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...

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...

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...

Cecil B DeMILLE b Cecil Blount de Mille Ashfield Massachussetts August d January

Cecil Blount DeMille was a major figure in Hollywood from the mid-1910s to the late 1950s. Remembered now mainly as a showman and as the producer director of a number of biblical epics, he was in fact a versatile innovator who made important films of all kinds throughout his career. DeMille's parents were involved in the theater. When his father died, he worked as actor and general manager for his mother's theatrical company and also produced and wrote plays with his brother, William. In 1913,...

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,...

Cinema In Flux To

By the early 1970s, the effects of the New Wave and of May 1968 had dissipated. Certain directors, such as Truffaut, were reintegrated into the French mainstream and directed films that clearly continued the tradition of French cinema associated with figures like Guitry and Renoir. Conversely, Godard and Rivette experimented with form and content, while others, like Bresson never part of the New Wave steadfastly pursued a personal itinerary. Directors like Louis Malle pushed the boundaries of...

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...

Conrad Veidt b Potsdam Germany January d April

Conrad Veidt appeared in such classic German expressionist films as Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920), in which he played somnambulist Cesare Orlacs H nde (The Hands of Orlac, 1924) and Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague, 1926). In Caligari, Veidt's androgynous sleepwalker elicits fear and dread from everyone else in the film while being both the instrument and victim of Dr. Caligari (Emil Jannings). Some have seen Veidt as a forerunner of later movie...

Critical Debates

For the film scholar Siegfried Kracauer, German expressionist cinema was both a harbinger and a cause of the rise of fascism in Germany. The films' avoidance of the real world, both visually in the use of stylized studio sets, and narratively in the frequent appearance of monstrous figures like Caligari and Nosferatu who command the will of others, was symptomatic of the German people's turning away from political responsibility and an explanation of their embrace of Hitler. There has been more...

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...

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 As Film

The few extant examples of collaborations between film and dance from the early twentieth century come from the French avant-garde and include films made in Paris by Loie Fuller, considered a forerunner of modern dance and who was also a pioneer in the use of lighting design. French experimental filmmakers considered ballet to be a partner of animation, as in Fernand L ger's Ballet m canique (1924). The Dadaist work for Les Ballets Suedois, Rel che (1924), included Ren Clair's film Entr'acte in...

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...

Dialogue

Cinematic dialogue is oral speech between fictional characters. This distinguishes dialogue from other types of cinematic language such as voice-over narration, internal monologue, or documentary interviews, which have different characteristics. Since the birth of the cinema, it has been said that ''film is a visual medium.'' Supposedly, films must tell their stories visually editing, deep focus, lighting, camera movement, and nifty special effects are what really count. Dialogue, on the other...

Diasporic Formations In Cinema

The dislocating effects of globalization, migrating cultures, and postcoloniality form the subtext of diasporic cinema. Thus this category of film is neither linguistically nor culturally monolithic. A number of scholars have discussed diasporic and exilic films as an international genre or movement consistent with the world today. Hamid Naficy outlines vital and nuanced distinctions between diasporic, exilic, and postcolonial ethnic and identity'' filmmakers, who collectively comprise accented...

Disaster Films

Naturally, the disaster film began by accident. When Georges Melies (1861-1938) jammed his camera and a bus inexplicably turned into a hearse, the accidental merging of two documentary images created the spectacle of disaster. That begat films such as Collision and Shipwreck at Sea (1898). Ever since, audiences have relished the vicarious terror and awesome spectacle of films where comfort turns into catastrophe. The disaster film is defined less by conventions and imagery than by its plot...

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

Emerging at the tail end of the nineteenth century, cinema owed its existence as a technological invention to key developments in motion study and optics, and, as a visual novelty to traditions of screened entertainment. The medium would soon shed its affiliation with science when its potential for widespread commercial success became more apparent, facilitating its entry into the mainstream of twentieth-century popular culture. Even so, cinema's earliest years were marked by a variety of...

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...

Early Years

In early 1895 Ottomar AnschUtz (1846-1907) had paying audiences for his Tachyscope, an optical device capable of producing movement in single pictures, and on 1 November that year the Skladanowsky brothers projected what was arguably the first film show as public entertainment. The Skladanowskys' Bioskop projector was not, however, technically equal to that of the French Lumi re brothers (Auguste 1862-1954 and Louis 1864-1948 ), who are generally credited with the first authentic film show on...

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...

