Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ( A.M.P.A.S. ) is a professional honorary organization with membership by invitation only, extended by its Board of Governors to distinguished contributors to the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The Academy (at its Web site, www.oscars.org) asserts seven purposes 1. Advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures 2. Foster cooperation among creative leaders for cultural, educational and technological progress 3. Recognize outstanding...

Acknowledgments

The Editor-in-Chief wishes to thank all of the contributors for their expertise and professionalism. The Editorial Advisory Board, consisting of Professors David Desser, Jim Hillier, and Janet Staiger, provided invaluable editorial guidance. Nevertheless, the realization of this Encyclopedia would not have been possible without the expertise and tireless efforts of Mike Tyrkus, Senior Content Project Editor at Thomson Gale and Project Coordinator for the Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, who,...

Acting

The performances seen in films reflect the diversity of cinema practice over time and across the globe. Actors' performances, like the contributions made by other members of a production team, are designed to be consistent with the style of a film as a whole. Most often, they are crafted to convey a director's interpretation of the narrative. Because performances are integral components of specific films and films themselves differ widely it is not possible to evaluate individual performances...

Action And Adventure Films

Action and adventure have long been established features of American and other national cinemas. Associated with narratives of quest and discovery, and spectacular scenes of combat, violence and pursuit, action and adventure films are not restricted to any particular historical or geographic setting. Indeed, the basic elements of conflict, chase, and challenge can be inflected in any number of different directions. As such, action and adventure as cinematic forms are constantly in the process...

Adaptation

It seems certain that the first fiction film, L'arroseur arros (The Waterer Watered, 1895) by Louis Lumi re (1864-1948), was based on an 1889 comic strip by Christophe and that two of the most famous early American narrative films, Edwin S. Porter's (18691941) The Great Train Robbery (1903) and Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906), were derived, at least in part, from contemporary theatrical and comic strip material respectively. Generally the earliest attempts at narrative cinema were taken from...

Adaptation In The Silent Period

The earliest narrative films were rarely more than three to five minutes long, gradually extending to approximately twenty minutes by 1910, and then increasing steadily to a standard feature length of ninety to one hundred twenty minutes by the end of the silent era. Partly to avoid copyright payments and partly to exploit audience familiarity with already existing subject matter at a time when a coherent story could rarely be told on film without the use of copious intertitles or the services...

Africa South Of The Sahara

Africa south of the Sahara is one of the most destitute regions of the world. In 2002 its gross national income per capita was US 450, one-tenth that of Latin America. Not surprisingly, the promotion of economic development, especially through initiatives by groups such as New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), is the most pressing issue for this area and indeed for all of Africa, which is the only continent in the world that has grown poorer in the last twenty-five years. Film...

African American Cinema

Traditional film scholarship has often attributed the emergence of African American cinema to the need for a response to the racial stereotypes prevalent in mainstream films. Indeed, the early representations of African Americans, as in Chick Thieves (1905) and the Edison shorts The Gator and a Pickanninny (1903), in which a fake alligator devours a black child, and The Watermelon Contest (1908), relied on staid and pervasive stereotypes common in literature, vaudeville, minstrel shows, and the...

American Film Censorship

A system of film censorship existed in the United States as early as 1907, when it was introduced in Chicago under pressure from social reformers. The rapid emergence of the nickelodeons gave rise to concerns not only about the fire hazards within them, but also the content of films being viewed by unaccompanied children in these darkened venues. In Chicago an ordinance decreed that all films within the city had to be screened first to the police for approval. Similar concerns existed wherever...

American Influence

Although adjacent to the US, Canada was for many years treated in American cinema as an exotic place, a mythical landscape vaguely referred to as ''the Northwoods'' or ''God's Country'' the latter phrase popularized in the novels of the phenomenally popular American writer James Oliver Curwood (1878-1927) as if it were a mere extension of American wilderness. In more recent, runaway productions, Canada has been represented as nondescript American producers have taken advantage of the favorable...

Animal Actors

Actors are cattle,'' Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) is reported to have said. Yet cattle can also be actors. For Howard Hawks's Red River (1948), second-unit director Arthur Rosson (1886-1960) had been having a nightmare working with a huge herd for sequences that show them moving from Texas to Abilene under the direction of John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. So painful was this experience for Rosson and director Howard Hawks that Hawks finally remarked, ''Go out and try to tell fifteen hundred...

Animals In Production

The use of animals as onscreen performers presents a range of technical, legal, choreographic, medical, and strategic difficulties. Special medical insurance may be required for animal just as for human performers. Because animals are relatively incompetent linguistically, choreography and cinematic trickery must take the place of direction. In the film-within-a-film in Truffaut's Day for Night (1973), for example, there is a scenic reference to the director's earlier The Soft Skin (1964)...

Animation

Even in the contemporary era, when animation enjoys mainstream success and a diverse presence in everything from feature films to television sitcoms to festival shorts, and to Web and mobile delivery, the animation form is still very much understood in the popular imagination as ''the cartoon'' its history, as ostensibly American and its principal identity, as Disney. This neglects an extraordinary body of work made with different techniques and by animators and studios worldwide. Animation may...

