Metaphor For All Seasons

The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 made the bootlegging gangster an instant anachronism, and the FBI's assault on organized crime throughout the decade drove the gangster underground. But he remained as a powerfully meta-phoric figure that could be adapted to many uses. High Sierra squeezed weary but honorable ex-con Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) between the faithless gang that has sprung him from jail for one last job and the all-American girl who rebuffs his fatherly romantic advances. The...

Abovetheline Guilds

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is the collective bargaining representative for writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, interactive, and new media industries. The guild's history can be traced back to 1912 when the Authors Guild was first organized as a protective association for writers. Subsequently, drama writers formed a Dramatists Guild and joined forces with the Authors Guild, which then became the Authors League. In 1921, the Screen Writers Guild was formed as a branch of the...

Ancillary Markets

Before television, feature films played in motion picture theater almost exclusively after television, the new medium extended the commercial life of films by creating ancillary markets. During the 1950s, studios in desperate need of money sold off their pre-1948 film libraries to television syndicators, who, in turn, leased the films to local television stations to fill out their programming schedules. The studios were free to dispose of the pre-1948 films since they controlled television...

Appeal

Given its doom-laden world, film noir offers the voyeuristic pleasure of watching transgression play itself out. Audiences saw morally compromised people doing immoral things stories involved the forbidden, the sin ful. The films pushed the boundaries of contemporary censorship their ads promised the titillations of easy women, violent men, and doomed enterprises cheap thrills with dire consequences. In soliciting viewers' identification with doomed people, the films court masochistic pleasure....

Art Film Market

Largely shut out of the American market since the 1920s, foreign films did not really reach US theaters until after World War II. Before the war, foreign films played only in New York and in a few other major cities. After the war, they played in a growing number of art film theaters around the country and created a subindustry known as the art film market, which was devoted to the acquisition, distribution, and exhibition of foreign-language and English-language films produced abroad. Waves of...

B Vienna Austria September d

Probably the most iconic image of the working director is conjured up in the person of Erich von Stroheim a monocled European despot stalking the set and barking orders through a bullhorn. Indeed, von Stroheim's persona of an actor ''the man you love to hate'' was equal parts tyrannical egoist and unappreciated genius. Fittingly, in most critical retrospectives of his career, von Stroheim is typically represented as either a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions or the victim of studio...

Base And Emulsion

Celluloid film is made up of a flexible, transparent base that is coated with a gelatin layer (the emulsion), which contains millions of tiny, light-sensitive grains. When the film is exposed by the shutter in the lens, the grains absorb light, creating a latent image that is not visible to the naked eye. The film is then treated with developing chemicals, which cause the exposed portions of the film to become visible in a negative image of the original scene light and dark areas in a scene are...

Before The Revolution

Cinema first arrived in Cuba in 1897 when an agent for the Lumi re brothers came to display the newly invented cinematographe and also shoot footage of local scenes on the island. The country developed a tremendous and enduring appetite for moving pictures during the first half of the century, with cinemas springing up in great numbers. By 1920 there were 50 cinemas in Havana and more than 300 in the rest of the country. There were a number of notable and popular achievements during this...

Beginnings

A permanent film theater was opened in Prague in 1907 by the conjuror Ponrepo and regular film production began in 1910. By the beginning of World War I, over a third of the cinemas in Austria-Hungary were based in the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia. Lucernafilm was established in Prague in 1915 by Vayclav Havel, grandfather of the future president Vaclav Havel while other companies, including Weteb, Excelsior, Praga, and Poja, followed at the end of the war. Czech cinema's first...

Beur Cinema

As South and East Asian, African, and Caribbean diasporas disrupt the prevailing Christian and racialized delineation of Europe, nation-states in the European Union are undergoing economic and political integration and dramatic demographic changes. Since the 1980s filmmakers, especially diasporic and exilic ones, have explored the migr experience with increasing frequency and in greater depth. Accented cinema formations have developed in Britain (black and Asian film and video collectives), in...

Beyond Cinepsychoanalysis

As these debates show, there was never any uniformity within cine-psychoanalysis about the gaze, or about what kind of psychoanalysis was most appropriate to cinematic modes. But with its binarisms, psychoanalytic film theories fitted the Cold War era in that they looked back to nineteenth-century Europe and reflected a world fixed on a framework in which communism versus capitalism was a subtext. Freud's theories enabled an understanding of the neuroses produced in the nineteenth-century...

Body Horror

The British film Peeping Tom (1960) and Psycho (1960) radically reconfigured the genre by focusing on psychologically disturbed characters in mundane contexts rather than supernatural situations in gothic settings. Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and adapted from Robert Bloch's 1959 novel, which in turn was based in part on the real-life exploits of multiple murderer Ed Gein, has proven to be perhaps the most influential horror film ever Michael Redgrave as the ventriloquist attacked by...

