After Tv

Although the nature of radio changed dramatically once TV came onto the scene, some studios did maintain a persistent presence in radio ownership and production. Warner Bros., Paramount, RKO, and MGM all owned radio stations, and also got in on television station ownership early. MGM went into syndicated radio program production and distribution in the late 1940s, with such programs as The MGM Theater of the Air and Maisie. Just as film companies diversified into television, they also began to...

The Use Of Popular Song

The rise of the popular song precipitated the most fundamental and lasting changes to the Hollywood film score. Popular music had been used in film accompaniment from the beginning by the 1920s studios began promoting songs written expressly for their films, known as theme songs, through sheet music and record sales. Popular songs appeared in sound film, too. Sometimes they were performed on-screen, as by Dooley Wilson, singing ''As Time Goes By,'' in Casablanca (1942), and sometimes they were...

Cinema And The Unconscious

Unfortunately, few filmmakers have actively taken up the possibilities that an understanding of psychoanalysis affords the cinema. Much of this is due, undoubtedly, to the place that film production occupies within a capitalist economy the exigencies of profit place a premium on films that will appease rather than traumatize spectators. If Hollywood films open themselves to the trauma of the unconscious, they most often close this opening through their denouements. As a result, most commercial...

Luis Valdez b Delano California June

Writer-director Luis Valdez has often been described as the father of Chicano theater and cinema he also is notable for creating bridges between these creative worlds and Hollywood cinema. The son of migrant farm workers in California, Valdez began his creative career as a playwright while a student at San Jose State University in the early 1960s. When a boycott of California grapes in support of Mexican-American farm workers began in 1965, he returned to his childhood home to participate in...

Toshiro Mifune b Qingdao China April d December

If Akira Kurosawa is generally credited with introducing Japanese cinema to the West with his Rashomon in 1951, perhaps Toshiro Mifune should be credited with making it welcome. He was to the Japanese cinema what Marlon Brando was to Hollywood in the postwar era, a dynamic force to be reckoned with, and it is perhaps this resemblance to Brando in spirit and dynamism that enabled films like Rashomon and Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai, 1954) to win popular acclaim and Academy Awards . Mifune...

Independence In Early And Silent American Cinema

So far as most American film histories and the US Patent Office are concerned, movies in the United States began with Thomas Edison (1847-1931). First there were the patents on the Edison Kinetograph (the photographic apparatus that produced the pictures) and the Kinetoscope (the ''peep show'' viewing machine that exhibited them) in 1891. And then there was the first public demonstration of the Edison motion picture apparatus at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in May 1893, the place...

The Meese Commission And The Sex Warsdiscourses On Pornography

In 1970, under President Nixon, a commission on pornography had determined that pornography, unlike violence, had no measurable ill effects. Beginning in 1986, during President Reagan's last two years of office and into the first Bush administration, the Commission on Pornography, headed by Attorney General Edwin Meese, made significant strides in prosecuting and demonizing pornography. Ostensibly, new laws and an Obscenity Task Force were aimed at child pornography, but the elaborate new...

Postmodernism And Film

Before addressing the postmodern features of individual films by far the more common approach to the post modern in film that scholars have employed one should take note of the postmodern nature of technology and distribution in the film industry today. In Hollywood's golden age, a typical film was shot on 35mm celluloid by one of a handful of studios. The cast and crew were under contract to that studio. When the film was finished, prints were copied and sent out to cinemas, which then...

Music In Silent Film

Film music was largely live in the silent cinema but its practice was specific to the various cultures and nations where it was heard. In the United States phonograph recordings were sometimes used in early film exhibition in Japan the tradition of live narration extended throughout the silent period. The notion of pairing film and music had a number of antecedents, among them the nineteenth-century stage melodrama. The conventional explanation for the use of music in silent film is functional...

