WebFilm History - An blogger.com - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online for free. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site. Open WebIf you want to download Film History: An Introduction, 3rd Edition book, i provide downloads as a pdf, kindle, word, txt, ppt, rar and zip. Youcan also freely print the book. If you want Web15/05/ · Download film history an introduction 3rd edition or read film history an introduction 3rd edition online books in PDF, EPUB and Mobi Format. Click WebWritten by two leading film scholars, “Film History: An Introduction” is a comprehensive survey of film-from the backlots of Hollywood, across the United States, and around the WebEbook Free Pdf Film History: An Introduction, 3rd Edition. Download or read online free ebook Film History: An Introduction, 3rd Edition By Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell for ... read more
Later discussions concerning the period, usually by an earlier historian, would be considered secondary. Often, though, one scholar's secondary source is an other's primary source, because the researchers are ask ing different questions. A critic's 1 9 60s ' essay about a 1 92 5 film would be a secondary source if your question centered on the 1 92 5 film. If, however, you were writ ing a history of film critici s m during the 1 9 6 0 s , the critic's essay would be a primary source. Explaining the Past: Basic Approach es There are distinct types of explanation in film history. Typically, the researcher begins with an interest in one of these areas, which helps him to formulate his initial question. Nevertheless, such typologies can be restricting if they are taken too rigidly. Not all questions the histo rian may ask will fa l l neatly into only one of these pigeonholes. If you want to know why a film looks the way it does, the question may not be purely aesthetic; it might be linked to the biography of the filmmaker or to the technological resources available when the film was made.
A study of film genres might invo lve both aesthetic and cultural factors, and a person 's life can not easily be separated from his or her working condi- 5 tions within a film industry or from the contemporary political context. We propose that the student o f film history think chiefly in terms of questions, keeping in mind that these might well cut across typological boundaries. Indeed, one could argue that the most interesting questions will. Explaining the Past: Organizing th e Evidence Finding an answer to a historical question may involve both description and explanation, in different mixtures. The techniques of descriptive research are specialized and require a wide range o f background knowledge.
For example, some experts o n early silent cinema can determine when a film copy was made by examining the stock on which it is printed. The number and shape of the sprocket holes, a l o ng with the manner in which a manufacturer's name is printed along the edge of the film strip, can help date the print. Knowing the age of the stock can in turn help narrow down the film's date of production and country of origin. Historical explanation also involves concepts to or ganize the evidence produced by specialized knowledge. Here are some of them. C h ro n o l ogy Chronology is essential to historical ex planation, and descriptive research is an indispensable aid to establishing the sequence of events.
The historian needs to know that this film was made before that one or that event B took place after event A. But history is not mere chronology. A chronology stops short of ex planation, j ust as a record of high and low tides gives no hint as to why tides change. History, as we have al ready seen, centrally involves explanation. Causal ity Much historical explanation involves cause and effect. Historians work with conceptions of various kinds of causes. People have beliefs and desires that affect how they act. In acting, they make things happen. It is often reasonable to explain a historical change or a past state of affairs in light of the attitudes or behavior of individuals. This is not to say that individuals make everything happen or that things always happen as people originally intended or that people always under stand j ust why they did what they d i d. It is simply to say that historians may j ustifiably appeal to what people think and feel and do as part of an explanation.
Some historians believe that all historical explana tion must appeal to person-based causes sooner or later. A different, and even more sweeping, assump tion is that only individuals, and exceptional individu als at that, have the power to create historical change. This view is sometimes called the Great Man theory of history, even though it is applied to women as well. Group Causes People often act in groups, and at times we speak of the group as having a kind of existence over and above the individuals who compose it. Groups have rules and roles, structures and routines, and often these factors make things happen. We speak of a govern ment's declaring war, yet this act may not be reducible to more detailed statements about what all the individ uals involved believed and did. When we say that Warner Bro s. decided to adopt sound, we are making a meaningful claim, even if we have no information about the beliefs and desires of the individual decision makers at the company; we may not even fully know who they were.