Arab Cinema Since The Late s

Since the late 1980s Arab cinema has responded to greater political openness and relative relaxation of official censorship in various Arab states. In addition, a growing number of filmmakers, both local and e migre , have made use of financial and logistical support provided by European producers and agencies. New Arab cinema is also increasingly becoming less Egypt-centered and more trans-Arab in terms of production, themes, and audiences. Although market regulations (leaving local Arab film...

Argentina

Argentine filmmaking dates approximately from the same period as the emergence of the industry in Western Europe and the United States, as well as in Mexico and Brazil, and Argentina continues be a major film producer. Luis Puenzo's La historia oficial (The Official Story, 1985) is the only Latin American film to have received the Oscar for the best foreign film, although during the past few decades a healthy number of Latin American films have been contenders. While political considerations...

Audience Experience Cultural Conventions And Traditions In The Performing Arts

To assess performances in individual films, one also needs to understand that a viewer's own experience in daily life plays a key role in his or her interpretation of and response to film performances. To a large extent, audiences interpret actors' performances through and in Naturalist acting in John Cassavetes's Shadows (1959). everett collection. reproduced by permission. Naturalist acting in John Cassavetes's Shadows (1959). everett collection. reproduced by permission. terms of...

Australia

Between 1910 and 1912, eighty Australian films were released. In 1913, only seventeen films were released. Ten years later production had dropped to only eight films. A similar pattern of boom and bust occurred in the 1930s and 1940s. The first boom ended in 1912, when the major distributors and exhibitors merged into one company, Australasian Films. The second boom ended in 1946 for similar reasons, when the management of Australia's largest and most profitable studio, Cinesound, decided that...

Authorship And Film Criticism In Britain And The Us In The s

The tastes of both Movie in Britain and Andrew Sarris in the US were clearly influenced by those of Cahiers, and they shared similar ideas and emphases. The British magazine Movie, whose main editors and contributors included Ian Cameron, V. F. Perkins, Mark Shivas, Paul Mayersberg, and Robin Wood, opened its first issue (May 1962) with an assessment of American and British cinema in the form of rankings, signaling Hawks and Hitchcock as great, with Joseph Losey (1909-1984), Mann, Minnelli,...

Authorship And Postwar French Criticism

In terms of international recognition industrially and critically as well as in terms of audiences European cinema was seen rather differently than US cinema. If US cinema was produced in factorylike conditions for mass consumption and entertainment, European cinema was seen much more in relation to, and as the equal of, the other arts. But it is also the case that European critics (and probably audiences as well, though this is less clear) considered the cinema in general including US cinema...

Authorship And Us Cinema

Apart from Griffith, US cinema certainly was looked at rather differently than European cinema especially after the entrenchment of the studio system and the coming of sound. (Cinemas other than the US and European barely registered with US and European critics and audiences at this time.) Hollywood cinema came to be seen as more industrialized, more factorylike and commercial, than production in Europe, and therefore less likely perhaps, unlikely to produce more personal or individual films....

B London England February

Robin Wood is one of the most influential film critics to write in the English language. Brilliantly insightful and infuriatingly opinionated, Wood has spoken for a minority of critics in his attempt to bridge the gap between politically engaged criticism and questions of human value. Educated at Cambridge University in the early 1950s, Wood has taught film studies at universities in England and Canada, ultimately making his home in Toronto, where he has worked with an editorial collective to...

B New York New York May d Los Angeles California April

Educated at Brooklyn College and the Art Students League, Saul Bass gained a reputation as the man who revolutionized film titles, with stark graphic animations deeply evocative of the sensibility of the films that unspooled after them. His first efforts included Carmen Jones (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955) and The Big Knife (1955) but it was with The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Otto Preminger's voyage to the seedy world of heroin addiction (and the first film on which a director...

Barry Keith Grant

Professor of Film Studies and Popular Culture at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada Author, editor, or co-author of more than a dozen books on film, including Documenting the Documentary Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video, The Film Studies Dictionary, Film Genre Reader III, and Film Genre From Iconography to Ideology. He also edits the Contemporary Approaches to Film and Television series for Wayne State University Press and the New Approaches to Film Genre series for...

Beginnings

Feature filmmaking began in Canada with Evangeline (1914), made by Canadian Bioscope Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but after only six more films, the company failed financially. For the next fifty years, feature filmmaking in Canada was only intermittent. Carry On Sergeant (1928), an expensive World War I epic, was a commercial flop and did not provide the stimulus needed for renewed production. The introduction of sound to cinema around the same time eliminated the few fledgling film...

Billing

The billing in a motion picture is a set of hotly negotiated and legally contracted formulae that dictate the size in points of a screened name relative to the size of the name of the film. The names of actors and technical personnel must appear on posters and all other advertising for the film and in the opening credits. Other considerations include the individuality of a credit that is, whether the worker's name appears alone onscreen or along with others' and the placement of the...

Blaxploitation

Despite these two concurrent trends of African American filmmaking filmmakers within the Hollywood system and filmmakers without, both creating ideologically and aesthetically thoughtful films most people associate African American cinema of the 1970s with blaxploita-tion, a series of extremely low budget, sensationalist features of which there were more than two hundred. Produced from the early 1970s through the middle of the decade, these films capitalized, or exploited, the desire of African...

