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A new look at the concept of style in film: the origins and development of the problem-solution model
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A new look at the concept of style in film: the origins and development of the problem-solution model

Author: Colin Burnett
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Edition/Format: Article Article : EN
Publication:New Review of Film and Television Studies, 6, no. 2 (2008): 127-149
Database:ArticleFirst
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Colin Burnett
ISSN:1740-0309
Language Note: EN
Unique Identifier: 357760472
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schema:description"This paper presents a history of the development of a 'neoformalist' tool for researching the history of film style: the problem-solution model of style explanation. The significance of this model can be seen in the knowledge it yields into the innovation by filmmakers of stylistic devices at the 'textual' level and in its insight into the broader question of how the history of style should be told. In this account, I draw on rarely discussed writings by key proponents of this research program to highlight the stages of refinement of this aspect of the concept of 'film style', and ultimately trace the origins of the problem-solution model to art historian E.H. Gombrich, who championed it in a period of meta-critical debate in art history in the mid-twentieth century. The story of the model's emergence in film studies reveals that art historical methods are just as critical to contemporary cine-stylistics as those of French theory and Russian Formalism. Our concept of style, it is claimed, while apparently 'natural' in the eyes of the current student of film, has in fact changed as our understanding of historical causation has changed."
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