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