Some historians assert that any historical explanation must, sooner or later, ground itself in group-based causes. This position is usually called holism, or methodological collectivism, as opposed to methodological individualism. Several sorts of groups are important to the history of cinem a. Throughout this book we will be talking about institutions-government agencies, film studios, distribution firms, and other fairly forma l , organized groups. We will also be talking about more informal af filiations of filmmakers. These are usually called move ments or sch ools, small assemblies of filmmakers and critics who share the same interests, beliefs about cin ema, conceptions of film form and style, and the like.
Movements are discussed in more detail in the intro duction to Part 2. I n fl u e n ce Most historians u s e some notion o f influ ence to explain change. Influence describes the inspira tion that an individual, a group, or a film can provide for others. Members of a movement can deliberately in fluence a director to make a film a certain way, but a chance viewing of a movie can also influence a director. Influence does not mean simple copying. You may have been influenced by a parent or a teacher, but you have not necessarily mimicked his or her behavior. In the arts, influence is often a matter of one artist's get ting ideas from other artists' work but then pursuing those ideas in a personal way.
The result may be quite different from the initial work that stimulated it. The contemporary director Jean-Luc Godard was influenced by Jean Renoir, although their films are markedly dif- ferent. Sometimes we can detect the influence by exam ining the films; sometimes we rely on the testimony of the filmmaker. A body of work by a group o f directors may also influence later films. Soviet cinema of the s influ enced the documentary director John Grierson. The Hollywood cinema, as a set of films, has been enor mously influential throughout film history, although all the directors influenced by it certainly did not see ex actly the same films. Influences are particular kinds of causes, so it is not surprising that influences may involve both individual activity and group activity.
Any historical question opens up a body of data for investigation. Once the his torian starts to look closely at the data-to go through a studio's records, examine the films, page through the trade press-she discovers that there is much more to explore than the initial question touches on. It i s like looking into a microscope and discovering that a drop of water teems with organisms of confounding variety, all going about very different business. Every historian omits certain materi a l. For one thing, the historical record is already incomplete. Many events go unrecorded, and many documents are lost for ever. Further, historians inevitably select. They reduce the messy complications of history to a more coherent, cogent story. A historian simplifies and streamlines ac cording to the question he is pursuing.
One principal way historians go about such simpli fication is by postulating trends. Lots of things are going on, they a dmit, but " by and large " or " on the whol e " or " for t h e m o s t part, " we can identify a general ten dency. Most Hollywood films of the s were made in black and white, but most Hollywood films today are in color. On the whole, there has been a change, and we can see a trend toward the increasing use of color film stock between the 1 s and the s. Our task is to explain how and why this trend occurred.
By positing trends, historians generalize. They nec essarily set aside interesting exceptions and aberrations. But this is no sin, because the answer to a question is necessarily pitched at a certain level of generality. All historical explanations pull back fro m the thro b bing messiness of reality. By recognizing that tendencies are " for-the-most-part " generalizations, the scholar can ac knowledge that there is more going on than she is going to explain. Tre n d s a n d G e n e ra l izat i o n s Historical chronology and causation are with out beginning or end.
The child who incessantly asks Periods O u r Approach t o Film History what came before that or what made that happen soon discovers that we can trace out a sequence of events in definitely. Historians necessarily limit the stretch of time they will explore, and they go on to divide that stretch into meaningful phases or segments. For example, the historian studying American silent cinema already assumes that this period within film his tory ran from about 1 8 94 to around 1 92 9. The histo rian will probably further segment this stretch of time. She might break it down by decade the 1 9 0 0 s, the 1 9 1 0s, the 1 92 0 s , by changes extern al to film say, pre-World War I, World War I, post-World War I , or by phases in the development of storytelling style say, 1 8 , 1 90 9 1 7, 1 9 1 Every historian periodizes according to the research program he adopts and the question he asks.
