Anatomy Of A Camera

Anatomy Film Camera

There are many different types of motion picture cameras of varying sizes that serve a variety of purposes, but all cameras have the same basic structure. The basic components of a camera are photosensitive film, a light-proof body, a mechanism to move the film, a lens, and a shutter. Most cameras have a number of other features, ranging from viewfinders to detachable magazines to video assists, but the basic elements are the same in all cameras (save for those of the digital variety). The film...

Emergence Of The Genre

From Plutarch's Lives, and from Shakespeare's history plays, with their focus on the tragic fate of monarchs, to erudite and popular biographies, the fascination with the lives of the rich, the famous, and the infamous persists, as does the question of the source of this fascination. In the evolution of cinema, individuals of consequence were not slow to appear onscreen short films were produced in the United States, France, Russia, and Italy, featuring monarchs, political dignitaries, military...

Mans World

The iconic stars who flesh out the formulaic characters of crime films by giving them personas, performance histories, and the all-important variations that distinguish one gangster from the next are not of course limited to men. Jean Harlow (1911-1937), Joan Blondell (1906-1979), and Glenda Farrell (1904-1971) all play memorable molls to Hollywood gangsters. The four female friends of Set It Off (1996) form a gang and rob banks themselves. The soiled screen persona of Gloria Grahame...

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...

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...

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 Films About Children After World War Ii

The child star system that had worked so well for Hollywood before the war broke down soon thereafter. Very few child actors had more than a couple of popular films to their name after the 1950s, as the studio system was losing its coherence and power in controlling the American movie market. Although this meant that fewer films were made about children, those that were made offered a wider array of images. For example, The Bad Seed (1956) takes on the topic of a little girl's villainous nature...

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)...

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...

Auteur Theory And Authorship

Translated from the French, auteur simply means author, but use of the term in relation to cinema since the 1950s at least has caused much controversy and critical debate. The frequent retention of the French word, as auteur and in the somewhat ungainly ''auteur-ism,'' marks the prominent part played in those critical debates by French film critics, especially those associated with the journal Cahiers du Cin ma (literally cinema notebooks), in the 1950s and 1960s. Controversy arose in part from...

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...

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...

Blacks In Classical Hollywood

Though not thoroughly synchronous, Warner Bros.' The Jazz Singer (1927) is considered the first commercially released feature to make use of the new technological development of sound. The conflict in this drama centers on the struggle of a Jewish singer, Jakie Rabinowitz (Al Jolson), who wants to perform as a jazz artist, despite his father's wish that he become a cantor. Though in his nonreligious persona Jack Robin is not actually singing jazz, his performances (in blackface) draw from 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...

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

Camera movement is one of the most expressive tools available to a filmmaker. It alters the relationship between the subject and the camera frame, shaping the viewer's perspective of space and time and controlling the delivery of narrative information. As the camera frame orients the viewer within the mise-en-scene, movement of the frame provides the illusion of the viewer journeying through the world of the narrative. The camera height and angle, the distance to a subject, and the composition...

Canada

Canada produces approximately forty feature films annually. But while the country, like many others, has had to deal with Hollywood's dominance of its film industry, Canada's geographical proximity to the United States exacerbates the problem. This fact has been the most defining influence on the development of Canadian cinema. The two countries share the longest undefended border in the world, creating serious problems for many aspects of Canadian culture, including cinema. Geographically,...

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...

Cartoons

Despite all the innovations in the early years of US cinema that eventually led to the emergence of the cartoon, it is Fantasmagorie (1908), by Emile Cohl (18571938) with its surreal stick-figure animation, that should be understood as the first two-dimensional cartoon film. Its bizarre narrative shows off the possibilities of the new form and signals metamorphosis as the core language of animated stories. Inevitably, though, it is the US tradition that defines the form in the public...

Case Study Adaptations Of Charles Dickens

Dickens has been by far the most filmed of English novelists, with something like one hundred versions in the silent era alone, and numerous further adaptations for both film and television, continuing to the present day. The earliest films could cope only with well-known incidents or brief character sketches from the books the sheer length of the major novels has always proved a serious stumbling block. It was natural, then, that the first attempts at full-length treatment would be with...

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...

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...