Josef Von Sternberg b Jonas Sternberg Vienna Austria May d December

Born in Vienna, raised and educated in both Austria and the United States, Josef von Sternberg was one of several contract directors who brought a distinctly European inflection to Paramount's house style. In Sternberg's case the accent was notably Germanic. He fashioned a unique Hollywood expressionism, with its play of light and shadow, sensuous images and exotic production design, sexual symbology and frank eroticism. Sternberg's best films all made for Paramount between 1930 and 1935 often...

Former Southeast Asian Colonies

As a former colony of France the country often credited with the invention of cinema Vietnam was host to film screenings early in cinema history even in 1898, screenings occurred regularly in metropolitan areas. By the 1920s, major Vietnamese cities had movie theaters showing foreign-produced films, among them films featuring Vietnamese actors and or locales. A handful of feature films and documentaries were made by Vietnamese producers in the period immediately prior to the Japanese occupation...

The Global Impact Of The French New Wave

The impact of the nouvelle vague was such that its films were seen very widely. This undoubtedly had important effects on and implications for young filmmakers in many parts of the world. The widespread distribution and enthusiastic reception of the films helped to create conditions in which innovative work in other countries could be made, seen, and discussed. Compared to the 1950s, there was a veritable explosion of films that rejected old subjects and, usually, old forms as well certainly...

Native Americans In Movies

Despite the fact that a diversity of indigenous peoples had a legal and historical significance in the formation of every new country founded in the western hemisphere, in the United States and Canada the term Indians became a hegemonic designation implying that they were all the same in regards to culture, behavior, language, and social organization. The view of Indians as savage and uncivilized was repeated in early films and crystallized the image of Indians as dangerous and unacceptable to...

Sergei Prokofiev b Sontsovka Ukraine Russia April d Moscow USSR now Russia March

It is sometimes described as one of the greatest film scores ever written it is often described as one of the worst soundtracks ever recorded. The score for Alexander Nevsky (1938), one of three films that the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev scored for the legendary director Sergei Eisenstein, is to this day one of cinema's most striking and memorable film scores. Like many international film composers, Prokofiev, born in Ukraine but raised in St. Petersburg, had an established reputation in...

Cesare Zavattini b Luzzara Italy September d October

Italian journalist and writer of screenplays for Italian neorealist cinema, Cesare Zavattini is known especially for his collaborations with director Vittorio De Sica. After completing a law degree at the University of Parma, Zavattini wrote two successful novels Parliamo tanto di me (Let's Talk A Lot About Me, 1931) and Il poveri sono matti (The Poor Are Crazy, 1937) before writing the script for Mario Camerini's classic social satire, Daro un milione (I'll Give a Million, 1935), starring...

Postwar Neorealism A Brief Decade

With the fall of Mussolini and the end of the war, international audiences were suddenly introduced to Italian films through a few great works by Rossellini, De Sica, and Luchino Visconti that appeared in less than a decade after 1945, such as Rossellini's Roma, citta aperta (Rome, Open City, 1945) and Paisa (Paisan, 1946) De Sica's Sciuscia (Shoeshine, 1946), Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves, 1948), and Umberto D. (1952) and Visconti's La Terra trema (The Earth Trembles, 1948). Italian...

George Lucas b George Walton Lucas Jr Modesto California

Early in his life, George Lucas was interested in car racing however, a serious accident changed his plans. He studied film at the University of Southern California film school, where he made several student films, including the prize-winning THX-1138 4EB (1967). In 1969, Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola formed American Zoetrope, which produced the full-length version of THX 1138 (1971). Lucas went on to form his own company, Lucasfilm Ltd., and in 1973 released American Graffiti (written and...

Movie Indians

The popular use of the term the American West'' by early historians was a natural segue for what became the western film genre identified by film historians. Classic westerns in the 1930s and 1940s featured recognizable plots in which tension and ambiguity are expressed by white settlers as they came into contact with the wilderness and Indians who were portrayed as uncivilized and violent. John Ford (1894-1973), the master European American filmmaker who began making movies during the silent...