Historians recognize that periodization can't be rigid: trends do not follow in neat order. It is illuminating to think of the American " structura l " film of the early 1 9 70s as a kind of response to the " underground " film of the 1 s, but underground films were still being made well into the 1 9 70s. Histories of genres often mark periods by inno vative films, but this is not to deny that there may be a great deal of continuity in less innovative works across periods. Similarly, we ought not to expect that the history of technology or styles or genres will necessarily march in step with political or social history.
The period after World War II was indeed distinctive, because this global conflict had major e ffects on film industries and film makers in most countries; but not all political events de marcate distinct periods in relation to changes in film form or the film market. The assassination of President Kennedy was a wrenching event, but it had little if any effect on the film world. Here, as ever, the historian's research program and central question will shape her sense of the relevant periods and parallel events.
This is one reason that scholars often speak of film histories rather than a single film history. In mounting explanations, historians of all arts make assumptions about the significance of the artworks they discuss. We might trea t a work as a " monument, " studying it because it is a highly valued accomplishment. Alternatively, we might study a work as a " document " because it records some noteworthy historical activity, such as the state of a society at a given moment or a trend within the art form itself. In this book, we assume that the films we discuss have significance on any or a l l o f the following three criteria: S i g n i fi cance 7 Intrinsic excellence: Some films are, simply, outstand ing by artistic criteria. They are rich, moving, complex, thought-provoking, intricate, meaningful, or the like. At least partly because of their quality, such films have played a key role in the history of cinema. Influence: A film may be historically significant by virtue of its influence on other films.
It may create or change a genre, inspire filmmakers to try something new, or gain such a wide popularity that it spawns imitations and tributes. Since influence is an important part of historical explanations, this sort of film plays a prominent role in this book. Typicality: Some films are significant because they vividly represent instances or trends. They stand in for many other films of the same type. A particu lar film might b e significant on two or even all three of these counts. A highly accomplished genre film, such as Singin ' in the Rain or Rio B ravo, is often considered both excellent and highly typ ical. Many acclaimed m asterworks, such as The B irth of a Nation or Citizen Kane, were a l s o highly influential, and some also typify broader tendencies.
OUR APPROA CH TO FILM HISTORY Although this bo o k s urveys the history of world cin ema, we could hardly start with the question What is the history of world cinem a? That would give us no help in setting about our research and organizing the material we find. Following the aspects of film history outlined here, we have pursued three principal questions. How have uses of the film medium changed or become normalized over time? O ften this involves telling a story, but a film's overall form might also be based on an argument or an a bstract pattern. The term " uses of the medium " also includes matters of film style, the pat terned uses of film techniques m ise-en-scene, or stag ing, lighting, setting, and costume; camera work; edit ing; and sound.
In addition, any balanced conception of how the medium has been used must also consider film modes documentary, avant-garde, fiction, anima tion and genres the Western, the thriller, the musical. So we al so examine these phenomena. All such matters are central to most college and university survey courses in film history. Sometimes we dwell on the creation of sta ble norms of form and style, as when we examine how Hollywood standardized certain editing options in the first two decades of filmmaking. At other times, we ex amine how filmmakers have proposed innovative ways of structuring form or using film technique. How have the conditions of the film industry production, distribution, and exhibition-affected the uses of the mediu m? Films are made within modes of production, habitual ways of organizing the labor and materials involved in creating a movie. Some modes of production are industrial.
In these circumstances, com panies make films as a business. The classic instance of industrial production i s the studio system, in which firms are organized in order to make films for large au diences through a fairly detailed division of labor. An other sort of industrial production might be called the artisanal, or one-off, approach, in which a production company makes one film at a time perhaps only one film, period. Other modes of production are less highly organized, involving small groups or individuals who make films for specific purposes. In any event, the ways in which films are made have had particular effects on the look and sound of the finished products.
So have the ways in which films are shown and con sumed. For example, the ma j o r technological inno vations associated with the early 1 9 5 0 s-wide- screen picture, stereophonic sound, increased use o f color were actually available decades earlier. Each could have been developed before the 1 9 50s, but the U. film in dustry had no pressing need to do so since film at tendance was so high that spending money on new attractions would not have significantly increased prof its. Only when attendance dropped precipitously in the late 1 s were producers and exhibitors impelled to introduce new technologies to lure audiences back into theaters.