Edwin S Porter b Connellsville Pennsylvania April SG d New York G April

Often credited with popularizing the story film in the United States, Edwin S. Porter is most notable for embodying the diverse tendencies of early cinema. Commentators have referred to Porter as Janus-faced, a figure who pointed toward the medium's future at the same time that he epitomized its period-bound qualities. In particular, Porter pioneered certain aspects of narrative filmmaking, such as linear editing and intertitles, while also adhering to many of early cinema's unique traits, such...

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 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...

Fans And Fandom

Film fans and film fandom do not amount to quite the same thing one can be a fan of a particular film, genre, actor, or director, but still not participate in the social organizations, interactions, and gatherings of fandom. Being a fan is, at least in the first instance, a matter of appreciating particular films, and being affectively or emotionally invested in them. Fans are often individuals who are not in contact with other people sharing their emotional attachments to specific films or...

Far From Home

Since the 1920s American films have dominated Danish movie theaters. In the last fifteen years of the twentieth century, there has been a tendency in most European countries for Hollywood blockbusters to dominate the movie theaters (55-60 ), but the national films make up a relatively large percentage of the box office as well. In Denmark in the 1990s, 10 or 15 Danish films represented 30 percent of the box office. The losers are clearly films from other European countries, which accounted for...

Fashion Designers And Film

It was Hubert de Givenchy's (b. 1927) collaboration with Audrey Hepburn that fundamentally changed the relationship between film and fashion. In Sabrina (1954), as in Funny Face, the distinction between the costume designer and the couturier co-opted into costume design is signaled ironically within the films' Cinderella narratives. In both, Edith Head, the films' costume designer, produced the drab, ordinary clothes that Hepburn wore as the still-immature chauffeur's daughter or bookshop...

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...

Film Studies

From the outset, motion pictures have stimulated discussion and debate as a technology, a social phenomenon, a political tool, a moral danger, and an art. The earliest discussions and debates took place outside an academic context. From noted filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948), Vsevolod Pudovkin (1893-1953), and Maya Deren (1917-1961) to eclectic thinkers and social critics such as Siegfried Kracauer, John Grierson (1898-1972), and Andre Bazin, a body of knowledge began to develop...

Franois Truffaut b Franois Roland Truffaut Paris France February d October

As a director, Fran ois Truffaut incarnates the virtues and weaknesses of the French New Wave. Much of his work reflects the troubled circumstances of his early life illegitimacy, abandonment, and foster care. At age sixteen, Truffaut came under the influence of Andr Bazin, who served as a father figure and introduced him to the film society Objectif 49, a group that would become a forum for New Criticism. A noted critic from 1950, Truffaut wrote many periodical articles, including Une Certaine...

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 Noble Savage To Social Problem

Film gangsters are as old as film narrative. The Great Train Robbery (1903), with its twelve-minute story of a railroad heist marked by meticulous planning, unexpected violence, and condign punishment, would be acknowledged as the first gangster film if its gangster credentials were not overshadowed, as in similar films to come ( Jesse James, 1939 Rancho Notorious, 1952 Man of the West, 1958), by its western mise-en-sc ne. Silent gangster films, however, were less likely to follow The Great...

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...

Gangster Films

Gangster films are films about gangsters, professional criminals who have banded together to commit crimes. This much is simple, and indeed a great deal of the genre's enduring appeal lies in its bold simplicity. As Robert Warshow noted fifty years ago, gangsters act out movie audiences' most violently untrammeled fantasies of unlimited upward mobility by following the golden rule of prototypical gangster hero Tony Camonte in Scarface (1932) ''Do it first, do it yourself, and keep on doing...

Gay Lesbian And Queer Cinema

The study of gay and lesbian cinema became a growing concern in the wake of 1970s feminist film theory and the discipline's increasing attention to issues of representation of women, of racial and ethnic minorities, and eventually of gay and lesbian people. While there had been a few attempts to discuss onscreen homosexuality prior to that period (such as Parker Tyler's Screening the Sexes Homosexuality in the Movies 1972 ), the seminal text on the subject was Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet...

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

By upgrading the melodrama with art-historical references, Griffith's Broken Blossoms paved the way for the stretching of genre films from formulaic narrative to more aesthetically complex works. Whether the narrative deals with the biography of a famous artist (the biopic) or with a famous battle (the historical film), it is possible to elevate genre to the ''art'' film. As the scholar Charles Tashiro has pointed out, some historical films depend on pictorial citations as period sources,...

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...

Germany

German cinema, in its widest sense what the Germans call Filmkultur (film culture), illustrates many aspects of Germany's history, culture, commerce, and politics over more than a hundred years. Any account of world filmmaking must acknowledge the range of the German cinema's technical and aesthetic innovation, its difficult yet fascinating evolution, and the influence of its leading figures and works. Today it operates in a mediascape extending to European and global perspectives, and...