The Rise Of The Film Musical

In the United States the film musical, with its combination of song and dance numbers woven into a narrative context, evolved from the non-narrative entertainment forms of minstrelsy, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, British music hall, and musical theater. Many of the composers of musicals wrote popular tunes for sheet music published by the numerous music companies located on the block of 29th Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue in New York City, commonly known as Tin Pan Alley. Minstrel...

Brief History

Before the development of motion picture technology, photographic pornography was available all over the world through the distribution of nude photographs. In the late nineteenth century, Eadweard Muybridge's (1830-1904) motion studies, in the form of a series of stop-motion photographs accompanied by a lecture, were some of the first experiments in pornographic representations although these motion studies were distinctly soft core as they simulated sexual relations and showed no close-ups or...

Jack P Pierce b Janus Piccoulas Greece May d July

Pierce (also known as Jack Pearce or Jack Piccolo) invented the iconic images of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Werewolf, the Mummy, and the Invisible Man during his twenty-one years at Universal Studios. Pierce emigrated to the United States, hoping to be a baseball player, but instead he found itinerant jobs as a nickelodeon manager, cameraman, actor, and stuntman. He entered the world of film makeup in 1910, working for various independent companies until the early 1920s, when he went to...

Reception Studies And Classical Film Theory

Reception theory is grounded in history, rather than philosophy, and as a result it is primarily concerned with uncovering how actual spectators interact with films. This is unlike many other major film theories, which posit an idealized, ahistorical spectator who passively absorbs meanings and messages embedded in the filmic text. Most of the classical film theories developed in the 1960s and 1970s, including structuralist, auteurist, formalist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic theories, argue that...

B Li Xiaolong San Francisco California November d July

Bruce Lee is to the martial arts film what Charlie Chaplin is to the silent comedy, what James Dean is to the teen film, and what John Wayne is to the Western, with something of all of them in his timeless screen persona. Decades after his death he remains an icon of international screen culture, still invoked in films the world over. Lee's family moved to Hong Kong from San Francisco after World War II, and Bruce became a child star in the low-budget Cantonese cinema. Legend has it that he...

Rko Radio Pictures

The history of RKO aka Radio-Keith-Orpheum, aka RKO Radio Pictures is utterly unique among the Hollywood studios, particularly the Big Five integrated majors. It was the last of the major studios to be created and the first and only studio to expire, with its corporate lifespan bracketed and defined by two epochal events, the coming of sound and the coming of television events that circumscribed not only RKO's history but classical Hollywood's as well. Moreover, because it was created in...

Optical Toys

Many nineteenth-century optical toys delighted spectators by creating the illusion of motion from static images. This illusion depends on the exploitation of the optical phenomenon known as persistence of vision, a characteristic of human perception first theorized by the English physician Peter Mark Roget 1779-1869 in 1824. Roget explained that the eye and brain retain an image on the retina for a fraction of a second after the image has been removed from the field of vision. Hence when a...

Filmmakers And Miseenscene

Mise-en-sc ne has preoccupied filmmakers in several countries and periods. German expressionism developed immediately following World War I. In painting, writing, and filmmaking, expressionism was a mise-en-sce ne cinema, expressing the psychological turmoil of the characters in terms of the space inhabited by its characters. Major representatives of German expressionism in film include Robert Wiene's Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920 and F. W. Murnau's...

Enrique Soto Izquierdo Imcine

Mora, Sergio de la. ''A Career in Perspective An Interview with Arturo Ripstein.'' Film Quarterly 52, no. 4. 1999 2-11. Reyes Nevares, Beatriz. The Mexican Cinema Interviews with Thirteen Directors. Translated by Elizabeth Gard and Carl J. Mora. Albuquerque University of New Mexico Press, 1976. Tsao, Leonardo Garcia. ''One Generation Four Filmmakers Cazals, Hermosillo, Leduc, and Ripstein.'' In Mexican Cinema, edited by Paulo Antonio Paranagu , translated by Ana Lopez, 209-223. London British...