Breaking Down Barriers

Postwar liberalism led to even more change, as dramas directly addressing issues such as race and power emerged from the studios in films like Intruder in the Dust (1949), Home of the Brave (1949), and Pinky (1949). By the 1950s, the ''separate cinema'' had ended, and African Americans no longer had creative control over their images. Hollywood had sought and highlighted black talent in front of the camera, but continued exclusionary policies in the unions and administrative offices. Social...

British Film Censorship

Film censorship in the United Kingdom began initially with the aim of controlling flammable nitrate film stock. In 1909 the first Cinematograph Act was passed, giving local authorities the right to license buildings for the screening of film only if they met the required fire-prevention standards. However, the terms of the act were wide open and were very soon interpreted for other purposes. In 1910 the London County Council successfully The suggestive image of Carroll Baker in Baby Doll (Elia...

Bs At The Majors

Programmers were made by the majors, and as their name indicates, they could fit in either the A or the B slot on a program, depending on the needs of the individual theater. For instance, MGM programmers such as the Hardy Family series, with Mickey Rooney (b. 1920), and the Dr. Kildare series maintained the gloss that characterized MGM's A product. During the 1930s, budgets for major studio programmers could range from 100,000 to 500,000, at a time when A films could run from a conservative...

Camera

The motion picture camera is the basic tool of the filmmaker, used to capture images on film. The word camera comes from camera obscura, a device developed during the Renaissance that was a precursor to modern-day photographic cameras. The camera obscura (which literally means dark room'') consisted of a darkened chamber or box with a small hole in one wall. Images from outside the camera passed through this hole, which acted as a lens, and appeared, inverted, on the opposite wall. Reduced in...

Camera Movement And The Long Take

Long takes are continuous shots that last considerably longer than the typical shot in a given historical period. (Although it is easy to confuse long takes with long shots, the terms refer to two different relationships long takes suggest the duration of a shot, while long shots specify the distance between a figure and the camera.) During the studio era, the average shot in a Hollywood release lasted approximately eight to eleven seconds since the 1960s faster cutting rates have resulted in...

Canon And Canonicity

Canon formation involves making choices based on assessments of value, a process that highlights both the utility of evaluating and re-evaluating past artistic accomplishments as well as the pitfalls associated with championing some artists' work at the expense of others. The formation of a canon is directly influenced by the education, taste, and viewing habits of those who participate, the range of films they have seen, and the vision of cinema they champion. In film studies, the canon has...

Casting

Casting is one of the least understood or appreciated behind-the-scenes processes in filmmaking. Indeed, casting decisions are made all the time that change the course of film history. How altered would the film landscape be if Inspector Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971) had been played by John Wayne (1907-1979) Or Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) Or Steve McQueen (19301980), Walter Matthau (1920-2000), Paul Newman (b. 1925), or Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) All were offered the role, and all turned...

Casting In The Studio

During the Hollywood studio era, each company cast its films in-house, using mostly contract players. Sometimes, if the unit making the film felt that certain roles could not be cast with studio personnel, they looked outside for actors unattached to a studio, actors with nonexclusive studio contracts, or those whose home studio was willing to loan them out. The casting of the Hollywood-on-Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard at Paramount in 1949 is instructive. For the role of the delusional...

Challenges To The Class Structure

While various national cinemas strove to shed their reputation as working-class entertainment, Soviet cinema of the 1920s strove to strengthen and deepen the connection between cinema and the workers. The Soviet leader Vladimir Ilich Lenin himself considered cinema to be the most important art form specifically because of its ability to attract and speak to the proletariat. As a consequence, Soviet cinema focused directly on drawing audiences out of ''false consciousness'' in order to make them...

Chanchadas A Film Industry For A National Cinema

The introduction of sound in the 1930s was welcome in Latin America as a possible path to the autonomous development of a national film industry. Despite the devastating effects of the Great Depression in the United States, Hollywood had the upper hand, first by its experiments with foreign-language versions of its own films and later with its worldwide imposition of dubbing and subtitling. By 1934, Hollywood had regained its hegemony in the Latin American markets to the point that it became a...

Changing Views Of Mediated Performance

Film scholars are coming to the view that presentational and representational acting styles are options that exist along a continuum, rather than opposite and mutually exclusive approaches, and they recognize that actors draw on a range of methods to prepare for and execute film performances. Acknowledging that film and theater portrayals require the same depth of preparation, and that each context requires unique adjustments, film scholars have set aside definitions of film acting that involve...

Child Actors

Child performers have had important roles in cinema history, from the baby daughter of Auguste Lumi re being fed by her pioneering father in an 1895 actuality film to eleven-year-old Haley Joel Osment earning an Oscar nomination for his dynamic acting in The Sixth Sense (1999). Sometimes children are showcased in films that are directed toward child audiences, but their most notable appearances tend to be in films for adults films that reflect on childhood from an older and wiser view or that...

Child Stars After The s

Children's roles in American movies over the following decades became less prominent as cultural attention shifted to teenagers, and Hollywood followed accordingly. Only a handful of significant child performers emerged in these years, and most enjoyed only one significant role as a child. Patty McCormack (b. 1945) was one such case she was astonishing as the evil little girl in The Bad Seed (1956), then drifted into hipster teen roles in the 1960s. Similar cases in this period included Brandon...