Cinematic Contexts

Some choreographed sequences involve the characters and the roles they play in the story, and others present performers whose sole function in the film is to dance. Down Argentine Way (1940), a romance with horses that takes place on a hacienda, has dances credited to Nick Castle (1910-1968) and Geneva Sawyer. At various points in the film, the characters attend fiestas that feature group ethnic dances and a plot-related vocal and movement specialty by Charlotte Greenwood (18931978), a veteran...

Cinematography

In the earliest days of cinema, before the dominance of the narrative mode, movies were made almost wholly by cameramen. Le Repas de b b (Feeding the Baby or Baby's Dinner, 1895) by Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis Lumi re (1864-1948) is a stunning example of composition with movement. As early as the second shot of The Great Train Robbery (1903), filmed for Edison by Edwin S. Porter (1869-1941), one can see, in the depiction of the train moving past a water tower where the desperadoes are hiding,...

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...

Classical Cinema Historical Adventure

Within the classical period of American cinema, a variety of action and adventure types were produced, several achieving distinct generic status (the western, gangster, and war film pre-eminently). Setting aside for the moment these familiar action genres, we might consider the historical adventure film as the classical cinema's central manifestation of action and adventure. In his comprehensive study of the genre, Brian Taves suggests that historical adventure comprises five principal types...

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...

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 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...

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...

Early History

A decade of industry-wide labor struggles and bargaining debates culminated in nine Hollywood studios and five labor unions (carpenters, electricians, musicians, painters, and stagehands) signing the Studio Basic Agreement on 29 November 1926. Slightly over a month later, in January 1927, Louis B. Mayer (1882-1957), head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios, spearheaded an effort to avert further unionization of motion picture workers, especially the major artistic groups not yet organized...

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

True Myths The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Pumping Iron to Governor of California, revised and expanded. London and New York Bloomsbury, 2003. Gallagher, Mark. ''I Married Rambo Spectacle and Melodrama in the Hollywood Action Film.'' In Mythologies ofViolence in Postmodern Media, edited by Christopher Sharrett, 199-226. Detroit, MI Wayne State University Press, 1999. Glass, Fred. ''Totally Recalling Arnold Sex and Violence in the New Bad Future.'' Film Quarterly...

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...

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...

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...

Industrial Experiments

Following early artisanal efforts based mainly in Santiago, a period of intense filmmaking activity in the silent 1920s, in ten cities, resulted in more than fifty films up to 1930. These films included documentary and fictional portrayals of historical figures, such as communist leader Luis Emilio Recabarren (whose funeral was filmed by Carlos Pellegrini and Luis Pizarro in 1924) and independence guerrilla fighter Manuel Rodriguez (in El Husar de la muerte, The Deadly Hussar, Pedro Sienna,...

International Action

European cinemas boast strong national action traditions. These range from Italian westerns and peplum, defined by Richard Dyer as ''a cycle of adventure films centered on heroes drawn from classical antiquity played by American bodybuilders'' (p. 286), to the British gangster film, such as Brighton Rock (1947) and The Long Good Friday (1980). Frequently European action films are successful primarily within local markets, although there are also notable international successes, such as Nikita...

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...

John Huston b Nevada Missouri August d Newport Rhode Island August

John Huston, the son of the actor Walter Huston, was a boxer, actor, and journalist before becoming a scriptwriter and then writer director. Almost all his films were based on literary sources, ranging from established literary greats such as James Joyce, Herman Melville, Rudyard Kipling, and Dashiell Hammett to other largely forgotten authors. His directorial career began with a masterpiece of both filmmaking and adaptation, The Maltese Falcon (1941), and it ended with another, The Dead in...

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...

Marlon Brando b Omaha Nebraska April d July

Marlon Brando is often considered by many to be America's greatest actor. He made his stage debut in 1944 and won acclaim for his 1947 performance in A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan. Following his film debut in 1950 Brando quickly became the preeminent actor in postwar America. He received Academy Award nominations for his performances in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata (1952), and Julius Caesar (1953), and an Oscar for his performance in On the Waterfront (1954)....

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...