How have international trends emerged in the uses of the film medium and in the film market? In this book we try to balance the consideration of important national contributions with a sense of how international and cross-cultural influences were operating. Many na tions' audiences and film industries have been influ enced by directors and films that have migrated across their borders. Genres are vagabond as well. The Holly wood Western influenced the Japanese samurai film and the Italian Western, genres that i n turn influenced the Hong Kong k ung-fu films o f the 1 9 70s ; interestingly, Hollywood films then began incorporating elements of the martial arts movie.
Just as important, the film industry itself is signifi cantly transnational. At certain periods, circumstances closed off countries fro m the flow o f films, but most often there has been a global film market, and we un derstand it best by tracing trends across cultures and re gions. We have paid particular attention to conditions that allowed people to see films made outside their own country. Each of these h o w questions accompanies a great many why questions. For any part of the processes we focus on, we can ask what conditions caused them to operate as they did. Why, for instance, did Soviet film makers undertake their experiments in disturbing, ag gressive narrative? Why did Hollywood's studio system begin to fragment in the late 1 94 0 s?
Why di d " new waves " and " young cinema s " arise in Europe, the So viet Union, and Japan around 1 9 6 0? Why are more films produced now with international investment than in the 1 9 3 0 s or 1 94 0 s? Historians are keen to know what factors made a change occur, and our general questions include a host of subquestions a bout causes and effects. Recall our five general explanatory approache s : biographical, industrial, aesthetic, technological, and social. If we had to squeeze our book into one or more of these pigeonholes, we could say that its approach is predominantly aesthetic and industrial.
It examines how types of films, film styles, and film forms have changed in relation to the conditions of film production, distri bution, and exhibition within certain countries and within the international flow of films. But this summary of our approach is too confining, as even a cursory look at what follows will indicate. Sometimes we invoke the individual-a powerful producer, an innovative film maker, an imaginative critic. S o metimes we consider technology. And we often frame our account with dis cussions of the political, social, and cultural context of a period. Take, for example, our central question: How have uses of the film medium changed or become normalized over time? This is a question about aesthetic matters, but it also impinges on factors of technology. For in stance, conceptions of " realistic " filmmaking changed with the introduction of portable cameras and sound equipment in the late 1 s. Similarly, our second ques tion-How have the conditions of the film industry af fected the uses of the medium?
In the early era of cinema, films circulated freely among countries, and viewers often did not know the nationality of a film they were seeing. In the 19 10s, however, war and national ism blocked certain films from circulating. At the same time, the growth of particular film industries, notably Hollywood, depended on access to other markets, so the degree to which films could circulate boosted some nations' output and hindered that of others. In addition, the circulation of U. films abroad served to spread American cultural values, which in turn created both admiration and hostility.
In sum, we have been guided, as we think most his torians are, by research questions rather than rigid con ceptions of the " kind " of history we are writing. And what we take to be the most plausible answer to a given question will depend on the strength of the evidence and the argument we can make for it-not on a prior com mitment to writing only a certain kind of history. History as Story Our answers to historical questions are, however, not simply given in a list or summary. Like most historical arguments, ours takes a narrative form. Historians use language to communicate their argu ments and evidence to others.
D escriptive research pro grams can do this through a summary of findings : this film is D iana l'affascinatrice, made in Italy by Caesar Film in 1 9 1 5 , directed by Gustavo Serena, and so on. But historical explanations require a more complicated crafting. Sometimes historians frame their explanations as persuasive arguments. To take an example already cited, a historian investigating the development of sound by Warner Bros. might start by considering the various ex planations already offered and taken for granted. Then he might set forth the reasons for believing his alterna tive interpretation. This is a familiar form of rhetorical argument, eliminating unsatisfactory beliefs before set tling on a more plausible one. More often, historians' explanations take the form of stories. Narrative history, a s it is called, seeks to an swer how and why questions by tracing the relevant cir cumstances and conditions over time.
