The chaos and complexity of classic Hollywood cinema Article

Gillespie, MP. (2006). The chaos and complexity of classic Hollywood cinema . 10(1), 123-141.

cited authors

  • Gillespie, MP


  • Classic Hollywood cinema, the standard narrative format for production of feature length films, seems at first glance one of the most linear, prescriptive methods of discourse. It centers the action on a main character and traces the resolution of a single, dominant problem. However, a close examination of the best films of this format shows that talented directors and actors use the predictability of this framework to anchor complex thematic explorations of the inherent ambiguity of the medium. Conventional, linear, cause and effect interpretive methods often fail to discern the multiple options for meaning inherent in these works because they lack the vocabulary to express these conditions. This essay explores how a critic can employ images from chaos and complexity theories to create metaphors that reach beyond the bounds of Cartesian thinking and enable far more sophisticated analyses of the films. © 2006 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006

start page

  • 123

end page

  • 141


  • 10


  • 1