Chile

Chilean cinema emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, mainly at the initiative of European immigrants who were interested in documenting local events. The first known Chilean film, Un ejercicio general de bomberos (General Drill of the Fire Brigade), was shot and screened in the coastal city of Valparaiso in 1902. Celluloid evidence of this and other periods has been lost owing to lack of preservation and, occasionally, active destruction by a hostile government. Similar issues have...

Chuck Jones b Spokane Washington September d February

Chuck Jones has become rightly revered as one of the true masters of animation. While Tex Avery sought to extend the art and language of animation by interrogating its boundaries and possibilities, Jones was responsible for fully integrating animation with other disciplines, in particular by drawing upon classical music and literature as touchstones to structure his cartoons and to extend their thematic concerns. A high school dropout, Jones attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. In...

Cinema In The Age Of Late Capitalism

While the politically engaged cinema of the late 1960s and early 1970s attempted to address social issues such as economic oppression, it turned out that most of those who could be defined as ''oppressed'' preferred to watch escapist films that helped them forget their hardships. By the mid-1970s, the Hollywood film industry had resurrected itself with a number of blockbuster films that revived old formulas and genres. Audiences flocked to pictures such as The Godfather (1972), Jaws (1975), and...

Cinephilia

The first fllmgoers who referred to themselves as cinephiles were the French artists and intellectuals in the 1920s associated with the avant-garde Louis Delluc (1890-1924), Jean Epstein (1897-1953), Germain Dulac (1882-1942), and Eve Francis (1886-1980). For these filmmaker-critics, photog nie referred to a very specific experience produced by cinema. Moments of revelation, or recognition, constituted a ''viewer's aesthetic'' for those most sensitive to the affective, emotional intensity of...

Clown Comedy

Having changed the least since the beginning of cinema, the clown genre is both the most basic and the most obvious of comedy types. Unlike other, more thematic-oriented comedy approaches, the clown model is dependent upon a central comic figure or figures, such as Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) or the Marx Brothers (Chico 1887-1961 , Harpo 1888-1964 , Groucho 18901977 , and Zeppo 1901-1979 ). Around them is fashioned the loosest of storylines, for clown comedy is character-driven. The story line...

Cold

The science fiction film Strange Invaders (Michael Laughlin, 1983), which trades in acid-tinged nostalgia, opens with a caption that describes the 1950s as an era in which ''the only things we had to worry about were the Communists and rock 'n' roll.'' The joke, of course, is that these multipronged threats still managed to turn a decade otherwise characterized by increasing affluence, technological and social progress, and an absence of world war into a time of deep-seated fear, doubt, and...

Collaboration

A Hollywood myth has it that the composer Arnold Schoenberg once wrote a film score on the mistaken presumption that a motion picture would subsequently be made to match his music. The story suggests that misconceptions about the nature of the collaborative process have quite likely always cropped up among the creative forces involved in filmmaking. With rare exceptions, such as the work of fiercely independent experimentalists like Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas, filmmaking is...

Color

Toward the beginning of The Wizard of Oz (1939), as she discovers that her house has landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, the heroine Dorothy (Judy Garland) dons a pair of ruby slippers. Sparkling and unforgettable in their redness, these shoes constitute the center of an important filmic moment not only do they signal the beginning of the Technicolor era in perhaps the most popular film of all time, they also remain for viewers of all ages among the most memorable objects in...

Color Stock

No consistent and true color film stock was available until the end of the 1940s, at which time Kodak introduced its Eastmancolor negative stock. With this product, a number of changes became possible in shooting technique, all of which decreased production cost and made spontaneity and mobility in shooting easier. Here the color was not printed in by dye-transfer, but was contained in an emulsion layer on the original negative stock in the form of dye couplers chemicals that would be changed...

Columbia

The rise of Columbia Pictures to Hollywood prominence is as unlikely as the plot of a Frank Capra (1897-1991) film, and in fact it was a run of Capra-directed hits that fueled Columbia's ascent. No other studio relied so heavily in its formative years on the talent and output of a single filmmaker, as Capra's early hits put Columbia on the industry map in the late 1920s, and then his Depression-era comedies like It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) defined its...

Comic Book Films In Europe And Asia

While the United States is a global leader in the production of films based on comic strips and books, it is hardly the only player on the field. In Europe, for example, while not as widely respected as cinema, comics are more widely celebrated than they are in America. Despite this fact, fewer comic book series have been adapted to film. In the 1960s, Belgium's most celebrated comic book hero, Tintin, became the star of two live-action films starring Jean-Pierre Talbot (b. 1943) as the...

Comics And Comic Books

Both comics and cinema had important forebears in the mid-nineteenth century, but they emerged roughly contemporaneously in the 1890s. Each medium was quickly adopted as a mode of popular visual narrative, sharing a common history of being perceived as inferior aspects of early-twentieth-century mass culture. While many filmmakers sought to cast off these low associations through the construction of middle-class movie palaces and adaptations of classic works of literature, for the most part...