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,...

Hong Kong

Hong Kong cinema is shaped by two major factors geographical location and politics. As a major port and trading center, Hong Kong was the first Chinese city exposed to the invention of cinema. During the ''Chinese war against Japanese aggression'' (World War II), due to its geographical marginality from China, Hong Kong became the wartime filmmaking capital. Hong Kong's British colonial status also protected it from the subsequent Chinese civil war and the eventual takeover of mainland China by...

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...

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...

Jeanne Moreau b Jeanne Moreau Paris France January

As a star, a woman, and a national figure, Jeanne Moreau exemplifies the ideal of the French film actress in the post-New Wave era. Though overshadowed in the popular press by such stars as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, both of whom served as the model for Marianne, the official statue that represents France, Moreau, through her image as well as her position in the French film industry, embodied French femininity for a generation of film lovers. She personified the intelligent actress...

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...

Lars Von Triers Kingdom

Outside of all these trends stood the young Lars von Trier (b. 1956), who introduced his own personal style and original universe with the trilogy The Element of Crime (1984), Epidemic (1987), and Europa (Zentropa, 1991), which presented a flamboyant look in a postmodern style, influenced by Dreyer and Andrei Tarkovsky, of an apocalyptic Europe in the past, present, and future. Trier is also the main reason, though not the only one, that Denmark won a new position in world cinema since the...

Leading Festivals New York Cannes Toronto

Festivals vary in how they choose their films and what types they show, in the degree of geographical diversity they seek, in their willingness to give prizes, and in many other respects. The New York Film Festival presents films chosen by a five-member selection committee two permanent members who are full-time employees of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and three rotating members (film critics or scholars) who serve terms of three to five years. The event has broadened its scope over the...

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...

Marxist Approaches To Culture And Ideology

Many later Western Marxists developed these ideas, although they have tended to ascribe more autonomy and importance to culture than classical Marxism did. Within the Marxian tradition, a more positive concept of ideology, developed by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), sees socialist ideology as a positive force for developing revolutionary consciousness and promoting socialist development (Lenin, 1987). For the Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), the ruling intellectual and...

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''...

National Cinemas

Through the traditions of national cinemas, cultures represent themselves to audiences both at home and abroad. Hence the function played by the arts in the development of national cinemas is most significant. Before and after World War I, the various national film industries in Europe distinguished themselves through allusions to domestic aesthetic traditions. In Italy, for example, Giovanni Pastrone's epic Cabiria (1914) draws on the grand tradition of Italian opera, complete with monumental...

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...

Nicholas Brothers Fayard Nicholas b Mobile Alabama October d January Harold Nicholas b Winston Salem North Carolina

The extraordinary acrobatic dancing of the Nicholas Brothers enlivened musical films in the 1940s, and offscreen they were also considered one of the best tandem tap teams of the century with major careers in musical theater. The children of pit orchestra musicians, they were influenced by the up-tempo early jazz of Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson. Both were coached by performers on the black vaudeville circuit who appeared at their parents' theater in Philadelphia. They adopted the...

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...

Nontheatrical Exhibition

From the late nineteenth century's traveling moving picture shows to the late twentieth century's home theaters, films have been screened outside of movie theaters in a host of non-theatrical sites. Highly visible traveling exhibitors like Lyman H. Howe (1856-1923) had great success in this market between 1900 and 1915, offering ambitious film programs that involved elaborate sound effects. (In Europe, traveling moving picture shows were extremely common at fairgrounds.) As automobiles and...

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...

Popular Cinema For A Small Nation

Already in 1923 the Danish engineers Axel Petersen and Arnold Poulsen had presented their sound system. Nordisk went into liquidation in 1928 but was re-established in 1929 with the new sound system. The first feature film with Danish dialogue was Prasten i Vejlby (The Vicar of Vejlby, 1931), based on a literary classic and directed by George Schneevoigt. In the 1930s, Denmark, too, was marked by depression and unemployment, but perhaps for that reason the dominating film genre was the jovial...

Postcommunist Blues To The Present

The end of Communist rule from 1989 onward also meant the end of government subsidy and control of the film industry. Directors could no longer rely on adequate financial support, entailing no pressure to be commercially successful as long as their work had artistic merit. Moreover, their oppositional subject matter, whether direct or oblique, no longer had much relevance in a newly democratic system. The move toward privatization of the film industry was confusing and erratic, complicated by a...