Cover: Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique, from Harvard University PressCover: Storytelling in the New Hollywood in PAPERBACK

Storytelling in the New Hollywood

Understanding Classical Narrative Technique

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$45.50 • £39.95 • €41.95

ISBN 9780674839755

Publication Date: 11/05/1999


416 pages

40 halftones


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Thompson…trespasses on the turf of the screenwriting gurus here, gun in hand, to blast away at the three-act structure universally accepted in the business since Syd Field codified it in his 1979 book Screenplay. In its place she proposes four acts, sections of roughly equal length which she labels ‘setup,’ ‘complicating action,’ ‘development’ and ‘climax and epilogue.’—Alistair Owen, The Independent

Thompson’s insightful analysis of Groundhog Day and of the screenwriting process in general should be fascinating to both writers and audience alike. More thoughtful writing and more discerning audiences can’t help but lead to better movies, and this informative and provocative book is a step in that direction.—Harold Ramis, Director of Groundhog Day

It was wonderful to read a book where I felt the writer knew what was going on in my mind while I was directing the film. Kristin Thompson was able to illuminate all the structural twists and turns of the plot, the character development, as well as the small details and symbolic references that directors put into their work, but often go unnoticed by the average moviegoer.—Susan Seidelman, Director of Desperately Seeking Susan

How refreshing to encounter a film scholar who understands that, first and foremost, movies must be written. Thompson’s book offers an invaluable resource not only to professionals, but to any dedicated moviegoer who wants to better understand the intricate craft of telling stories on film.—Ted Tally, Screenwriter, The Silence of the Lambs

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