Alain Resnais b Vannes France June

An amateur 8mm filmmaker in his teens, Resnais studied briefly at film school and in the 1940s worked as a cameraman and editor. His first 35mm short film, Van Gogh 1948 , was followed by other films about art Guernica 1950 , Gauguin 1951 , and Les Statues meurent aussi Statues Also Die, co-directed with Chris Marker, 1953 . Resnais, usually his own editor, edited Agnes Varda's 1954 innovative medium-length first feature La Pointe-courte, often considered a forerunner of the French nouvelle...

Arne Sucksdorff b Stockholm Sweden February d

Arne Sucksdorff was Sweden's leading documentary filmmaker. His career began with studies in the natural sciences and painting, but he devoted himself as a young man to photography and film. His first short film, Rhapsody in August Augustirapsodi, 1939 , completed when he was only twenty-two years old, led to a contract with Svensk Filmindustri, then Sweden's leading studio. Throughout the 1940s, Sucksdorff examined Swedish wildlife in short films produced for the studio, including En...

Queer Theory

Originating in the early 1990s, queer theory comprises a diverse body of intellectual inquiry. It takes as its premise the notion that specific psychological, political, and cultural codes have elevated heterosexuality to the status of a sexual given. By revealing these codes and exposing their limitations, along with the unstable foundations upon which they operate and sustain their power, queer theory aims to undo the heterosexual norm, and to extend the power of cultural presence and voice...

European Cinema Before And After World War Ii

Other manifestations of a Marxist cinema in Europe include the work of the Spanish director Luis Bunuel 1900-1983 . His early films Un Chien Andalou An Andalusian Dog, 1929 and L'Age d'or The Golden Age, 1930 , made in collaboration with the surrealist painter Salvador Dali 1904-1989 , combined a Marxist slap at the bourgeoisie with surrealism's contempt for all social norms. Deeply affected by European fascism, Bunuel, throughout his long career, continued to lambaste bourgeois society with...

Further Reading

The Parables ofLina Wertmuller. New York Paulist Press, 1977. Wertmuller, Lina. The Head ofAlvise. London and New York William Morrow, 1982. -The Screenplays ofLina Wertmuller. Translated by Steven Wagner. Introduction by John Simon. New York in order to obtain sexual fulfillment. Another excellent example of commedia all'italiana was Bread and Chocolate 1973 by Franco Brusati 1922-1993 , a grotesque indictment of the conditions experienced by Italian ''guest...

Challenges In Sound Era Hollywood

The intense popularity of the Latin Lover ended in the early 1930s. In this period, the transition to sound film and shifting American ideologies after the onset of the Great Depression resulted in Latino actors and actresses generally losing the chance to be promoted as stars equal to white Americans. All-American stars were favored over foreign or ethnic actors, while Latino actors suffered in relation to American scapegoating of Mexican Americans during this period of unemployment crisis....

The Commedia Allitaliana Social Satire And Cultural Criticism

Much of the Italian film industry's success during its most prosperous years was based upon the popularity of film comedies, the commedia all'italiana. These genre films were dominated by some excellent commercial directors who acquired auteur status by virtue of their comic genius Mario Monicelli b. 1915 , Luigi Comencini b. 1916 , Dino Risi b. 1916 , Ettore Scola b. 1931 , and Wertmuller. Furthermore, these directors enjoyed the collaboration of great scriptwriters, such as Age Agenore...

The Cinema Of Moral Concern And The Fall Of Communism

Increased social unrest following the deposition of Gierek in September 1980 led to the imposition of martial law under General Wojciech Jaruzelski in October 1981 and the subsequent arrest of Solidarity leaders, including Lech Walesa. The country's grave economic problems, including food shortages, remained unresolved. Enthusiasm for the election of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla as pope in 1978 followed by his visits to his native country in 1979 and 1983 also helped to undermine the legitimacy of...