Carl Theodor Dreyer b Copenhagen Denmark February d March

Carl Dreyer is the great Danish auteur, one of the masters of the cinema who created his own dark vision of human suffering and sacrifice. However, his increasingly formalistic style and austere universe placed him very far from mainstream Danish cinema. Dreyer's work is characterized by an intense formalism with carefully planned shots and by an uncompromising search for the inner life behind the surface of reality. He started as a balloonist and journalist and came by coincidence into films...

Changes In Production

Early production in the preeminent film-producing nations of France, Great Britain, and the United States The travellers arrive at their destination in Georges M li s's Un Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon, 1902). everett collection. reproduced by permission. The travellers arrive at their destination in Georges M li s's Un Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon, 1902). everett collection. reproduced by permission. has often been likened to a cottage industry. Firms tended to be fairly...

Cinema As An Institution

The significant changes occurring to film form during this period operated in concert with other forces of transformation so that by 1915, numerous developments pointed toward the institutionalization of cinema. By 1915, the MPPC had been dissolved by court order. The move toward increased consolidation inaugurated by the struggle between the Independents and the MPPC (the latter dissolved by court order in 1915) continued apace corporate entities that would become pivotal in the studio era,...

Cinemas Fashionability

Fashion or rather the fashionability of film, particularly Hollywood's has always been an important element of cinema's appeal. There are many individual examples of garments having had a direct impact on off-screen fashions and sales. For example, one of the designer Adrian's (1903-1959) robes for Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton in 1932, the year Crawford was first named ''The Most Imitated Woman of the Year,'' was widely copied, as was Edith Head's (1897-1981) white party dress for Elizabeth...

Collaborations

In describing the various responsibilities of the director, it would seem that he or she occupies a central position within the cinema's creative division of labor. Despite this apparent centrality, however, it must be established that the title of director is not necessarily synonymous with the designation author. Understanding the role of the director is an objective concern and does not require the subsequent appreciative assertion that he or she is the most important individual in this...

Critical Perspectives

The critical and theoretical commentary upon film noir has been extensive. The history of film noir begins with international criticism essays written in postwar France assessing new developments in American film. The context and historical moment is important. New Hollywood films had not been available in France since the time of the German occupation in 1940. When those films at last appeared in postwar Paris, critics like Nino Frank saw evidence of a new sensibility in them, which he termed...

Cuba

Cuba is an anomaly in the history of Latin American cinema. Cuban film history is the story of a formerly quiet and docile little film industry that experienced a sudden and explosive acceleration of production after the revolution in 1959. Cuban cinema has had an unusual role in shaping a national dialogue about art, identity, consciousness, and social change and has emerged as one of the most distinct and influential national cinemas in the region. While all of the film industries in Latin...

Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918 following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. The Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia had been ruled from Vienna while Slovakia had formed part of Hungary. Despite close linguistic ties, this was the first time that the two nations had been linked for over a thousand years. Following the Munich conference of 1938, when the country was forced to cede its German-speaking areas to Germany, Hitler encouraged the secession of Slovakia, and...

D October

Jean Cocteau is perhaps best known for his classic fantasy film, La belle et la bete (Beauty and the Beast, 1946), based on the fairy tale by Madame Leprince de Beaumont. The multi-talented Cocteau was a painter, poet, and dramatist who is also remembered for his experiments in surrealist and avant-garde techniques. Founded in the early 1920s, the Surrealist movement concerned itself with the connection between reality and fantasy, rationality and the unconscious. By harnessing and combining...

Dance

The arts of movement and of the moving image have coexisted since the late 19th century. They fill each other's most important needs. Film documents movement. For early forms of pre-cinema and film, dance provided proof of movement. Dancers and choreographers saw film as a solution to the ephemeral nature of movement. The art forms were disappointed by the other for various reasons both technological and artistic so they have had to negotiate ways to coexist and collaborate over the century....

Dance In Silent Film

Dance was featured in late pre-cinema and early film because it showed movement in human scale. Among the earliest films nickelodeons, Mutoscopes, and other mechanical projections are dozens of studio films produced by Thomas Edison showing social or musical-comedy dance performances, ranging from Annabelle (Moore) (1878-1961) twirling her skirts, in imitation of another dancer of the period, Loie Fuller (18621928), in Annabelle Butterfly Dance (1894) to the Cake Walk series (1897-1903). Edison...

Defa

From 1945 to 1990, when the company, along with the state that owned it, disappeared, DEFA produced over seven hundred films. When DEFA acquired the Ufa premises in Babelsberg it took on a large number of staff from the Third Reich. In 1953 the Soviets relinquished any ownership, and under the Ministry of Culture DEFA came to control all East German filmmaking. Alongside those allowed to continue working, exiles like Slatan Dudow (1903-1963) and Wilhelm Dieterle (18931972) were encouraged to...

Definitions

Dubbing is a form of post-synchronized revoicing that involves recording voices that do not belong to the onscreen actors, speaking in a language different from that of the source text and ideally in synch with the film image. But dubbing can also refer more generally to adding or replacing sound effects or spoken lines by the source actors themselves in the language of the film's production, often because of poor sound quality in the original recording or for the deletion of expletives from...

