Cinema History 1800s-Introduction of Sound

Topics: Film, History of film, Cinema of the United States Pages: 35 (8315 words) Published: December 14, 2014
Test #1: Study Notes

Chapter 1

Cinephile: a lover of cinema
Filmography: a list of films

There are distinct types of explanation in film history:
1. Biographical History
2. Industrial/Economic Historybusiness procedures
3. Aesthetic Historyfilm art (form; style)
4. Technological History
5. Social/Cultural/Political

Types of Explanation:
1. Chronology
2. Influence
3. Trends/Generalization
4. Periods (by positing trends, historians generalize)
5. Significance

Methodological Individualism: all historical explanations must appeal to person-based causes sooner or later (ie) Warner Bros. adopted sound first Holism/Methodological Collectivism: group-based causes

**Film Time Periods:
Early Cinema (-1919), Late Silent Era (1919-1929), Development of Sound Cinema (1926-1945), Post WWII (1946-1960s), Period From 1960s-1980s, Contemporary Era (1980s-Present)

Film: Sunset Boulevard (1950)


Cinema has yet to be invented; we haven’t reached technological completion We must attribute the invention to a group of scientists
Early cinema was based on spectacle and ‘wow factor’, there was no character development, narrative or story Films were occupied with the act of looking
You could always find a beginning, middle and end of a film; you can still find structure within these shorts BUT! More curious with the performative aspects than what more we can take away from the film

U.S becoming a colonialist power from the Spanish-American War of 1898 Progressivist movements emerging (womens rights, child labour)

The Invention of Cinema/Early Years (1880s-1904)

Dioramas, circuses, “freak shows”, amusement parks, music halls, drama troupes =Inexpensive entertainment
Hauling entire theatre productions from town to town was expensive

Travelogues: Bring the sights of far-flung places to spectator’s hometowns

Preconditions for Motion Pictures

Phenakistoscope: spinning disc of figures gives allusion of movement (1832)

Zoetrope: A series of drawings on a narrow strip of paper inside a revolving drum (1833) -couldn’t project it to a larger audience

1888: Kodak Camera simplified photography for amateurs (1878) George Eastman and Edison -used 35mm film; used celluloid which was think enough to not break **needed something to not show the last frame when the new frame comes into play (a shutter!)

Jules Marey: photographic gun to study flight of birds (1882) Went on to make a box-like camera which exposes a series of images on a paper strip Projecting Praxinoscope: (1877, Emile Reynaud) spinning drum, viewers saw moving images in a series of mirrors rather than through slotsprojected on a wall!

Eadweard Muybridge: Motion studies on horses

1. Human eye can only perceive motion at images shown in succession at 16 fps 2. Capacity to project a rapid series of images on a surface 3. Ability to use photography to make successive pictures on a clear surface 4. Base had to be flexible enough to be passed through a camera rapidly 5. Intermittent mechanism for cameras and projectors

Usually consisted of a gear with slots or notches on its edges

There is no one moment when cinema was invented, rather through an accumulation of contributions primarily from the U.S, Germany, England and France (in the 1890s!)

Edison, Dickson and the Kinetoscope

Edison: inventor of the phonograph, electric lightbulb
His assistant: Dickson
1889: the pair went to Paris and saw Marey’s camera, began working on a new type of machine 1891: Kinetoscope: peephole device that ran the film around a series of rollers (put coin in a slot to run) 1st synchronous soundtrack

Film was exposed at about 46 frames per second
Black Maria: small studio they created on Edison’s New Jersey laboratory Films lasted only 20 seconds or so
Featured well-known performers, sports figures, dancers
1894: First Kinetoscope parlor opened in New York

European Contributions...
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