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HUMA 2740

Lecture 18

- Causality also motivates temporal principles of organization: the


syuzhet represents the order, frequency, and duration of fabula
events in ways which bring out the salient causal relations
- Process is especially evident in a device highly characteristic of
classical narration—the deadline
- A deadline can be measured by calendars , by clocks , by stipulation,
or by cues that time is running out
- Climax of a classical film is often a deadline shows the structural
power of defining dramatic duration as the time it takes to achieve or
fail to achieve a goal
- Usually the classical syuzhet [plot] presents a double causal
structure, two plot lines: one involving heterosexual
romance (boy/girl, husband/wife), the other line involving another
sphere—work, war, a mission or quest, other personal relationships
- Each line will possess a goal, obstacles, and a climax
- Wild and Wooly (1917) example
- The syuzhet [plot] is always broken up into segments
- In the silent era, the typical Hollywood film would contain between 9
and 18 sequences; in the sound era, between 14 and 35 (with
postwar films tending to have more sequences)
- Only two types of Hollywood segments: "summaries" and "scenes"
- Hollywood narration clearly defines its scenes by neoclassical
criteria—unity of time (continuous or consistently intermittent
duration), space (a definable locale), and action (a distinct cause-
effect phase)
- Bounds of the sequence will be marked by some standardized
punctuations (dissolve, fade, wipe, sound bridge)

American Public Television


- Commercial TV became standard and owners of private broadcast
TV stations and networks lobbied hard against ay state intervention in
media industries
- American state didn’t promote educational TV in early period of TV
and also discouraged it
o E.g. Defeat of Wagner-Hatfield bill by Congress in 1934 which
would’ve allocated 25% of US broadcasting frequencies for
educational use
o Most schools and colleges operated the early TV stations but
disappeared by 1940s
- 1950s – FCC set aside a few unallocated frequencies (mostly in the
hard-to-tune UHF bands) so a number of small educational stations
re-emerged in late 50s
- Until 1962 – they were funded by various charities at which time the
fed govt started giving them grants
- Newton Minnow (chairman of FCC in 1960) called TV a vast
wasteland – his expression of a growing public sentiment of the time
- Once initial novelty of TV had begun to wear off, some audience
members began to adopt more critical attitudes towards the medium,
and some began to tune out
- Part of the 1960s rebellion against the status quo included an
oppositional attitude towards both TV and consumerism
- From 1962-1967, the Ford Foundation and later the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting (1967-70) funded the production and distribution
of educational programming—especially children’s programming and
public affairs show
- 1963 – a network called National Educational Television (NET) was
created and funded by the Ford Foundation
- 1967 – Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act – gave non-
commercial broadcasting a national mandate for the first time
- The structure they created was a weak one though—power was
decentralized so that it couldn’t become a fourth network in direct
competition with the Big Three commercial networks