The Scientific Method Structuralism

Structuralism is, broadly defined, an approach to human activity that sees it as analyzable in terms of networks of relationships objects derive meaning from their positions in these relationships. Structural analysis attempts to equalize all texts (and forms of texts) by reducing them to the same underlying universal system. This system was articulated through the vocabulary of classical structural linguistics. The linguistic terminology found in Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General...

Francis Ford Coppola b Detroit Michigan April

Francis Ford Coppola is an independent whose career has undergone wide fluctuations both in critical and popular reception and in financial resources. A major figure of the so-called movie brat'' generation, he emerged in the 1960s among the wave of filmmakers who had studied film formally before making them. Known primarily for The Godfather trilogy The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), and The Godfather Part III (1990) Coppola's greatest achievement in film may be his Vietnam...

Ingmar Bergman b Ernst Ingmar Bergman Uppsala Sweden July

Bergman was the only Swedish film director of the post-war period to achieve international renown in his homeland he was equally celebrated for his groundbreaking theater productions. The son of a prominent Lutheran minister, he studied briefly at the University of Stockholm but soon turned his attention to writing and directing plays. In 1943 he was recruited as a scriptwriter for Svensk filmindustri and gradually assigned more responsibility, directing his own screenplay for the first time in...

Film Industries And Cultures Of The Axis Nations

The Nazis took control of the German government in 1933. After their defeat in World War I and years of economic depression, Germans were vulnerable to Hitler's rhetoric of nationalism and racial purity, which blamed Communists and Jews for Germany's social and economic problems. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda, was keenly interested in cinema. He oversaw the nationalization of the film industry, achieved over the next decade by acquiring controlling interests of German...

B Ruth Elizabeth Davis Lowell Massachusetts April d October

Bette Davis's eighteen-year stint with Warner Bros. (1931-1949) was remarkable for several reasons. As the only top female star at a studio with a predominantly male ethos, she effectively countered the films of James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Errol Flynn, and Humphrey Bogart in a steady output of quality woman's pictures.'' Davis lacked the physical beauty and sexual allure that were deemed essential for Hollywood stardom, relying instead on her acting skills and her work ethic (she appeared...

Classification Of Shots

As a term like composite shot'' indicates, shots are classified and described or named according to a number of variables. These include camera position, camera movement, camera lenses, the actors involved, and editing. The most commonly used designations are those supplied by camera position close-up (CU), medium shot (MS), and long shot (LS). A close-up typically shows one object, very commonly the human face. It isolates that object from its surroundings and, by doing so, concentrates the...

The Classical American Screenplay

The acknowledgment of the art and craft of the screenplay, happily, was apparent from the beginning of the Academy Award Oscars in 1928, which virtually coincided with the introduction of sound and dialogue in cinema. Also important from the first Oscars down to the present, the Academy has understood the importance of two distinct award categories for screenwriting Best Original Screenplay, the first award going to one of the giants of early screenwriting, Ben Hecht (18941964), for Underworld...

Genre The Womans Picture And The Female Audience

In its time, the Hollywood woman's picture was deliberately targeted at female audiences, and not just in terms of the films' female-centered subject matter and address. In fact, as Maria LaPlace contends, the textual attributes of the woman's picture draw on a wider women's culture, linking women's consumption of commodities with the commodification inherent in the star system. This, she argues, created a symbolic system in which women could try to make sense of their lives and perhaps even...

Semiology And French Cultural Theory

The theoretical model formulated by Saussure was to become especially influential amongst French cultural theorists and has inspired some of the most widely developed ideas shaping cultural products, including film. French cultural theory, especially since the late 1960s, has shaped and influenced much of the progressive research into popular culture. Perhaps the key French theorist for cultural commentators is Roland Barthes (1915-1980), who adopted Saussure's linguistic model in order to...

Digital Media

Since the 1990s video has become increasingly enmeshed with computer technologies, with a variety of repercussions on film practices. So-called digital cinema effectively combines techniques of film and video, further blurring their differences. Films can be shot on film or video and transferred to different formats for editing and distribution. Digital editing is now the dominant mode of film editing. Editing programs available for home computers have once again democratized the means of media...

Erich Pommer b Hildesheim Germany July d

Erich Pommer is one of the few internationally known German film producers, responsible for the ''golden age'' of Weimar cinema as the head of production at Ufa in its most productive period. He joined the Berlin branch of Gaumont Production Company in 1907 and by 1919 he was the sole owner of the Decla company, which produced Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920), establishing Pommer's reputation far beyond Germany's borders. While accounts differ as to...

Glasnost And The Postsoviet Situation

In May 1986 the Kremlin hosted the Fifth Congress of the Filmmakers Union, a gathering of cinema leaders and Communist Party officials. It turned into a historic event. Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991), the USSR's new leader, had declared a policy of glasnost (openness) in the arts and public media, and he launched a set of reforms to modernize the Soviet economy and democratize its political process. At the May 1986 Congress, the film community embraced the reform program and earned the strong...

B Samuel Wilder Sucha Galicia Austria Hungary June d March

Internationally acclaimed as one of Hollywood's great directors, Billy Wilder explored the dark side of postwar America. Wilder was a consummate craftsman, and worked in many styles and genres, among them film noir, social problem drama, melodrama, romantic comedy, and farce. His films challenged conventional movie taboos and were known for their acerbic wit and cynical social satire. Wilder's career peaked in 1960, when he won the best director, best screenplay, and best picture Oscars for The...

