However, in European Cinema, the linear nature of the narrative is usually quite disrupted and the discourse of the film has no complete resolution. This can be established by the film Les Quatre Cents Coups; a story about a young boy who through chance events finally runs away from his life. At the end, we see the adolescent in a freeze frame shot (which in European cinema is a technical device favoured for portraying situations of an unresolved nature), where he stands at the sea's edge staring at the camera in a distant gaze. This portrays a completely unresolved situation, as the spectator has no idea of what the character will do next.
Within the narrative of film are found storylines and themes and it was portrayed by Goddard and Gorin that Hollywood cinema had a main simple theme which ran throughout the diegesis, unlike European cinema which was more complex with multiple themes. The main motivation of the classical Hollywood film Armageddon's was saving the world, although there were slight sub plots dealing with individual characters such as the romance between Grace and A.J. However, this can be contrasted with a French director creating a European film known as Fifth Element where the audience sees multiple diegesis. The main storyline involves a huge fireball of evil threatening to eliminate all life unless four stones representing the elements earth, wind, fire and water are linked to an unknown fifth element, which is the protagonists aim. However, as this is a European film the story is much more complex displayed through Bessons use of fragmentated shots jumping from one storyline to another. Bessons continuous cuts from Zorg (evils aid) to Leeloo (the fifth element) once the audience find that the Mangalalores (warrior aliens) have not got the elements portray Leeloo laughing then another scene with Zorg acting very annoyed, then cutting back to Leeloo explaining that she knows where the stones are, leading to the interconnection of shots. Thus establishing that there are multiple storylines running throughout the film while at the same time demonstrating a very disruptive liner narrative.
The main protagonists can also be different in types of cinema. This is demonstrated through the fact that in Hollywood cinema there are conventional strong heroic figures as in Armageddon the Protagonist (Harry) commits himself to death to save the world and does not seem scared at all. However, in Fifth Element, a European film the spectator sees the male protagonist act slightly worried by the idea of being blown up when the Mangalalores point a massive gun at him.
Another key way that these types of cinema are shown to be different is through their culture and style. Traditional Hollywood cinema normally would not portray foreign elements however European cinema focuses on these. For example in Fifth Element and 400 Blows, the audience identify with new languages, the first being an invented vocabulary and in the second, French dialogue with subtitles. The foreign elements additionally are shown in fifth Element by using Berets on the military and by the line of international actors being Milla Jovovich (Leeloo) who is Russian and the director is French.
However, the Fifth Element although a European film clearly has an "American edge" through its spectacular special effects and action sequences as well as the protagonist being a major actor in America. This all had an effect on it being a blockbuster hit in Europe and America making this European film a hybrid of America. Usually European films are only played abroad in small art house industry (such as 400 Blows) but wider markets could be achieved if the film was made in English and the production co-financed by American companies thus establishing industries to work in different ways.
There are many differences that can be established between Hollywood and European Cinema. The main ones portray Hollywood cinema to have a linear narrative with closure and a main theme running throughout, while European cinema deals with a non-linear narrative, multiple diegesis and no resolution with foreign elements established throughout.
Word Count: 902
Branston, Gill and Stafford, Roy, The Media Student's Book (Routledge: London, New York, 1999).
Forbes, Jill & Street, Sarah, European Cinema, An Introduction (Palgrave: New York, London)
Hill, J and Gibson, P, Edited by. World Cinema Critical Approaces, Luc Benson by Susan Hayward(Oxford University Press: Oxford, New York, 2000).
Thompson, K & Bordwell, D, Film History 2nd Ed (Mc Graw Hill: Boston, New York, London 1994).
Fifth Element Website - http://www.sonypictures.com/Pictures/SonyMovie…/besson4.ht (1997 Columbia Pictures Industries)
Bay, Michael. Armageddon, 1996, American.
Besson, Luc. Fifth Element, 1999, French.
Truffaut Francois, Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows), 1959, French.
Jill Forbes & Sarah Street, European Cinema, An Introduction (Palgrave: New York, London) p 36.
Ibid p 37
Ibid p 37
Gill Branston and Roy Stafford, The Media Student's Book (Routledge: London, New York, 1999). P365
Michael Bay, Armageddon. (Film)
Truffaut Francois, Les Quatre Cents Coups (400 Blows), 1959
Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell, Film History 2nd Ed (Mc Graw Hill: Boston, New York, London), 1994. p445-6
Luc Besson, Fifth Element.
http://www.sonypictures.com/Pictures/SonyMovie…/besson4.ht (1997 Columbia Pictures Industries)
John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson, Edited by. World Cinema Critical Approaces, Luc Benson by Susan Hayward(Oxford University Press: Oxford, New York, 2000). p112
Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell, Film History 2nd Ed (Mc Graw Hill: Boston, New York, London), 1994. p712
Ibid p 711