Lighting Technology And Film Style

There has always been a reciprocal relationship between technology and film style. The development of different types of lighting equipment and the introduction of new film stocks have both expanded the range of lighting methods and effects available to the cinematographer. Many types of lighting units were first developed for nonfilmic uses, such as street lighting or searchlights. Only later was their potential for producing cinematic lighting effects explored. Although certain styles of film...

Art Cinema

In the 1950s Satyajit Ray's films placed regional Bengali cinema received as Indian cinema on the international map, and although other Bengali filmmakers, such as Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, shared some of the national attention, Ray's international status gave him undisputed standing as the master of this cinema. The three films of Ray's Apu trilogy Pather Panchali Song of the Little Road, 1955 , Aparajito The Unvanquished, 1957 , and Apur Sansar The World of Apu, 1959 derive their strength...

Classical Realism

The rise of this more realist cinema owes to a great many factors and influences, but it is clearly tied to the increasingly industrial base of the cinema that built upon narrative traits from the nineteenth-century novel and the well-made theatrical play. Narrative unity was built around character psychology within a rational world where events were relatively plausible, even in genres such as the adventure film. The realism of classical realist cinema was a product of numerous cultural and...

Latinos And Cinema

Latinos Hispanics are people with ancestry in Latin-American countries or the US Southwest, which was part of Mexico prior to 1848. The term Hispanic, which has been used by the US government since the 1970s, includes people whose ancestry can be traced back to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries it tends to emphasize European ancestry. Because many people choose not to trace their ancestry back to Europe, or hail from Latin-American countries that are not Spanish-dominant, the term...

Parody In Classical Hollywood Film

Literature, song, and the stage all boasted a well-developed tradition of parody long before cinema was invented, so it is no surprise that as soon as recognizable film traditions had been developed, they were subject to caricature. Cecil B. DeMille's feature Carmen was released in October 1915, and by December of that same year, Charles Chaplin's Burlesque on Carmen was in theaters. Through the 1910s and 1920s, parody emerged as a staple format for comic shorts. Ben Turpin used his peculiar...

Theories Of Realism

Film critics and theorists have long given their intellectual support to the practice of realist filmmaking. For Rudolph Arnheim, writing in the early 1930s, film offered the possibility of the mechanical imitation of nature'' in which original and copy become indistinguishable in the eyes of the public. Yet it was Bazin who, a decade later, would transform the mechanical reproduction of the cinematic image into a prophecy. A prolific critic, Bazin is best known for his defense of cinematic...

Sophia Loren b Sofia Scicolone Pozzuoli Italy September

Sophia Loren transcended illegitimacy and poverty to become the most famous film star in Italy. After working for Italian pulp magazines, Loren debuted in the movies as an extra in Federico Fellini's Luci del varieta Variety Lights, 1950 and then as a slave girl in Mervyn LeRoy's Quo Vadis 1951 , shot by MGM in Rome. She first attracted serious attention in a filmed version of the Verdi opera A'ida 1953 , in which she lip-synched Renata Tebaldi's singing. Loren's busty physique made her one of...

Guy Maddin b Winnipeg Manitoba Canada February

Winnipeg Guy Maddin

Guy Maddin's films contain uncanny worlds that, at once strange and familiar, are archives of film and culture references from high to low. Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Maddin is the best-known exponent of prairie modernism,'' which developed around the Winnipeg Film Group. Aesthetically, Maddin betrays a fondness for black-and-white cinematography and a silent-film look lit from a single source. But color footage often intrudes at unlikely places, accompanied by intentionally...

Andrzej Wajda b Suwalki Poland March

Andrzej Wajda remains first among equals in a remarkable pantheon of Polish directors working since World War II, contributing more than any other director to Polish national cinema. Director of more than forty-five films and forty theater productions in Poland and worldwide, he received an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2000, characteristically and modestly accepting it as a tribute to all of Polish cinema. Wajda's early career was deeply affected by his experience of the Polish Holocaust...