Credits

The word credits refers to a display of the film's title and the names of persons involved in making a film. Restricted in the earliest days of cinema to a card showing only the film title and the production company, credits have grown substantially in complexity and length. Front credits (or main title) typically appear at, or near, the beginning of the film. Dramatic screen action preceding the credits is referred to as a pre-credit sequence.'' Closing credits (or end title) is typically...

Crew

The large crews that are associated with modern big budget Hollywood films reflect not only the scale and scope of the production but also a sophisticated division of labor. Early films were smaller and thus far simpler in this regard. It was not uncommon in early films for one individual to act as cameraman and director, performing all the necessary duties selecting the subject, shooting, developing, printing, editing, and exhibiting the movie. As films became more complex and increasingly...

Crime Films

Crime films rule the world from East to West from Shanghai Triad to Kalifornia because they allow audiences to indulge two logically incompatible desires the desire to enter a criminal world most of them would take pains to avoid in real life, and the desire to walk away from that world with none of its traumatic or fatal consequences. Whether they focus on criminals, convicts, avengers, detectives, police officers, attorneys, or victims, crime films depend on a nearly universal fear of crime...

D September

Adrian, head of MGM's costume department from 1928 to 1941, was one of the greatest influences on costume design, tailoring, and international couture that America has produced. Born in 1903 in Connecticut, of German parents, Adrian studied at Parsons in New York City and spent 1922 as a student in Paris. There he met Irving Berlin, who asked him to design special artwork for his Broadway production Music Box Revue. This brought Adrian back to New York and gave him the experience of working...

Dalton Trumbo b Montrose Colorado December d September

Dalton Trumbo had what might be considered the usual background for a studio writer in the 1930s and 1940s a spell as a journalist, employment as a script reader for Warner Bros., critical success as an author (with the perhaps ill-timed antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun, 1939), a good war record'' of patriotic movies (A Guy Named Joe, 1943 Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, 1944), a spell in the Pacific Theater as war correspondent, and a position as chairman of Writers for Roosevelt.'' He was a...

Early And Silent Action And Adventure

Action and adventure form a key component of early and silent cinema. At a relatively early stage of film history, elements of chase and pursuit were developed into basic narratives through innovations in editing, evident in such important cinematic reference points as The Great Train Robbery (1903) in the United States and A Daring Daylight Burglary (1903) in the United Kingdom. Both titles involve crime, some form of pursuit, and the ultimate capture of the thieves in question by the forces...

Early Canon Formation

The history of canon formation is a history of changing attitudes toward what is valuable in cinema. Early film theorists and historians who sought to establish cinema as a legitimate and unique art form had a vested interest in crowning the medium's masterpieces. Rudolph Arnheim and other theorists of the silent era argued that the most accomplished films moved beyond the recording capabilities of the medium, utilizing those tools specific to cinema, such as editing and cinematography, to...

European Colonial Cinema

By the time cinema was invented, well over half of the world's land mass was under the control of a handful of European powers, and a complex network of trade and travel routes traversing the globe had already been established in order to ensure the transnational flow of populations, capital, raw materials, and consumer goods. As a result, the equipment needed to make and view film moved fairly freely between the European metropolises and various colonial outposts, enabling cinema to assume

Extended Definitions

The extended definition of art cinema marks off films that can be differentiated from commonplace entertainment cinema in terms of source material and intended audience. Alongside such popular genres of early cinema as actualities, trick films, chase films, and comedies were brief films drawn from the traditional elements of high culture,'' that is, adaptations from classic drama and literature and films based on historical events. This dimension of the art film emerged most forcibly in France...

Film Europe And The Early Sound Film

Co-productions arose as a means to enhance collaboration between countries with small, struggling, or ambitious production industries so as to pool resources and compete in an international market with Hollywood cinema. The so-called Film Europe movement in the latter half of the 1920s was the first concerted effort in this regard. By guaranteeing to import each other's films, European film industries could expect higher box-office revenues, which could then be used to increase the production...

Filming Classic Fiction To The Present

While few people today would care whether The Green Hat was in any way betrayed by its transformation into the Garbo vehicle A Woman of Affairs, the situation is very different with an acknowledged literary classic, where readers tend to have fixed, and widely differing, views of the appearance of the characters or setting not to mention the meaning or interpretation of the work as a whole and naturally wish to see these perceptions respected on the screen. There are many other problems too....

French Cinephilia

In developing his psychoanalytic-semiotic film theory, Metz began by thinking about his own relationship to the cinema, as a theorist and as a spectator. He argued that the person who loves the cinema, but also writes about it, is like a child who breaks his or her toy. The cinephile, for Metz, is precariously balanced between the imaginary pleasure of losing oneself in the image and the symbolic knowledge of its machinery and its codes. Writing about cinema is a sadistic practice, he argues,...

From The New Wave To Genre Films

In 1972 the premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan, established the South Australian Film Corporation, and three years later this organization produced two films that changed the nature of the Australian film industry Sunday Too Far Away and Picnic at Hanging Rock (both 1975). The corporation was also involved in many other notable productions during this period, including Storm Boy (1976), ''Breaker'' Morant (1980), and Peter Weir's The Last Wave (1977) and Gallipoli (1981). Its success...