Denmark

For a thousand years, Denmark has been an independent kingdom. Since 1849 it has been ruled with a democratic constitution and for over a century has enjoyed a generally peaceful history. Perhaps this history explains why Danish cinema in general is characterized by an atmosphere of jovial, often self-ironic humor and provincial calm. Denmark has been a film nation since the beginning of film history in the 1890s, and for some years around 1910, the Danish film industry was among the leading in...

Direction

The opening credit sequence of contemporary American films typically proclaim that the ensuing work is ''a film by'' a particular director. This assertive title is both an acknowledgment of professional responsibility (that the creative process is led by a central administrative figure) and an authorial intention (that the work in question is the product of a single, creative individual). However, within such a deceptively simple credit lies an implicit array of controversial assumptions about...

Distribution

In the film industry, distribution is the intermediary between production and exhibition and involves the following functions sales, that is, the securing of rental contracts for specific play dates advertising directed to theaters through trade publications and to filmgoers through the print and electronic media the physical delivery of prints to theaters and the method of release. New York City, the media and communications capital of the country, has served as the distributing center of the...

Distribution And The Effects Of Television The s

By the end of the 1980s, it could no longer be said that cinema dominated the French cultural landscape. It had become merely one medium among many that appealed to French audiences. Beginning in the late 1970s, French cinema became part of le paysage audiovisuel francais (the French audiovisual landscape). Though certain established film stars retained their impact, the new generation of French film stars failed to achieve the cult status of their predecessors. The national film star was...

Early Cinema Pioneers

Great Britain was a key early adopter of emerging cinema technology. In fact, it could be argued that British cinema history predates even the arrival of the Lumi re Brothers in 1895. Augustin Le Prince (1842-1890), who disappeared in 1890 while returning from a visit to his brother in his native France, was reputed to have successfully experimented with motion pictures. Patents for which Le Prince applied, as well as remnants of his work, suggest that his experiments were successful, yet his...

Early History

Unlike such genres as the musical and the gangster film, which had to wait for the development of sound, horror movies were an important genre in the silent era. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) was filmed as early as 1910, and in France, Louis Feuillade's serial Les Vampires (1915-1916) made use of earlier narratives with female vampires. Audiences were familiar enough with horror conventions that by 1927 they were being parodied in The Cat and the Canary. The first significant cycle of...

Early Practices

Considered visual novelties, the first films reached audiences by way of vaudeville. Pioneering companies assembled packages, consisting of projector, projectionist, and films, which traveled the vaudeville circuit as an act that lasted from ten to twenty minutes. In playing a circuit, a new act would typically open in the flagship theater in New York and then move to the other houses in sequence. This so-called peripatetic form of distribution ideally suited the infant film business, with its...

Early Sound Film And Multiple Language Versions

Silent films presented few problems for language transfer, though they still entailed translation for international audiences. While silent films were well suited to consumption in a variety of cultural contexts, this was due less to their status as a universal language of images than to their intertitles and the flexibility they provided. Intertitles were not simply translated from source to target languages but creatively adapted to cater to diverse national and language groups the names of...

Early Technology And First Films

Building on the advancements made in series photography by such figures as Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) and Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) in the 1870s and 1880s, coupled with the animation principles at the center of motion toys like the zoetrope, numerous inventors in the late nineteenth century attempted to devise an instrument that could produce the illusion of movement through the recording and playback of many photographic images in rapid succession. The process required a flexible...

Economics And Politics

The evolution of Egyptian film history reflects the economic and political changes that have swept the country since the beginnings of a national film industry. These changes have been distinguished by widely divergent economic directions and opaque ideological systems that became more pronounced following the 1952 Free Officer's Coup a revolution led by a group of young military officers. This group effectively unseated from power the former British mandate puppet, King Farouk, descendent of...

Editing

Editing is a postproduction phase of filmmaking that begins following the completion of principal cinematography. An editor (and his or her team of assistant editors) works in close collaboration with the film's director and producer. This means that, as with all areas of filmmaking, editing is a collaborative enterprise, even though, in practice, the film editor is typically responsible for the overall ordering and design of the shots in sequence. Many editing decisions, however, may originate...

Egypt

The history of Egyptian cinema is long and varied. From modest beginnings with the projection of Lumi re shorts in the Tousson Pasha hall of Alexandria and the Hammam Schneider baths of Cairo in 1896, film was transformed from an exclusively foreign import for the foreign elite into a national industry by the 1940s. This ''Hollywood on the Nile,'' established in its initial phase in the mid-1930s by nationalist financier Talaat Harb, was equipped with studios, a star system, the production of...

Epic Films

Like musical, comedy, war film,'' and Western, epic is a term used by Hollywood and its publicists, by reviewers, and by academic writers to identify a particular type of film. It was first used extensively in the 1910s and the 1920s Variety's review of Ben-Hur (1925) noted that the word epic has been applied to pictures time and again'' (6 January 1926 38). It was particularly prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s, when epics of all kinds were produced to counter a decline in cinema attendance. And...

