Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Dallas: a television sample of credits


IN just the first minutes of a Dallas episode from the 1980s note how much of Dallas one sees as setting for the drama.  And yes I have to note the exaggeration.  If you visit the ranch in real life, it is just not that large and has a housing development to the South.  Television does distort some.

Peyton Place Credits Show the Setting


The opening credits are used in media presentations to establish setting, among other elements.  The goal, especially on television, is to establish a context or setting for the drama so that viewers or listeners can begin immediately to place the dramatic action in proper context.  On television this is essential as the program only has 22 or 44 minutes to entertain and cannot take time to establish setting by normal action and views.  The movie has more time and often exploits this time to the fullest.

In the opening credits for Peyton Place we notice the very strong music bringing out the visual elements of New England.  We see farming, ocean coasts, seasonal changes, and such.  The small town nature of Peyton Place is made clear.

Character Alison Mackenzie begins the next section providing a transition from the purely visual scenes to those scenes being couple with human emotions of importance to the dram of the book and movie.

Good Movies and Their Place


A Summer Place [1959]. Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue overacting to the maximum in this drama of adult and teen angst set on an island off the coast of Maine. Sloan Wilson’s novel comes to melodramatic life in this exploration of the growing sexual permissiveness of America. See where it all started and how.  The concerns of the teens will seem charming to some and totally odd to younger post moderns.

Your geographic view is of the coast of Maine. The isolation of the island and the rocky coast are well depicted.  The coast is beautiful and Holly wood travels to places like this partially to just show that big view that television has lacked most of its life. 

Then again, just that people might love on a island and have some isolation from postmodern life, may be a geographic mention that will strike a chord with many in any postmodern audience.

You also get to see a Frank Lloyd Wright building in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. The Della Walker house is worth a look by itself.  Lloyd attempted to make architecture fit its environment, to become a part of it not a separate element.  His home blends into the rocks of the shore.