Further Reading

Cassavetes on Cassavetes. New York Faber and Faber, 2001. -. The Films of John Cassavetes Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies. Cambridge, UK, and New York Cambridge University Press, 1994. Charity, Tom. John Cassavetes Lifeworks. London Omnibus, 2001. Kouvaros, George. Where Does It Happen John Cassavetes and Cinema at the Breaking Point. Minneapolis University of Minnesota Press, 2004. Margulies, Ivone. ''John Cassavetes Amateur Director.'' In New American Cinema, edited by Jon...

Genre Adaptations Westerns Crime And Film Noir

American cinema is largely a genre cinema. Melodramas, westerns, crime and gangster films, science fiction films, historical and biblical epics, comedies, war films, and musicals have formed the staple of its offerings from the very beginning. A surprising number of these are based on written sources, but because most of these are not canonical in the way that the works of Dickens or Austen are, this goes largely unnoticed and scant attention is paid to whether they have been faithfully adapted...

Government Intervention In The s AND s

A Royal Commission was established in 1927 to investigate the influence of Hollywood films, and although there were concerns over the state of the Australian film industry, the commission was equally concerned by the decline of the number of British films screened in Australia. In 1913 British films represented 26.3 percent of the total number of imported films, but by 1923 this figure had fallen to 3.4 percent. Although the commission recommended protection for the British industry with an...

Guide To The Work

Within the main entries, the first mention of a film title is the film's original language title followed parenthetically by the American release title, the name of the director (if it is not mentioned in the text), and the year of the film's release. A title that has no English release title is translated parenthetically but not italicized. In subsequent mentions of non-English language titles within the same entry, the most well-known title is used. Also upon first mention, the names of...

Harry Cohn b New York New York July d February

Harry Cohn, who co-founded Columbia and ran the company until his death in 1958, is among the most distinctive and paradoxical of Hollywood moguls and studio bosses. As both the president of Columbia Pictures and the head of the studio, he was the only individual in classical-era Hollywood to occupy both the home office'' and front office'' of a Big Eight producer-distributor. And despite his well-deserved reputation for being a brutal, vulgar tyrant who ruthlessly abused and exploited his...

Humphrey Bogart b New York New York December d January

Humphrey Bogart is the greatest and most versatile of all crime stars, the only one equally at home as a gangster (Dead End, 1937), a hard-boiled detective (The Big Sleep, 1946), a noir hero (Dead Reckoning, 1947), a crusading lawyer (The Enforcer, 1951), an innocent on the run (Dark Passage, 1947), and a victim (Key Largo, 1948). After years of apprenticeship on Broadway and in Hollywood, Bogart first achieved fame as the gangster Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936). He soon added depth...

International Child Actors

Meanwhile, child actors in a number of international films after the war were becoming well known, even if they did not enjoy the ongoing publicity that the Hollywood studio system provided. Italian neorealist films, for instance, utilized nonprofessional child performers in films such as Roma, citta aperta (Rome, Open City, 1945), Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, 1948), Germania anno zero (Germany Year Zero, 1948), and Sciuscia (Shoeshine, 1946), in which Franco Interlenghi (b. 1931) made...

Issues And Trends

The French ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch began making films in sub-Saharan Africa as early as 1946, employing Africans as technicians and actors. Les ma tres fous (The Mad Masters, 1955), arguably his most famous film, depicts a ritual of possession among the Hauka sect in Ghana. The Nigerian filmmaker Oumarou Ganda (1935 1981) acted in Rouch's Moi, un noir (I, a Black Man, 1958) before going on to direct Cabascabo (Tough Guy, 1968), Saitane (1972) and L'Exil (The Exiled, 1980). Rouch's...

Lew Wasserman b Lewis Robert Wasserman Cleveland Ohio March d June

The man who transformed Music Corporation of America (MCA) from the world's strongest talent agency to one of the largest global media conglomerates, Lew Wasserman was for forty years generally regarded as the most powerful man in Hollywood. Although he shunned the limelight, Wasserman was renowned for his business acumen, his political connections, and his ruthlessness. He was also admired for his philanthropy and was awarded a special Oscar for humanitarianism in 1973 as well as the...

Main Titles And End Titles

The main credit sequence in a film performs three principal functions, all of which are complex. First, the audience must be given vital information about the nature and content of the film. As narrative tools, the credits must negotiate between the demands of the story and the audience's information state on coming to the theater. For example, in Good Will Hunting (1997), Ferro wanted credits that would introduce and focus on Will (Matt Damon) and show his literacy. Second, the main title must...

Major Figures

The importance of La historia oficial, aside from its intrinsic qualities that merited the Oscar , lies in the fact that it is emblematic of the sort of Argentine film that could not be made during the dictatorship, while at the same time it represents the attempt to analyze the material and emotional violence of the neofascist period. Virtually a Who's Who of Argentine filmmaking and other realms of culture were involved in the making of Puenzo's film, including Aleandro and Alterio, for whom...

Mike Leigh b Salford England February

Mike Leigh's films consistently focus on the British class system, particularly the working class. Often, issues of class are intertwined with concepts of gender, sexuality, and race ethnicity as well. Many critics link his work back to the ''kitchen-sink realism'' of British cinema in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Others, though, point out how Leigh emphasizes the performativity of life (possibly due to his background in theater), often by exposing the Secrets & Lies (1996) that people...