Eroticism And Humanistic Realism

In 1967 Denmark probably was the first country in the world to legalize literary pornography and in 1969 pictorial pornography for adults. The result was a short but profitable wave of erotic films that made Denmark famous as a liberal country. Palladium, the producer of Gertrud, started a series of erotic comedies. These so-called bedside comedies can hardly be described as pornographic, but rather as a combination of popular comedy and sex. Hugely profitable for some years, they vanished...

Exhibition

Exhibition is the retail branch of the film industry. It involves not the production or the distribution of motion pictures, but their public screening, usually for paying customers in a site devoted to such screenings, the movie theater. What the exhibitor sells is the experience of a film (and, frequently, concessions like soft drinks and popcorn). Because exhibitors to some extent control how films are programmed, promoted, and presented to the public, they have considerable influence over...

Exhibition And Early Viewing Contexts

One of those influential forms was the magic lantern show, which depended on projected images to tell stories visually. Charles Musser, among others, has suggested that film exhibition practice developed within traditions of screen entertainment aligned with such media as magic lanterns and stereopticons. Highly dependent on lecturers, elaborate transitional effects, and a multitude of still images, magic lantern shows may have affected the way early film exhibition developed in a variety of...

Exhibition And The Classic Hollywood System

One reason that the major studios could attain virtually monopolistic control over the film industry is that they developed several business strategies during the 1910s and 1920s that all in some way constrained the independent exhibitor's freedom in booking films. These strategies continued to play a central role in film exhibition until the end of the 1940s. Perhaps most important was the run-zone-clearance system, which enabled the Big Five'' major studios (MGM, Paramount, RKO, Warner Bros.,...

Exploitation Films

Exploitation movies have been a part of the motion picture industry since its earliest days. The term ''exploitation movie'' initially referred to any film that required exploitation or ballyhoo over and above the usual posters, trailers, and newspaper advertising. Originally this included films on risqu topics, documentaries, and even religious films. But by the 1930s it referred specifically to low-budget movies that emphasized sex, violence, or some other form of spectacle in favor over...

F R Leavis And Questions Of Value

One cannot discuss criticism, its function within society, its essential aims and nature, without reference to the work of F. R. Leavis (1895-1978), perhaps the most important critic in the English language in any medium since the mid-twentieth century. Although his work today is extremely unpopular (insofar as it is even read), and despite the fact that he showed no interest in the cinema whatever, anyone who aspires to be a critic of any of the arts should be familiar with his work, which...

Fashion

Fashion's relationship to film is characterized by two factors how film has influenced fashion and how fashion and the work of specific fashion designers have been used in film. These are not mutually exclusive but parallel trajectories. The extrovert couturier Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) once remarked that what Hollywood did today, fashion would do tomorrow, but it could be said equally that what fashion did today, cinema would do tomorrow. Hollywood, for example, instantly dropped its...

Feminism

The emergence of the women's liberation movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s had a profound impact on scholarship as well as on society. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique (1963) set the stage for liberation movements by detailing middle-class women's isolation, even oppression, within the suburban household. Women's roles in the antinuclear movements, such as the Aldermaston marches in the United Kingdom or SANE (Students Against Nuclear Energy) in the United States, further served...

Festivals

A film festival is an event designed to exhibit, celebrate, and promote a selection of motion pictures chosen according to the particular aims and ambitions of the event's organizers and sponsors. Although the exact origin of the term ''film festival'' is difficult to determine, its near-universal use probably stems more from its alliterative lilt than from its precision as a descriptive tool. Most film festivals do have characteristics that can be described as festive, such as gala opening...

Film Noir

In 1946, French film critics coined the term film noir, meaning black or dark film, to describe a newly emergent quality in wartime Hollywood films. At that time, the term signified an unexpected strain of maturity in contemporary American film, marking the end of a creatively ossified era and the beginning of a bold new one. By the time the term achieved wide English language usage in the 1960s, however, it had come to mean dark Hollywood films of the past films whose era and style were no...

Film Stock

In 1889, Eastman Kodak introduced a flexible, transparent roll film made from a plastic substance called celluloid. Kodak chemists had perfected the celluloid film that had been invented and patented in 1887 by the Reverend Hannibal Goodwin. In 1891, working under Thomas Edison (1847-1931), W. K. L. Dickson (18601935) designed the first motion picture camera, the Kinetograph, which used Kodak celluloid film stock. By 1911, Kodak was manufacturing over 80 million feet of film stock annually for...

Fine

The cinema has engaged in a dialogue with the traditional fine arts visual art, literature, music, theater, and architecture from its inception to the present. The relationships between cinema, the ''seventh art,'' to the other arts is indeed vast and complex. Film's ability to build convincing worlds with spatial depth recalls the functions of architecture, while music lends film its power to arouse abstract emotions that neither words nor images can fully express. The movies' emphasis on the...

