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Institutional Mode of Representation

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In film theory, the Institutional Mode of Representation is the stylistic structure of narrative film construction that was developed during the classic Hollywood period. It included some basic premises:
  • Characters were displayed realistically and with a progressive character arc.
  • The story was told linearly with clear dramatic arc.
  • Every effort was made to preserve a sense of spatial and temporal continuity.

Doing so includes particular film techniques, such as the establishing shot and shot reverse shot.

The Institutional Mode of Representation is often abandoned or challenged by avant-garde filmmakers, who tend to consider it conducive to complacency.

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