrast for the reader. Bateman is in a way sickened by the everyday all-American life he leads, while the reader is sickened by the flip side of Patrick Bateman. From the beginning of the novel Bateman seems content with his life style. He seems perfectly happy with the daily lunch tickets at Nell s, the Yale Club, etc. He seems fascinated and absorbed with the details of peoples wardrobes, especially his own. But if you sift through all the talk of food, cocktails, and hardbodies, the reader will find a subtle boredom or frustration even early in the novel. While waiting on food at a table at Nell s,

Bateman is momentarily diverted from the conversation by one of his thoughts of sex or violence that seem to escalate in frequency throughout the novel. I think about Courtney s legs, spread and wrapped around my face, and when I look over at Luis in one brief flashing moment his head looks like a talking vagina and it scares the bejesus out of me, moves me to say something while mopping the sweat off my brow. (108) These thoughts seem to come to Bateman most frequently at these types of situations. Wealthy friends, wealthy strangers, and a wealthy environment surround him. Either consciously or subconsciously Bateman s mind diverts itself from the monotonous world that Bateman grows to loathe, to a world that Bateman loves. Although the thoughts occur the most often in

Реферат: Film History Essay Research Paper

Film History Essay, Research Paper

‘Excellence’, ‘popularity’, ‘typicality’ – discuss the relative merits of each of these as a basis for the inclusion of films in a film history

Any attempt to study film history requires the consideration of films, which occur within the categories of excellence, popularity and typicality. They are three very different approaches to film history; ‘excellence’ covering films recognised as having artistic merit, ‘popularity’ covering films which have been financially or sociologically successful and ‘typicality’, films which are classed as mainstream displaying qualities typical of classical Hollywood films. All three categories are used to study aspects of cinema rather than film history, rarely including documentary films and never including home movies, the most common use of the film medium worldwide.

The most common way of studying film history is ‘Excellency’, grouping together films, which are generally agreed to be of exceptional aesthetic quality. This study, based on artistic merit, relates film study to other art forms such as painting, theatre and music. It is encouraged by the vast amounts of materials regularly reviewing and rating films, including newspapers, magazines and television shows and specific awards for filmmaking, the most famous being Cannes film festival and the Oscars.

Any study of excellency in film history is subjective, relying on the personal opinions of people to determine which films are exceptional with no film regarded by all as undisputedly excellent. This is in part due to the vast range of criteria used to judge the excellency of films. Most good films are recognised as having formal excellence, with high quality direction vital in making an exceptional film. Throughout film history and criticism, certain directors have been regarded as consistently producing excellent films; Vigo, Renoir, Lean, Hitchcock, Kurosawa and Kubrick are among those whose individual influence on their films is particularly acclaimed. ‘2001:A Space Odyssey’(Stanley Kubrick, 1968) is recognised as a great film by virtue of its direction alone with acting and plot secondary to virtuoso direction and cinematography. The standard of acting in any film has to be high with films relying on convincing portrayal of its characters to involve the audience emotionally. Many actors are recognised to have starred in a large volume of high quality films for example James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Laurence Olivier, Greta Garbo, Robert De Niro and presently Kevin Spacey. Actors can elevate a film from mediocrity by their acting, or can just as easily spoil a film with a bad performance. A good script is also a vital element in the majority of excellent films, from Casablanca (M Kurtiz, 1942) to Shakespeare In Love(J Madden, 1999) and many potentially great films, such as The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963) are hindered by poor dialogue. Films, which have had a large influence on subsequent filmmaking, or have shown innovation in their production, are often recognised as excellent. ‘Psycho’(Hitchcock, 1960) invented a whole new genre of horror films; ‘The Asphalt Jungle’(Huston, 1950), was the first film to show a crime from the criminals viewpoint, an innovation which has since been used an immeasurable amount of times. While it is not necessary to have all these factors, most films regarded as excellent would have a mixture of high quality directing, acting and script with influence and/or innovation on subsequent films.

Excellency in film is most commonly measured by a poll conducted among film critics by ‘Sight And Sound’ magazine every decade since 1952, producing a canon of the best 10 films of all time. The films on the list are all excellent pieces of filmmaking with the regularly occurring films- ‘Citizen Kane’(Welles, 1941), ‘La Regle Du Jeu’(Renoir, 1939), ‘Battleship Potemkin’(Eisenstein,1925)- are all recognised as among the best ever made. Citizen Kane has been placed as the best film of all time since 1962, and is a brilliant piece of filmmaking. It is a technically superb film, well directed with innovative use of deep focus cinematography and unusual narrative structure. The direction, and acting from the cast is magnificent, as is the screenplay, though the characterisation is lacking in depth in places. It is impossible to judge it as the best film of all time as it is incomparable with almost any other film due to its unique subject matter and presentation, This subjectivity is the main flaw in ‘excellency’ as a basis for inclusion of films in a film history. By creating an elite canon of films to study it is rejecting many other films which many people may regard as infinitely superior. Citizen Kane has suffered adverse effects from being considered the best film of all time with many people disappointed upon viewing. The canon tends to ignore modern films, the most recent on the 1992 list being ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’(Kubrick, 1968). There are many modern films which can be regarded as of equivalent excellence to those on the canon: I feel that ‘Raging Bull’(Scorcese, 1980) and ‘La Haine’(M. Kassovitz, 1994) are as good as any film on the canon. Other films and filmmakers are not recognised until years after as being exceptional such as ‘L’Atalante’(Jean Vigo, 1934), and the films of the silent comedians Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. It is only when viewed in a historical context that the latter two were seen as having artistic value; they were perceived just as entertainment at the time.