Finland

During its heyday between 1930s and 1950s, domestic film production in Finland developed into a miniature image of the Hollywood film industry, yet with certain national characteristics based on the country's historical and political situation. Thus, for instance, due to Russian repression while Finland still was a Grand Duchy under the rule of Czarist Russia, film production was initially regarded as a national project aimed at reinforcing the identity of the Finnish people on the one hand,...

France

Since World War I, French cinema has defined itself through its ambivalent relations with Hollywood cinema. Although French cinema was the dominant force in the international market until World War I, its influence extending as far as Australia, in the decades that followed the industry struggled to maintain its hold on French audiences. French stars, valued for their independence and their ability to represent Frenchness globally, have played an important role in this crusade. Though many...

Fritz Lang b Vienna Austria December d August

Considered one of the greatest directors of the classical German and Hollywood cinemas, Fritz Lang was equally at home in large-scale studio epics and dark, brooding melodramas. Throughout his career he was known for his intense visual style, which wed expressionist lighting techniques with highly geometric compositions to articulate a fatalistic, entrapping world. After beginning as a scriptwriter in 1917, Lang attained a huge commercial success directing Die Spinnen (The Spiders) in 1920....

From Musicals To Music Videos

Studios' early experiments with sound tended to imitate Broadway or Prologs, vaudeville shows at motion picture palaces. Among the featured dance acts were precision tap lines, ethnic (called character) dances, adagio or exhibition ballroom work, and such eccentric work as rag doll dances. Examples of all four can be seen in The King of Jazz (1930), the finale of which features successive episodes of ethnic dancers representing immigrants as they march into an onscreen melting pot. As Hollywood...

From The Depression To The Postwar

With the advent of the Great Depression in 1929, Hollywood companies cut back on expensive productions and road shows. These practices were revived in the early 1930s, establishing a cross-generic trend toward what Tino Balio calls ''prestige pictures'' (pp. 179-211). However, although many prestige pictures were top-of-the-range costume films of one kind or another (adaptations of classic literature, biopics, swashbucklers, and the like), very few were made and road shown on the scale of the...

From The s To The Present

If the 1970s saw the critical estimation of British cinema at a low ebb, then the tide rose very quickly at the beginning of the 1980s. The breakthrough commercial success for British cinema was Hugh Hudson's Chariots of Fire (1981), which follows the stories of two British athletes, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), at the Paris Olympics in 1924. The film's Academy Award for Best Picture, followed by a win for Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982), suggested a...

Functions Of Dialogue In Narrative Film

Often, incidental dialogue works in movies to create a realistic flavor, to represent the everyday exchanges people have while ordering food or buying a newspaper. But dialogue also serves important functions within a film's story. Those who seek to minimize the value of dialogue have underestimated how much it contributes to every aspect of narrative film. Prescriptive rules might be better replaced by careful description and analysis of dialogue's typical functions. 1) The identification of...

Further Reading

Citizen Sarris, American Film Critic. Lanham, MD Scarecrow Press, 2001. Sarris, Andrew. The American Cinema, Directors and Directions, 1929 1968. Revised ed. Cambridge, MA Da Capo Press, 1996. -. Confessions of a Cultist On the Cinema, 1955 1969. New York Simon & Schuster, 1970. -. The Primal Screen Essays on Film and Related Subjects. New York Simon & Schuster, 1973. comp. Interviews with Film Directors. Indianapolis, Barthes, Christian Metz, and Jacques Lacan became...

Gender

Traditionally, the term gender refers to the grammatical categories of masculine, feminine, and neuter, but in recent usage it refers more widely to sex-based social categories. Social scientists and anthropologists commonly distinguish gender, which is applied to social and cultural categories, from sex, which is reserved for biological categories. The distinction between sex and gender is underpinned by theories in the life and social sciences about the respective roles of nature and culture...

Gender And Film

Feminist arguments against the concept of biologically determined gender identity began with the assertion by Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) that women are not born but made. The sex-gender paradigm was taken up widely in the 1970s and 1980s in feminist arguments for rights denied to women and girls on spurious biological grounds. The emphasis of feminist analysis was thus skewed toward deconstructions of gender, while sex itself remained relatively unexamined. Some feminist positions took...

Gender And Race

Among their conventions, genre movies feature standard ways of representing gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Into the 1980s, genres and genre movies remained almost exclusively the cultural property of a white male consciousness, the center from which any difference regarding race, gender, and sexuality was defined and marginalized. In all the action genres, it was white men who performed heroic deeds and drove the narrative. In every type of action film, women and visible minorities assumed...

Gender On The Screen

The absence of the physical body of the actor, and indeed, the relative unimportance of the spectator's own body, in the experience of film viewing should make cinema the perfect medium for the performance of diverse and free-floating gender identities, but the converse is more generally the case the extent to which images of men and women are conventionalized in the cinema demonstrates the power of gender norms. Nevertheless, the history of cinematic representations of gender is characterized...

Genre

It is in part through their treatment of landscape that heritage films as a group begin to display what might be viewed as generic characteristics. John Hill suggests that the heritage film typically focuses on the relationships among a group of characters rather than on the destiny of a single character and has a slow pace, a preference for dialogue over action, and an approach to mise-en-sceene that exceeds motivations found in the narrative or that does not necessarily express characters'...