It produces a chain of causes and effects, or it shows how a process works, by telling a story. For instance, i f we are trying to answer the question How did the Hays O ffice nego tiate with firms to arrive at an agreement about an ac- 9 ceptable film? we can frame a step-by-step narrative of the censorship process. Or, if we are seeking to explain what led the Hays O ffice to be created, we might lay out the causal factors as a story. As these examples in dicate, the story's " p l ayers " might be individuals or groups, institutions or even films; the " plot" consists of the situations in which the p l ayers operate and the changes they initiate and undergo. Narrative is one of the basic ways in which humans make sense of the world, and so it is not surprising that historians use stories to make past events intelligible.
We have accordingly framed this book as a large-scale narrative, one that includes several stories within it. This is partly because of custo m : virtually all introduc tory historical works take this perspective, and readers are comfortable with it. But we also believe that there are advantages to working on a wide canvas. New pat terns of information may leap to the eye, and fresh con nections may become more visible when we consider history as a dynamic, ongoing process. We divide film history into five large periods-early cinema to about 19 1 9 , the late silent era 19 , the development of so u nd cinema 5 , the pe riod after World War II 1 1 9 6 0 s , and the contem porary cinema 19 6 0 s to the present.
These divisions reflect developments i n 1 film form and style; 2 major changes i n film production, distribution, and ex hibition; and 3 significant international trend s. The periodization cannot be exactly synchronized for all three areas, but it does indicate approximate boundaries for the changes we try to trace. In our attempt to systematically answer the three principal questions outlined earlier, we have relied on secondary sources, principally other historians' writings on the matters we consider. We have also used primary sources : trade papers, the writings of filmmakers, and films. Because films constitute our major primary source, we need to say a few more words about how they serve as evidence in writing film history.
Although the cinema is a relatively young medium, invented only a little over a century ago, many films have already been lost or destroyed. For decades, movies were seen as products with temporary commercial value, and companies did little to ensure their preservation. Even when film archives were fo unded, beginning in the s, they faced a daunting task of collecting and shel tering the thousands of films that had already been made. Moreover, the nitrate film stock, upon which most films up to the early s were shot and printed, was highly flammable and deteriorated over time. In the frame above , severe nitrate deteri oration has all but obliterated the figures. According to rough estimates, only about 20 percent of silent films are known to sur vive. Many of these are still sitting in vaults, unidenti fied or unpreserved due to lack of funds. Even more recent films may be inaccessible to the researcher. Films made in some small countries, partic ularly in Third World nations, do not circulate widely.
Small archives may not have the facilities to preserve films or show them to researchers. In some cases, politi cal regimes may choose to suppress certain films and promote others. We have attempted to examine a great range of types of international films. Inevitably we could not track down every film we hoped to see, and sometimes we were unable to include photographs from those we did see. Nevertheless, we have surveyed a large number of films, and we offer this book as both an overview of the history of cinema and an attempt to see it in a somewhat new light. Film history, for us, is less an inert body of knowledge than an activity of inquiry. After a researcher has made a serious argument in an attempt to answer a question, " film history " is no longer quite what it was before.
The reader gains not only new information and a new point of view. New patterns emerge that can make even familiar facts stand out with fresh force. If film history is a generative, self-renewing activity, then we cannot simply offer a condensation of " all previ ous knowledge. Throughout the years spent researching and writing this book, we have come to believe that it of- fers a fairly novel version of the shape of film history, both its overall contour and its specific detail. We have relied on the research of a great many scholars in gather ing the information and arguments presented here, but we are chiefly responsible for the particular story we tell. Recognizing that there are many stories to be told about cinema, we have appended to each chapter a sec tion titled " Notes and Queries. We have taken the opportunity of this second edi tion of Film Histo ry: An Introductio n to update its cov erage and to take into account historical work that has appeared since its initial publication in 4.