‘Excellence’ is a more effective means of studying films and film history if used in conjunction with genres to produce outstanding films within that genre: ‘Mary Poppins’ (Stevenson, 1964) would never be voted as a classic film, but may be included on a list of the best family films ever. The film canon also tends to eschew science fiction, comedy, horror and children’s/family films in favour of more realistic, adult films. Any study based exclusively on the canon would immediately omit most films of these genres. With the exception of British, French, and some Japanese and Italian films, it also tends to exclude any world cinema, notably Bollywood films.

There are many advantages to studying films according to their ‘excellence’. Despite the problems of defining which films to study, any films studied are likely to be excellent examples of the art of filmmaking. As part of a film history it is a vital area of study, but it covers such a small amount of films as to be ineffectual without studying films thought to be of less aesthetic value and genres of film not usually included in lists of excellence.

Whereas film excellence values films according to their artistic worth, film popularity rates films according how successful they are financially. It is the gross of a film, its box office minus the total expenditure on the film, which is usually used to ascertain its popularity. The most popular films have many similar characteristics, in complete contrast to the typical traits of the film canon. The top ten films at the box office are all blockbusters- high-tech, effects driven films such as ‘Jurassic Park’(Spielberg, 1993) and ‘Independence Day’(Devlin & Emmerich, 1996). They are films of great spectacle, usually very expensive; the number one film for box office takings, ‘Titanic’(Cameron 1998), cost an estimated $280million to make. The common genres for blockbuster films are science fiction and action films, which provide the scenarios necessary for the use of new technology and effects. This is in total contrast to films judged on artistic excellence in the canon- only ‘2001:A Space Odyssey’ conform to either of these genres. The director and stars of the films are secondary to the effects though in the case of ‘Titanic’ much of its box office was due to the lead male, Leonardo DiCaprio’s, popularity among the teenage female audience. The scripts are rarely highly involving or well written, tending to be based around notions of conflict between good and evil (heroes and villains), with good always emerging victorious.

All the most financially successful films are modern, having been filmed since ‘Star Wars’(Lucas, 1977), the original modern blockbuster. Publicity also plays a major role in creating popular films, with films like ‘Godzilla’(Devlin & Emmerich, 1998) and ‘Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace’(Lucas, 1999) having unprecedented pre-release hype for over a year before their release. To maximise their potential returns, these films need a family audience, so are usually marketed as family entertainment; as a result the family films of Disney and of Steven Spielberg dominate the top box office films. For a film to be successful with a 15+ certificate, it relies even more on hype and controversy over its content; the most successful have controversial violence and gore like ‘The Exorcist’(Friedkin, 1973) or sexual content for example ‘Basic Instinct’(Verhoeven, 1992).

Based only on the most profitable films, popularity is a very limited area of film to study as part of film history. In part this is due to the problems with the calculation of box office receipts, which is hugely biased towards modern films. It does not take into account inflation or the rise in ticket prices, so older films would have to have been seen by many times the number of people of modern films in order to have the same box office receipts. Newer films are shown on far more screens, with a bigger target audience as cinemas become more prevalent worldwide and the world population increases. When it was attempted to calculate box office according to number of screens shown, taking into account the change in ticket prices, ‘Gone With The Wind’(Fleming, 1939) is calculated to be easily the most successful film, taking equivalent to double its nearest rival, ‘Star Wars’. As it is, popularity is hugely biased towards modern films.

As it is commonly calculated, popularity does not take into account the huge market for film on video and television. Modern films make huge amounts of money from video sales and from television channels buying the rights to broadcast them; they also reach a whole new audience, giving the top blockbusters an initial period of release of 3-4 years from cinema release to terrestrial television screenings. It is also increasingly common for popular films to influence popular culture through merchandising tie-ins, such as toys, computer games, comics and television series. By far the most successful of these is Star Wars, which sold over $1000million worth of collectible toys between 1978-86.

Many of the common characteristics of popular films are the opposite to those of the films recognised for their artistic excellence. They are modern films that do not display formal excellence, with little insight or emotional depth. They do not rely on their script or on powerful performances from the actors and the direction does not have to be exceptional for the film to be a success. None of the most popular films are European or art house films whereas many of the films in the canon would have been limited release, art house films with little real box office success. Even the more mainstream films in the canon- ‘Citizen Kane’ and ”The Searchers’(Ford, 1956)- were only minor box office hits when they were first released.