George A Romero b New York New York February

A key figure in the new wave of horror films in the 1960s and 1970s, George A. Romero brought an entirely new sensibility to the genre, drastically reinterpreting some of its classic monsters and infusing it with a political consciousness and ironic self-awareness, as well as a level of explicit gore that had been largely lacking before. His first film was Night of the Living Dead (1968), which established a new zombie mythology that has spawned an entire subgenre. Romero made industrial and...

Great Britain

Any consideration of the cinema of Great Britain raises two key problems. First is the dominance of Hollywood cinema. English is the primary language of British cinema and, of course, of Hollywood. Britain's decline in the twentieth century has been matched by the rise of the United States as an economic power. As a key American export, Hollywood film served as a considerable influence on and a hindrance to the development of cinema in Great Britain. The absence of any language barrier made the...

Guilds And Unions

Labor unions and guilds have been organized in film industries in many countries. Typically, these organizations have focused on specific types of workers, such as actors, directors, and technical workers for example, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, TV and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB), and the Australian Theatrical & Amusement Employees' Association (ATAEA). In the early history of film, workers often were organized by trade unions from related...

Historical Films

Beginning in 1915 with The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith (1875-1948), the historical film has been one of the most celebrated forms of cinematic expression as well as one of the most controversial. As a genre, it has maintained a high degree of cultural prominence for nearly a century, and it has established itself as a major form in nearly every nation that produces films. But it has also consistently provoked controversy and widespread public debate about the meaning of the...

History

One of the first filmmakers associated with fantasy film was the French filmmaker Georges Melies (1861-1938), who used trick photography and elaborate sets to create fantastic stories such as Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon, 1902). As longer feature films developed in the silent era, a smattering of science fiction and fantasy narratives appeared such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (1916), and The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which starred the silent film idol Douglas Fairbanks...

History Of Dialogue In American Film

The history of film dialogue starts with the silent era. Speech sometimes literally accompanied silent films some exhibitors hired lecturers to narrate silent films and local actors to speak lines for the characters. As the industry moved toward standardization, film producers found it desirable to include printed dialogue and expository intertitles. Silent film historian Barry Salt ha found dialogue intertitles as early as 1904 Eileen Bowser has recorded that from 1907 to 1915 producers...

History Of Film Festivals

The origin of film festivals can be traced to the rise of film societies and cine-clubs, which sprang up in various countries during the 1920s, often as a reaction to what many regarded as the dominance of the newly powerful Hollywood film industry over the cinemas of less well-endowed nations and over noncommercial movements devoted to such causes as documentary and avant-garde film. Such clubs and societies flourished in countries as different as France, where they fostered the emergence of...

Hollywood And The Sexual Revolution

Hollywood responded to the nation's changing sexual mores throughout the 1950s and 1960s by slowly amending and then eventually replacing the Hollywood Production Code with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Ratings System. In 1961 the Code Administration agreed to allow onscreen homosexuality, as long as it was treated with ''care, discretion, and restraint.'' What that really meant was that homosexuality could be represented, but that it should also be condemned. For example,...

Horror Films

Horror films take as their focus that which frightens us the mysterious and unknown, death and bodily violation, and loss of identity. They aim to elicit responses of fear or revulsion from their audience, whether through suggestion and the creation of mood or by graphic representation. Horror paradoxically provides pleasure, providing a controlled response of fear that is presumably cathartic. Stories of fear and the unknown are timeless, no doubt beginning around the prehistoric campfire. It...

Horror In The Studio

Hyde (1920), starring the highly regarded stage actor John Barrymore, helped legitimize the genre in Hollywood, but the genre was not clearly established until shortly after the arrival of sound when Universal Studios produced a cycle of horror films, notably Browning's Dracula, with Bela Lugosi, and James Whale's Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff, both released in 1931. Lugosi and Karloff became the great horror stars of the 1930s, attaining iconic status in American popular...

Humanistic Inquiry And Political Signification

These types of film studies held sway during the transitional period during which film became accepted as a disciplinary focus and a departmental entity within the university. Even at this time, during the 1960s and 1970s, the field was not as homogenous as this account so far implies. The question of ' 'What is cinema '' also took a turn toward the political, asking how film mattered within the larger social arena. At the same time, a wave of European critical theory exerted considerable...

Hungary

For a small country with a post-World War I population of around ten million, whose history is filled with wars, revolutions, political repression, and foreign domination, Hungary's achievement in filmmaking is extraordinarily impressive. This history itself has provided a major source of thematic material, as has Hungary's rich literary tradition. Almost from its beginnings, film has been taken seriously as an art in the country. Even in the decades from 1950 to 1990, when the film industry...

Ideology

The concept of ideology is often associated with the work of Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and Karl Marx (18181883). In general, Marxists approach cultural forms as emerging from specific historical situations that serve particular socioeconomic interests and that carry out important social functions. For Marx and Engels, the cultural ideas of an epoch serve the interests of the ruling class by providing ideologies that legitimate class domination. Ideology is a critical term used in Marxist...