We thank the scholars whose research initially made it possi ble for us to rethink the history of the medium we love, as well as those who contributed to this revision and those who will continue to challenge us to hone the ideas we offer here. The survey of film aesthetics most appropriate to our undertaking here is David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, This research program is described in Henry Jenkins, What Made Pistachio Nuts? Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic New York: Columbia Uni 3. versity Press, See Lea Jacobs, The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film ; reprint Berkeley: Univer sity of California Press, See, for example, Yuri Tsivian, et al.
Porter and the Edison Manu facturing Company Berkeley: University of Califor nia Press, ; Tom Gunning, D. W Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph Urbana: University of Illinois Press, ; and Ben Brewster and Lea Jacobs, Theatre to Cinema: Stage Pictorialism and the Early Feature Film 5. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Douglas Gomery, " The Coming of Sound : Techno logical Change in the American Film Industry, " in Tina Balio, ed. Madi son : University of Wisconsin Press, 5 , pp. See "Notes and Queries, " Chapter 9.
The Spanish-American War of 1 89 8 resulted in the United States' gaining control of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and part of Samoa. The United States itself was still in the process of for mation. Idaho, Montana, and North and South D akota had become states in 1 8 89, and Arizona and New Mexico would not enter the Union until 1 9 During the late nineteenth century, railroad, oil, tobacco, and other industries were expanding rapidly, and, in 1 8 90, the Sherman Anti trust Act was passed in an attempt to limit the growth of monopolies. Due to hard times in southern and eastern Europe, a new wave of im migrants arrived on American shores after 1 8 Living mostly in ethnic communities within large cities, these non-English speakers would form a sizable audience for the silent cinema.
The first decade of the new century saw a progressivist impulse in America, under the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. There were move ments to give women the vote, to prohibit child labor, to enforce anti trust laws, and to institute regulations to protect consumers. This era was also one of virulent racism, scarred by many lynchings. African American progressives formed the National Association for the Advance ment of Colored People in 1 American expansion came at a time when the major European powers had already established far-flung empires and were engaged in an intricate game of j ockeying for further power in such unstable areas as the Balkan States and the decaying Ottoman Empire.
Tensions over such maneuver ing, as well as mutual distrust, especially between France and Germany, led to the outbreak of World War I in 1 9 1 4. This conflict gradually drew countries from all over the globe into the fighting. Although many citizens 12 PART 1 Early Cinema wanted n o involvement, the United States entered the by the increasingly m i l itant l a bor- u n i o n movement. fray in 1 9 1 7 and b r o k e the stalemate that had devel Soon America was far and away the world's largest mar oped, ultimately forcing Germany to surrender in 1 9 1 8. ket for films-a situation that would allow it to increase The global b a lance o f power had shifted.
Germany its selling power abroad as well. lost many of its colonies, and the United States emerged D uring the period of the " nickelodeon boom, " the as the world's leading financial force. President Wood story film became the main type of fare offered on pro row Wilson tried to expand progressivist principles on grams. Films made in France, Italy, Denmark, the United an international scale, proposing a League of Nations Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere circulated to foster world unity. The League, formed in 1 9 1 9 , widely around the world. Narrative traits and stylistic helped build a spirit of international cooperation dur techniques changed rapidly as influences passed back ing the 1 s, but it proved too weak to prevent linger and forth among countrie s. Movies grew longer, em ing tensions from eventually causing a second interna ployed more editing, added explanatory intertitles, and tional conflict.
D uring the three decades before World War I, the cinema was invented and grew from a small amusement featured a greater variety of camera distances. Adapta tions from literature and lavish historical spectacles added prestige to the new art form Chapter 2. arcade business to an international industry. Films began World War I h a d enormous effects o n the cinema. as brief moving views presented as novelties, and, by the The outbreak of hostilities triggered a severe cutback in mid- 1 9 1 0s, the lengthy narrative feature film became the French production, and the country lost its leading posi basis for cinema programs.