The Digital

A renewed interest in film realism influenced motion picture technology during and after World War II. In order to afford greater versatility and mobility, filmmakers took to using smaller cameras that could shoot on location without tripods or heavy equipment. Shortly after World War II, director Morris Engel (1918-2005), whose low-budget films shot in New York City would later influence John Cassavetes, helped Charlie Woodruff Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, 1954) was one of the...

Thomas H Ince b Thomas Harper Ince Newport Rhode Island November d on or about November

Thomas Ince wielded enormous influence over the Hollywood studio system, particularly the factory-based mode of production that came to characterize it. Ince wrote, directed, and produced scores of top features from 1914 until his untimely death in 1924, but his most important contributions involved not individual films but the filmmaking process. More than any other Hollywood pioneer, Ince anticipated and effectively defined the roles of film producer and production executive during the...

The Ottoman And Early Republican Periods

The army officer Fuat Uzkinay's short documentary Ayastefanos'taki Rus Abidesinin Yikilisi (The Demolition of the Russian Monument at St. Stephen, 1914) is generally acknowledged as the first Turkish film. In 1915 General Enver, who was influenced by the practices of the film unit of the German army, established the Army Cinema Department with Weinberg as its first commissioner. This department and, later, the semiofficial organization the Veterans Association pioneered film production during...

Third Cinema

Third Cinema is a descriptive and a prescriptive concept that in practice is linked to, yet extends beyond, the historical emergence of ''Third World cinema'' in West, Southeastern, and Eastern Asia Africa Latin America and the Pacific Basin in the mid-twentieth century. Whereas Third World cinema is loosely tied to processes of decolonization and nation-building and includes industrial filmmaking in its scope, Third Cinema is an ideologically charged and aesthetically meaningful term that...

Film Industries And Cultures Of The Allies Great Britain France And The Ussr

Although the initial response to the outbreak of war in Britain in 1939 was to close all cinemas, they soon reopened and film attendance grew steadily throughout the war years. In spite of shortages, the reduction of studio space available for feature film production, and increased taxation and the consequent increases in ticket prices, World War II was a prosperous time for British cinema. General trends in film attendance were recorded in a survey undertaken for the Ministry of Information...

Gender

Within the utopian narrative typical of American sports films, the heroic individual who overcomes obstacles and achieves success through determination, self-reliance, and hard work is most often male. The primary notion of masculinity in sports films is that this male protagonist defines and proves himself through free and fair competition modeled on American society, which promises rewards to the most deserving individuals. The competitive opportunities offered to male athletes in most sports...

Origins And Permutations

The term Third Cinema'' was coined in an interview with the Argentine Cine Liberacion group, published in the journal Cine Cubano March 1969 , and was then more fully developed in the manifesto Towards a Third Cinema Notes and Experiences for the Development of a Cinema of Liberation in the Third World,'' written by Fernando Solanas b. 1936 and Octavio Getino b. 1935 , members of that group. Since its publication in Tricontinenal Havana, 1969 , the essay has been translated and published in...

Nationalization Of The Film Industry

The formal beginning of state cinema in socialist Yugoslavia is dated 13 December 1944, when the Communist leader, Josip Broz Tito 1892-1980 , established a film section in the state administration. The cultural significance of film was elevated through the centralization of the film industry which was governed by a number of federal committees between 1945 and 1951. Consequently, each republic was granted a film company Jadran Film in Zagreb, Aval Film and Zvezda Film in Belgrade, Triglav Film...

The Sexual Revolution On Film

The collapse of the Production Code reflected the emergence of a ''sexual revolution'' in the United States and western Europe in the 1960s. Women's sexual freedom increased during the decade with the marketing of ''the pill'' to protect against pregnancy. Soon, a second wave of feminism began championing women's liberation from patriarchy. Beat culture in the late 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s celebrated ''free love,'' with many choosing simply to live together rather than join in...

Semiology And Film Theory

While Barthes's methods still play an important role in the development of film theory, it was Christian Metz, one of the giants of French film theory, who became best known for the use of semiology as a method to analyze cinema. In Film Language 1968 , Metz argued that cinema is structured like a language. Adopting Saussure's models, Metz made the distinction between langue, a language system, and language, a less clearly defined system of recognizable conventions. Metz contends that film...

Spy Films

The spy is the most contradictory hero in cinema. Although money and sex have motivated many spies in real life and fiction, the essential motivating force behind espionage is devotion to a cause, usually a nation, that is best expressed by concealing it. Because successful spies place loyalty to their country or to their faction, their insurgency, or their political agenda over all other loyalties, including their ties to family and friends, the lives they lead are lies. They may seem to be...

Abel Gance b Paris France October d November

Abel Gance was a pioneering and influential French writer, director, and producer known for his visual experimentation. He made his screen debut in Moliere in 1909, at the same time reluctantly accepting a job in a law office and hoping to make his mark on the stage. Struggling through poverty and illness, Gance set up a production company in 1911, and that year directed his first film, La Digue. Kept out of the war by continued illness, Gance achieved renown for his innovative optical effects...