Optimism And Growth The Early Years

Australians embraced film from the beginning. Edison's kinetoscope 31 mm film-viewers arrived in Sydney in November 1884. Over the next five months, twenty-five thousand Australians viewed the machines. In 1898, Henry Lawson's The Australian Cinematograph'' was published, and the story's imaginative use of color and movement encouraged the film historian Ina Bertrand to describe it as Australia's first screenplay.'' Lawson's story appeared two years after Australia's first film, Passengers...

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...

Other Production Crew

Most films require some special effects. This term normally refers to illusions created on the film set, rather than in postproduction. (Digital effects and other effects created off-set are discussed in depth below.) The department is headed by the special effects supervisor, and its members may include such crew as a pyrotechnician, who is an expert in creating fires and explosions, a model maker, a puppeteer, and a projectionist, who operates the equipment needed for back projection. The...

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...

Populist Comedy

While clown comedy is the most traditional of the comic genres, dating from the beginning of cinema, populism came to the forefront during the Depression in the 1930s. The exemplar of populism is director Frank Capra (1897-1991), especially in his pivotal pictures Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), and It's a Wonderful Life (1946). This underdog genre embraces the belief that the superior and majority will of the common man is forever...

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....

Raul Ruiz b Puerto Montt Chile July

Raul Ruiz studied law and theology in Chile, then filmmaking at the Escuela de Santa Fe in Argentina in the late 1950s before joining the second wave of the New Latin American Cinema. He contributed substantially to the efflorescence of Chilean cinema in the late 1960s, yet most of his ninety-plus films have been written and produced in exile. Although he did not relocate to Chile following the end of military rule, Ruiz has remained resolutely Chilean in his views of modernity and cultural...

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...

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...

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...

Technological Developments

While the basic elements of the camera have remained essentially the same over the years, there have been numerous technological developments that have had a significant impact on motion picture style and aesthetics. The advent of sound in the late 1920s created problems for filmmakers because the cameras used during the silent era were too noisy to be used on sound productions. The sensitive microphones used in early sound films picked up even the slightest noise from the cameras, and so it...

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 Australian New Wave The Comedies

While the feature film industry languished in the 1950 and 1960s, this was a relatively rich period for documentary and nonfiction film. The visit to Australia in 1940 by John Grierson (1898-1972) helped the establishment of the National Film Board in 1945, which was modeled on the Grierson-inspired National Film Board of Canada. This evolved into the Commonwealth Film Unit, and in 1973 it became Film Australia. Directors such as Peter Weir (b. 1944), Tim Burstall (1927-2004), Michael Thornhill...

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 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...

The Coming Of Sound And The Interwar Years

The advent of synchronized sound charted new directions for the biopic. More than announcing the arrival of sound on film, The Jazz Singer (1927) anticipated the marriage of the biopic and the musical, highlighting the lives and careers of musical impresarios, entertainers, and composers. The Great Ziegfeld (1936), produced by MGM, with lavish sets, song and dance numbers, guest appearances by popular entertainers, and the use of stars, memorialized the rise and fall of the impresario. Biopics...

The Director And Team

The director has the main creative responsibility for the film. He or she is normally involved in the project from an early stage and participates in hiring the heads of departments, the casting process, and working with one or more writers to perfect the script. During filming, directors direct the actors, supervise the activities of the crew, and decide which takes to print. Directors often remain involved after shooting ends, working with the editor and other postproduction personnel to...

The First Generation

The first generation of film archivists were essentially collectors interested in showing their treasures. Before the age of television, old films were virtually impossible to see, since producers had little interest in saving material that had outlived its economic usefulness. Furthermore, mainstream cultural institutions and governments considered the cinema a crass commercial enterprise, a form of communication not worthy of serious intellectual consideration. Having what Roland Barthes has...

The Hip Cold

Ian Fleming's (1908-1964) early James Bond novels, published in the 1950s, often pit the British superspy against SMERSH, a division (''Death to Spies'') of Soviet intelligence. When Bond (Sean Connery) emerged in film, from Dr. No (1962) on, SMERSH was downplayed in favor of SPECTRE, a fantastical, apolitical criminal organization along the lines of those once run by Dr. Mabuse or Fu Manchu. In the novel From Russia with Love, plans are laid against Bond by SMERSH, but in the 1964 film, the...