Nestor Almendros b Barcelona Spain October d New York New York March

Eventually to become the cinematographer of more than sixty films, including works by Barbet Schroeder, Jean Eustache, Jean-Claude Brialy, Maurice Pialat, Monte Hellman, Marguerite Duras, Alan J. Pakula, and Moshe Mizrahi, Nestor Almendros moved to Cuba after World War II, attending Havana University for a brief time. He traveled to Rome, enrolling in the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, a school he found too academic for his tastes, then taught Spanish at Vassar College before returning...

Nominations And Voting

In early January, the Academy solicits nominations for awards of merit'' for an individual or a collaborative effort in up to twenty-five categories. To be eligible for nomination, each responsible production agency must submit an alphabetized list of qualified films to the Academy. Beginning in 1934, the calendar year determines the eligibility period during which any potential nominee must have a theatrical run for a minimum of one week in Los Angeles. While most nominees now also show in New...

Other Academy Categories And Awards

A.M.P.A.S. may, at its discretion, vote additional awards, and it began doing so from the Academy's inception. These special awards are initiated at a designated meeting of the Board of Governors. The board itself nominates or accepts nominations for special awards from area committees, for example, the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. The Board of Governors votes on conferring special awards through a secret ballot. For the first Academy Awards in 1927-1928, the Board created a...

Other Kinds Of Adaptation

Detstvo Gorkogo (The Childhood of Maxim Gorky, 1938), directed by Mark Donskoy (1901-1981), remains one of the finest of film biographies autobiographies, but most such films are bedevilled by questions of authenticity, for content is more important here than transforming sophisticated literary techniques into film. Does the leading actor really resemble the subject (whose photos or portraits are usually well known) Is the film factually accurate or truthful (and is this true of its source) Is...

Peronista And Neofascist Impact On The Industry

Political considerations that have affected the fortunes of the industry cluster around two important periods the Peronista period (1946-1955) and the neofascist period of military dictatorship (1966-1973 1976-1983). While Juan Domingo Peron (1895-1974) was never a dictator in the proper sense of the word, he was a strong-arm populist who used the film industry to propagate the ideology of his movement. Peronista ideology is often rather confusing and contradictory, and it is not always easy...

Peter Weir b Sydney New South Wales Australia August

Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) was hailed as a seminal moment in the development of the Australian film industry. This film, together with Sunday Too Far Away (1975), was perceived as evidence that the local film industry had moved beyond the ocker comedies of the early 1970s to producing mature, aesthetically complex films. This tale of a small group of late-Victorian schoolgirls, who vanish while exploring the volcanic outcrop known as Hanging Rock north of Melbourne, was heavily...

Post

After MCA's divestiture put its clients and agents in play, William Morris regained its former preeminent status in the industry, based primarily on its strength in television. But other agencies captured the spotlight as they moved into the movies. For example, Creative Management Associates, which was founded by Freddie Fields (b. 1923) and David Begelman (1921-1995) in 1960, carved a niche for itself in the business by becoming a boutique agency for stars. Its client list included Henry...

Radio And The Movies

Radio became a national pastime during the Depression and offered new opportunities for talent agencies. With unemployment high and disposable income dropping for most people, audiences had time to spare. Radio manufacturers had huge inventories, creating a buyer's market. And as the average of price of a radio fell from 90 dollars in 1930 to 47 dollars in 1932, 4 million families purchased receivers. By 1934, radio was reaching 60 percent of all American homes and had become a common habit....

Recent Years

To be sure, the American film industry's promotion of child stars in recent years has relied upon their abilities to act within adult contexts, rather than in the child-centered vehicles more common before the 1950s. The same hit-or-miss trends continued for child actors through the 1990s and thereafter, as witnessed by the forgettable lead performances of Michael Oliver in Problem Child (1990), Mason Gamble in Dennis the Menace (1993), Cameron Finley in Leave It to Beaver (1997), and the...

Recognizable Choreographers

Although many early films featured dance, the sequences were generally preexisting acts or social dances. Choreographers or dance directors were not credited, but as narrative film developed in the silent era, choreographers began to fulfill two functions. Films with plots that centered on goings-on backstage, especially those filmed in the New York studios, often showed celebrities and rehearsals led by Broadway choreographers. Cosmopolitan's The Great White Way (1924) showed a Ziegfeld...

Recommended Viewing

Tres tristes tigres (Three Sad Tigers, 1968), La Colonia penal (The Penal Colony, 1970), Palomita Blanca (White Dove, 1973), La Vocation suspendue (The Suspended Vocation, in French, 1977), Hypothese du tableau vole (The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, 1978), Het Dak van de Walvis (On Top of the Whale, in Dutch, 1982), Les trois couronnes du matelot (Three Crowns of the Sailor, in French, 1983), M moire des apparences (Life Is a Dream, 1986), Genealogies d'un crime (Genealogies of a Crime,...

Representation And Stereotypes

Representations of Asians have been at the center of US film history from its inception. At the turn of the twentieth century, interest in the Spanish-American War was met with both actualit s (documentary or news footage) and reenactments (staged depictions of key events). These early representations drew from US attitudes toward other races early cartoons depicted Filipinos as vaguely African in appearance, for example, and a 1899 film, Filipinos Retreat from Trenches, employed African...

