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film midterm - Chapter 2 underpinnings of cinema a brief...

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Chapter 2 underpinnings of cinema: a brief history The beginning Since 1895, moving pictures have become a potent reality for us. Cinema is part of our consciousness. Thomas Edison invented the kinetoscope---first motion picture camera with efforts of W.K.L. Dickson. The kinetoscope was only for individual viewing---so-called peed show. In 1895, Louis and Auguste Lumiere started public demonstrations of their films in France with their invented projectors. Two philosophies of filmmaking emerged: Siegfried Kracauer’s artistic approach and other being the realistic. Almost all films are combinations of the artistic and realistic. The French are considered the creative leaders of early cinema. First director of cinema is Georges Melies. He experimented with the art and soon realized its potential to create magic, turning reality into fantastic. His masterpiece: A Trip to the Moon introduced a new artistic and experimental realm to cinema. One of the firsts is Edwin S. Porter. His Life of an American Fireman is Porter’s first successful narrative film with interspersed scenes, a creation of continuity vis-à-vis edition. The Great Silent Era Nickelodeons---small 100-200 seat storefront theaters that charged a nickel for each showing of short films. It started in 1905 In 1908 partly in order to drive the French out of the American market, a group of patent holders and film producers, led by Thomas Edison formed Motion Picture Patents Co. (MPPC). One of front-runner of Silent film David Wark Griffith (D.W. Griffith) started out as an actor. His first movie The Adventures of Dollie . The Birth of a Nation in 1915 is the most controversial ones. It’s chosen 3K in a heroic role. The Maters of the Era Lev Kuleshov, a film theorist, as Kuleshov effect. It theorized that filmmakers could create meaning only with a succession of shots arranged in relation to one another. V.I. Poduvkin was Kuleshov’s star pupil. He always intended to affect his sudiences emothionally. His first masterpiece Mother’s intention is to awaken revolutionary fervor in the audience. Sergei M. Eisenstein developed the intellectual and thematic montage---the arrangement of different contrasting and oppositional shots to create meaning and developing an intellectual theme---collision. He believed in the notion of film being a communication tool that is not for entertainment but for social change. One could argue that he is the father of didactic cinema. His first movie Strike. Battleship Potemkin employed famous “Odessa Steps ” montage sequence. Charlie Chaplinused comedy to tell serious stories about the “have-nots”. Fritz Lang, the father of modern science fiction. His master piece Metropilis, which Gerald Mast criticized that it was the most important science fiction film since A Trip to the Moon Abel Gance’s anti-war moive J’accuse (I Accuse ).
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