Why TCM should be carrying the World Cup

Thumbnail image for donovan.jpgThe French critic Andre Bazin famously wrote that what did so much to define the Studio Era of Hollywood filmmaking was "the genius of the sytem." One element of that system -- so absolutely fundamental that no one ever noticed it as special then or thinks to remark upon it now -- was the centrality of narrative continuity and development. The photographed stories that came to be called feature films play out over time, usually somewhere between ninety minutes and two hours (though a behemoth like "Gone with the Wind" runs just under four hours, and that nasty little 1945 noir "Detour" lasts all of 67 minutes). The point is audiences not only expected to sit through some considerable amount of story before that story reached its climax, they relished doing so.

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