Restricted Definitions

The demise of the art film in the 1930s is often attributed to the advent of the sound picture, which escalated production costs and fostered a conventional approach to narrative and representation. Yet it has been suggested that some strands of the cinema of the period do bear the marks of art cinema in some respects. For instance, the state-sponsored documentary film supervised by John Grierson (1898-1972) has been proposed as Britain's art cinema, the drab though realist subject matter and...

S

Tropicalism in Carlos Diegues's Bye Bye Brasil (1980). everett collection. reproduced by permission. Tropicalism in Carlos Diegues's Bye Bye Brasil (1980). everett collection. reproduced by permission. explains the spectacular magnificence of Tropicalist films, and their inversion of the revolutionary strategy of the aesthetics of hunger for an ironic tactic of social reform, which tries to recover the carnivalesque underside of uneven development. Tropicalism's ultimate goal, however, was to...

Screwball Comedy

Screwball comedy is perhaps the most misunderstood of the comic genres. More than merely outrageous comedy, screwball comedy is essentially a spoof of romantic comedy. A second cousin to farce, screwball comedy flowered during the Great Depression, when the new censorship code (1934) necessitated sex comedies without sex. In the topsy-turvy Depression era the old boy-meets-girl formula was turned on its ear, with screwball comedy presenting a zany, woman-dominated courtship of a male who often...

Second Generation

With the advent of the 1930s, film changed from functioning solely as entertainment to reflecting social life realistically. Chinese filmmakers also began to grasp the basic law of film, to move beyond the limits of the stage, and began producing modern dramatic films with suspenseful plots and performances that favored realism over stylization. This progressive period lasted until the late 1940s, nourishing important directors such as Cai Chusheng, Wu Yonggang, Fei Mu, Sun Yu, and Zheng Junli,...

Sex And Violence

The sensational and exploitable elements of sex and violence have created the biggest debates in film censorship. Under the new ''X'' rating in the United States, a wave of 1970s ''porno chic'' or ''middle-class porn'' appeared on movie screens, exploiting the commercial possibilities of an adults-only rating. In films such as Deep Throat (1972) and The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), explicit, nonsimulated, penetrative sex was presented as part of a reasonable plot and with respectable production...

Sixth Generation

As one of its directors, Lou Ye (b. 1965), said, the Sixth Generation may be only a label, its definition open-ended because of the lack of a commonly shared manifesto or school of thought. Sixth Generation directors have their distinct individual tastes and their films all look different. They tend to move away from the Zhang Yimou. photo by s. sarac everett collection. Zhang Yimou. photo by s. sarac everett collection. traditional roles of political dissident, illustrator of Chinese history,...

Stock Companies

There is much in film folklore, if not in fact, about directors with informal ''stock companies'' of actors with whom they work again and again. The directors best known for utilizing a family of actors are John Ford (1894-1973), Ingmar Bergman (b. 1918), Mike Leigh (b. 1943), Robert Altman (b. 1925), and Spike Lee (b. 1957). Calling upon an established ensemble, both in front of and behind the camera, has enabled these directors, all of whom are very prolific, to put new projects together...

Structuring Animal Performance

Characters exist only within the boundaries of a fictional world, while actors animate them from underneath, within, or behind. But animal characters are not always played by animal actors in other words, an animal performance can be achieved without animals. Humans can animate animals, as did the Half-boy, Johnny Eck (1911-1991), who played a bird creature and the Gooney-bird in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), Tarzan Escapes (1936), and Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941), and Joe Martin, who played a...

Textual Characteristics

For many theorists, art cinema, at least in the restricted sense, is defined through narrative and textual qualities that run counter to the body of conventions associated particularly with the Hollywood studio picture but also characteristic of the conventional cinemas in many countries. The traditional qualities of the linear narrative with a finite ending, clarity of plot, such unobtrusive use of film techniques as camera movement and editing, the underlining of thematic and narrative points...

The Biopic In

Directly or indirectly, the Hollywood wartime biopic justified national involvement in war, dramatizing the essentially peaceful and moral nature of the American male and distinguishing him from the enemy. Sergeant York (1941), starring Gary Cooper (1901-1961), is an example of the biopic's linking its biographical subject to national crises, and also of the genre's malleability to changing historical circumstances. Set during World War I but clearly making analogies with World War II, the film...

The Blacklist

In Hollywood, the wave of anti-Communist investigation that was later termed ''McCarthyism'' actually began in 1947, three years before Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) embarked on his personal crusade (eventually becoming chair of the Subcommittee on Investigations in the US Senate). The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had convened before the war to investigate allegations of Communist influence in the movie industry but suspended its activities for the duration of the war. In...

The Cinematographers Technique

It is often difficult for technically naive viewers to grasp that although in everyday situations the eye typically adapts to variations in light and produces a credible image of reality under most lighting conditions, the camera even an extremely expensive and elaborate one such as the Mitchell BNC 35mm or the Eclair, Arriflex, or Aaton 16mm can see only what the film stock with which it is loaded is sensitive enough to record within a field that has been adequately lit. Onscreen, even...