The majority of films made are neither huge financial successes nor critical successes, so are not included under either popularity or excellence. These films, the common experience of classical or mainstream Hollywood film, are classed under typicality. Typicality is the most difficult of the three genres to define, as it covers a much broader range of film types. They tend to be dominated by narrative, compared to technical merit for films defined by excellence and spectacle for those characterised by popularity. This narrative follows a strict structure, beginning with equilibrium, being disrupted unexpectedly and overcoming this disturbance to find equilibrium again. The main variation between typical films is the cause of the disruption, which can be any number of events, from a murder in ‘The Scarlet Claw’(R. W.Neill, 1944), to a winning racehorse in ‘Broadway Bill’(Capra, 1934). They can result from any number of changes of surroundings, unexpected or supernatural events or arrival of a new love interest (all of these are used in ‘Wuthering Heights’(Wyler, 1939)). The plot is very straight forward, following a linear chain of events where the lead character(s) have to overcome a number of obstacles and achieve a number of goals to achieve equilibrium with the finale of the film being the dramatic highpoint. In ‘Wuthering Heights’, the film ends with Heathcliff and Cathy, having faced obstacles to their love all their life, finding peace as ghosts wandering the moors together. It is these obstacles, or enigmas, which create the dramatic tension in the story and keep the audience interested until the resolution. They work on a linear time scale with no flashbacks, and have no narrator or voiceover. The direction is straight forward with the shot centring on the main characters, simple composition and mise-en-sc ne, and traditional editing techniques such as point of view shots and close-ups. All types of mainstream films are classed as typical films, from ‘Now Voyager’(Rapper, 1942) to ‘Lady and the Tramp’(Luske, 1955).

Studying typical films as part of film history includes far more films than either excellence or popularity. This can be seen as a positive or negative value; though it embodies a broader spectrum of film, it is inaccurate to distinguish between films to such a small extent. While films such as ‘Now Voyager’ are very much the typical Hollywood film, ‘Wuthering Heights’ has exceptional, Oscar winning cinematography and it seems limiting to class it as a typical film. ‘The Sixth Sense’(M. Night Shamaylan, 1999), is a narrative driven film with a plot and directorial style of a typical film, yet has an extraordinary twist at the end which elevates it above the typical. The film is not recognised for its differences, only how it conforms as an example of typical Hollywood cinema. The films that are now seen as examples of typical Hollywood cinema are the only ones that are still have available in print. They are a minute percentage of all films made, already selected to continue to be on release, so can already be perceived as popular cinema. Indeed, popular cinema can be seen as a division of typical filmmaking. Both conform to the same set of rules of narrative and filming technique; the popular are simply the more financially successful of the typical films.

All three categories are a misrepresentative way of studying film history when used only in the context of Hollywood and European cinema. Many documentaries are formally excellent, with a high level of emotional involvement and as such could be classed as excellent films. Yet with the exception of some sporting documentaries, such as ‘Hoop Dreams’(James, 1994) and ‘When We Were Kings’(Gast, 1996), they get no widespread cinema or video release and are not included within the category of excellent filmmaking.

The biggest omission from the popularity and typicality categories is that of Bollywood cinema. It is by far the most popular and prolific cinema in the world, producing over 1000 films every year compared to Hollywood, which produces 2-300 films. Bollywood cinema has its own, unique characteristics that require different classification to those used for Hollywood films. The films are based on tales from the Indian texts the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and centre on the role of the mother as the focal point for family life. They are founded around the masala principle, under which all films have the same themes, for example song & dance, violence, love and death. The stories are already familiar to the audience and there are frequent remakes of films. The most popular Bollywood film, ‘Mother India’( ,1950) is also the most spectacular film with the biggest song and dance routines. Despite being on a larger industry than Hollywood, Bollywood in ignored completely when studying typicality, popularity and excellence as ways of defining film history.

For a study of film history to be comprehensive it must include films of excellence, popularity and typicality, but it must be aware of the limitations that placing films in these categories. Studying films of excellence is useful as a guide to the most accomplished films, outstanding in many parts including acting, directing, emotional involvement, influence and innovation. However, it is impossible to agree on any film or selection of films as unequivocally the best ever and any such lists are always subjective. The popularity of a film as determined by its box office is an approximate way of analysing the most financially successful films, but it would need to take into account historical changes in the cinema and the huge commercial changes in the film industry to be a more accurate method. Studying typical films is a valuable way to analyse the common film experience and the language of narrative film. It can also be seen as very restrictive way of grouping together highly individual films, which have already shown their popularity by being kept in print. All three categories are only relevant to Hollywood and European cinema: to be more valuable in film history they would need to apply to all other elements of filmmaking.