Spectacle is not often considered to be a significant part of the
style of `classical' cinema. Indeed, some of the most influential
accounts of cinematic classicism define it virtually by the
supposed absence of spectacle. Spectacle in `Classical' Cinemas:
Musicality and Historicity in the 1930s brings a fresh perspective
on the role of the spectacular in classical sound cinema by
focusing on one decade of cinema (the 1930s), in two `modes' of
filmmaking (musical and historical films), and in two national
cinemas (the US and France). This not only brings to light the
special rhetorical and affective possibilities offered by
spectacular images but refines our understanding of what
`classical' cinema is and was.
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