Influences

Hard-boiled popular fiction gave film noir its narrative models, major themes, and verbal style. The genre is commonly associated with the detective fiction of writers like Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) and Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), which first appeared in the 1920s and provided an alternative to the then-dominant British detective fiction of writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, and Agatha Christie. The British model presumes a benign society into which crime erupts as an...

International Success

By 1963 an overall pattern had emerged under which directors were allowed considerable latitude in subject matter and style, provided they did not directly challenge the government's authority and steered clear of controversial treatment of the 1956 revolution. Although the finest films of this period were rarely box office successes within Hungary, the government promoted and supported them for the cultural prestige they earned abroad, especially at major film festivals, and also out of a...

Irwin Allen b New York New York June d November

The master of disaster started from science. Irwin Allen wrote, produced, and directed an adaptation of Rachel Carson's The Sea around Us (1952), which won an Oscar for best documentary feature. His documentary The Animal World (1956) featured prehistoric effects by master animator Ray Harryhausen. Oddly, Allen's The Story of Mankind (1957) marked the last collective appearance of the Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, and Chico respectively played Peter Minuit, Isaac Newton, and a monk). Allen...

John Carpenter b Carthage New York January

John Carpenter is known primarily for his slick action sequences, which have established him as one of Hollywood's most skillful directors of violence and suspense. Working mostly in the horror and science fiction genres, Carpenter also works on the scripts, special effects photography, and electronic music scores for his films. While a graduate student in film at the University of Southern California, Carpenter made several short films, including The Resurrection of Bronco Billy, which won an...

Legacy And Regeneration To

The end of the war and Liberation would present yet another challenge to the film industry. With Liberation came the creation of the Committee for the Liberation of Cinema and a journal, L'Ecran fran ais (French Screen), which appeared in July 1945. In the immediate postwar period, the French film industry was in crisis. Its equipment was outmoded or destroyed by the war and its personnel dispersed and demoralized. Most felt that the only solution was continuing the state regulation and support...

Lesserknown Festivals

Festivals with lower profiles, from the interestingly specialized to the obscure, abound. One film critic has estimated that New York City alone has no fewer than thirty. Iowa has the Hardacre Film Festival, North Carolina the Hi Mom Film Festival. Other festivals signal their specialties via their unusual names. Examples include the Rendezvous with Madness Film and Video Festival in Canada, organized around works about mental illness and addiction the Madcat Women's International Film Festival...

Marcel Carne b Albert Cranche Paris France August d October

Marcel Carn is a controversial figure in French cinema, for while many see in his work an outmoded classicism that was transcended by the directors of the French New Wave, others find in it evidence of the vitality of studio filmmaking in the 1930s. Carn trained as a photographer and worked in journalism before hiring on as an assistant to Ren Clair and Jacques Feyder. Carn 's first feature, Jenny (1936), starring Fran oise Rosay, marked the beginning of his long and productive collaboration...

Merzak Allouache b Algiers Algeria October

The Algerian director and writer Merzak Allouache consistently explores the displacement of exile and marginality of North Africans living in France and its former colony, Algeria. After studying at France's renowned film school, Ecole Nationale Superieure des M tiers de L'image et du Son, as well as graduating from Algeria's short-lived film school, Allouache worked in French television. His first feature film, Omar Gatlato (1976), presents in documentary style an expose of Algerian males who...

National Cinema And Genre

Although a good deal of contemporary theoretical work has questioned hegemonic concepts of the nation, and hence of the idea of national cinema, the genre approach is useful for approaching the idea of national cinema generally as well as for conceptualizing the contours of specific national cinemas. As Ella Shohat and Robert Stam point out, the movie audience is a ''provisional 'nation' forged by spectatorship'' (p. 155), and genre audiences form what Altman describes as ''constellated''...

New Understandings Of The Heritage Film

So is the heritage film merely light entertainment for export a kind of film tourism that reflects American expectations about a Britain ossified in a long Edwardian summer Does it undermine any hope of representing Britain in all its complexity and change Claire Monk argues that critics who dismiss the heritage film as ideologically suspect, boringly predictable, or merely a creature of American taste approach it too reductively. Part of the problem is indeed the capaciousness of the term...

Nonlinear Editing

Along with the breakdown of classical continuity as the industry's sole standard cutting style, the other major stylistic development in recent films has been due to the switch from linear to nonlinear editing systems. This changeover has helped produce an increase in the cutting rate of contemporary film and a bias in favor of close-ups. Edit points occur more rapidly than in films of previous decades, with a much greater profusion of shot changes. Moulin Rouge (2001) exemplifies the...

Organization

Gangster films have been categorized and theorized in many ways. Perhaps the most illuminating categories concern the different relations between gangster heroes and their organizations and between gangs and the larger society. The earliest films to emphasize the fearsome power of gangsters came from abroad. In Fantomas and its four sequels (France, 1913-1914), Louis Feuillade (18731925) presented the gangster as a master of disguise capable of thwarting the police at every turn, a pattern...

