"Ain't there anyone here for love?" Space, place and community in the cinema of Howard Hawks

Danks, A 2016, '"Ain't there anyone here for love?" Space, place and community in the cinema of Howard Hawks' in Ian Brookes (ed.) Howard Hawks, Palgrave and British Film Institute, London, pp. 35-48.

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title "Ain't there anyone here for love?" Space, place and community in the cinema of Howard Hawks
Author(s) Danks, A
Year 2016
Title of book Howard Hawks
Publisher Palgrave and British Film Institute
Place of publication London
Editor(s) Ian Brookes
Start page 35
End page 48
Subjects Cinema Studies
Summary This chapter examines the ways in which many of Hawks' films - though always in reality the result of collaborations with a range of writers, actors and technicians - create a largely hermetic world that embraces the heightened artificiality of classical Hollywood cinema. Although Hawks is often celebrated as a masculine action director who utilises exterior locations, his work is more correctly defined by a circumscribed and highly constructed sense of space. For example, the ambulatory characters in The Big Sleep seem to move through various landscapes but remain blissfully entrapped within an interiority marked by the extensive use of such elements as sets and rear-projection: "It is an interior film, without sunlight, fresh air or real nature", argues David Thomson. This emblematic Hawksian film even plays games with the absence of reality. Towards the end, Bogart's Marlowe is finally shown to be leaving the familiar surrounds of his studio-built Los Angeles city playground. He journeys to Realito, "a name to tease detectives and scholars". Although amongst the most violent scenes in the film, the conflation of studio-bound mist, workshop built rustic exteriors and chiaroscuro lighting (as well as the largely unmotivated and magical appearance of Bacall's Vivian) belie the promise embedded in that location's name. Through the exploration of such moments in Hawks' work, this chapter presents a re-examination of particular elements of the director's style in relation to the construction and representation of space and place.
Copyright notice © the author
Keyword(s) Howard Hawks
cinematic space
film style
ISBN 9781844575411
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Created: Thu, 02 Jun 2016, 08:17:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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