Overview

Film noir indicates a darker perspective upon life than was standard in classical Hollywood films and concentrates upon human depravity, failure, and despair. The term also implies a cinematic style a way of lighting, of positioning and moving the camera, of using retrospective voice-over narration. Its narrative often relies heavily on flashbacks and choice of setting usually a seedy, urban landscape, a world gone wrong. Film noir has stylistic and thematic antecedents in American hard-boiled...

Pornography Market

The same electronic distribution systems that created new ancillary markets for feature films also created new distribution channels for pornography. Once a clandestine industry operating on the fringes of society, the pornography market has now gone mainstream. The VCR enabled adult entertainment to enter the home during the 1980s. Today, adult films can be purchased or rented from local video and music stores and major chains, they can be ordered at home and in the finest hotels on cable TV...

Poststructuralism And The Politics Of Representation

Reacting against existential and Hegelian Marxism and the ultra-left political groups influenced by it, Louis Althusser (1918-1990) and a school of structural Marxists developed more ''scientific forms'' of Marxism and ideology while maintaining their commitment to revolutionary politics. A member of the French Communist Party, Althusser argued in For Marx (1970) that Marxism provided scientific perspectives on capitalism that made possible a revolutionary transition to socialism. In Reading...

Postwar Cinema

Apart from the control executed through the much-resented amusement tax, another means of state interference in the film industry was the grants and awards that were introduced during the latter half of the 1940s. After the establishment of the Finnish Film Foundation in 1969, the state also became a significant part in the production process indeed, a prerequisite for the existence of a film industry in the country. But far from gaining control as in ''totalitarian state propaganda,'' the...

Postwar Film

The successes of the wartime cinema suggested that the cinema of Great Britain had reached a new level of maturity and was poised to flourish and possibly escape from the shadow of Hollywood. There were some notable successes, including two films adapted from Graham Greene (1904-1991) novellas. One, Brighton Rock (John Boulting, 1947), starred a young Richard Attenborough (b. 1923) as Pinky Brown, the teenaged leader of a gang of Brighton thugs. The second, The Third Man (1949), directed by...

Postwar Poetics

In the immediate postwar period, the most important exhibition space for experimental films were the cin clubs, organizations of film fans who would rent and discuss offbeat films. The first flowering of cin clubs occurred in France in the 1920s, as venues for the impressionist work of such avant-gardists as Germaine Dulac (1882-1942) and Jean Epstein (1897-1953). Luis Buiiuel made Un Chien Andalou (1929) in collaboration with the painter Salvador Dali. Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, Oskar...

Quotas Quota Quickies And Sound

Responding to growing concerns over the increasing American dominance of the domestic market for films in Britain, Parliament in 1927 passed the Cinematograph Films Act, the first government intervention aimed at protecting the British film industry. The passage of this legislation was linked to the development of a growing cinema culture in Great Britain, which was also expressed through the founding of The Film Society in London in 1925 and the growing critical attention paid to film in the...

Resistant And Consumerist Fandom

Fandom is, in part, about acquiring and displaying forms of expertise. Rather like scholarly ''readings'' of films, fandom's favored mode of interpretation involves very close examination wherein films and their surrounding secondary texts are scrutinized for every detail and nuance. This interpretive practice is very much opposed to ''casual'' film viewing, which is assumed by fans to constitute a less knowledgeable and less discriminating type of viewing characteristic of those who operate...

Scotland And Wales

While earlier efforts such as those of the New Wave in the 1960s had moved their focus beyond London and the Home Counties, the regionalism on offer extended north to cities such as Nottingham but still remained predominantly English in nature. With the emergence of alternative funding bodies such as Channel Four, and more recently the National Lottery, a greater awareness of regionalism has become necessary for any understanding of British cinema. It is nearly impossible today to conceive of...

Silent Cinema

The invention of the cinema was credited to Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis Lumiere (1864-1948), two brothers, who organized what is widely believed to be the first film screening on 28 December 1895, at the Grand Cafe in Paris, using the Lumi re brothers' Cinematograph, which was both camera and projector. Though the American inventor Thomas Edison (18471931) had created film stock itself as early as 1889, it was the Lumie re brothers who invented cinema as a mass entertainment event in which...

Since

The year 1945, unlike 1918, brought total defeat and occupation zones, permanent loss of territory and resources, floods of refugees, and a burden of historical guilt that still shapes German society today. The French, British, and Russian allies governed the country in increasingly uneasy cooperation until 1949, when two German states emerged, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the Western zones and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the Eastern, Soviet zone. With the building of...

Specialized Programming

While the exhibition business has always depended on attracting a core of regular or habitual moviegoers, exhibitors have also been quick to exploit specialized screening and programming occasions, often directed toward a more niche audience. For example, Saturday matinee screenings specifically designed to attract children were initially promoted by progressive civic organizations in the 1910s, but soon evolved into a profitable staple for many film exhibitors. The 1930s saw an increased...