tion in world markets. Italy soon encountered similar The invention of the cinema was a lengthy process, problems. The growing Hollywood film industry stepped involving engineers and entrepreneurs in several coun in to fill the gap in supply, expanding its distribution sys tries. Struggles among patent holders in the United States tem abroad. By the war's end, American films had an slowed the development of the industry here, while international grip that other countries would struggle, French companies quickly seized the lead in markets usually with limited success, to loosen. throughout the world Chapter 1. From 1 9 0 5 on, a rapid exp ansion i n demand for D uring this era, filmmakers in many countries ex plored film form. Film editing grew subtle and complex, motion-picture entertainment in the United States led to acting styles became va r i e d, and directors exploited the spread of small movie theaters called nickelodeons.
long takes, r e a listic decor, and camera movement. By This demand was fueled in part by the rising immigrant the end o f World War I , many of today's film conven population and in part by the shorter work hours gained tions had been established Chapter 3. The industrial era offered ways of mass-producing lantern slides, books of photographs, and illustrated fiction. The middle and working classes of many countries could visit elaborate dioramas painted backdrops with three-dimensional figures depicting famous his torical events. Circuses, " freak s h o ws , " a m usement parks, and music halls provided other forms of inexpensive entertainment.
In the United States, numerous dramatic troupes toured, performing in the theaters and opera houses that existed even in small towns. Hauling entire theater producti o n s fro m town to town, however, was expensive. Similarly, most people had to travel long distances to visit major dioramas or amusement parks. In the days before airplane travel, few could hope to see firsthand the exotic lands they glimpsed in static view in books of travel photographs or in their stereoscopes, hand-held viewers that created three-dimensional effects by using o blong cards with two photographs printed side by side. The cinema was to offer a cheaper, simpler way of providing enter tainment to the masses.
Filmmakers could record actors' performances, which then could be shown to audiences around the world. Travelogues would bring the sights o f far-flung p l a c e s , with movement, directly to spectators' hometowns. Movies would become the most popular visual art form of the late Victorian age. The cinema was invented during the 1 8 9 0 s. It appeared in the wake of the industrial revolution, as did the telephone invented in 1 8 76 , the phonograph 1 8 7 7 , and the a u t o m o b i l e developed d u ring the 1 8 8 0 s a n d 1 8 90s. Like them, i t was a technological device that became the basis o f a large industry. It was also a new form o f entertainment and a new artistic medium. D uring the first decade o f the cinema's existence, inven tors worked to improve the machines for making and showing films. THE INVENTION OF THE CINEMA The cinema is a complicated medium, and before it could be invented, several technological requirements had to be met.
Preconditions for Motion Pictures First, scientists had to realize that the human eye will perceive motion if a series of slightly different images is placed before it in rapid succession-minimally, around sixteen per second. During the nineteenth century, scien tists explored this property of vision. Several optical toys were marketed that gave an illusion of movement by using a small number of drawings, each altered some what. In 1 8 3 2 , Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau and Austrian geometry professor Simon Stampfer indepen dently created the optical device that came to be called the Phenakistoscope 1. The Zoetrope, in vented in 1 8 3 3 , contained a series of drawings on a narrow strip of paper inside a revolving drum 1. The Zoetrope was widely sold after 1 8 6 7, along with other optical toys. Similar principles were later used in films, but in these toys, the same action was repeated over and over.
A second technological requirement for the cinema was the capacity to project a rapid series of images on a surface. Since the seventeenth century, entertainers and educators had been using " magic lanterns " to proj ect glass lantern slides, but there had been no way to flash large numbers of images fast enough to create the ill u sion of motion. A third prerequisite for the invention of the cinema was the ab ility to use photography to make successive pictures on a clear surface. The exposure time would have to be short enough to take sixteen or more frames in a single second. Such techniques came about slowly. The first still photograph was made on a glass plate in 1 by Claude Niepce, but it required an exposure time of eight hours.
For years, photographs were made on glass or metal, without the use of negatives, so only one copy of each image was possible; exposures took several minutes each. In 1 8 3 9 , Henry Fox Ta lbot introduced negatives made on paper. At about this same time, it be came possible to print photographic images on glass lantern slides and project them. Not until 1 8 7 8 , how ever, did split-second exposure times become feasible. Fourth, the cinema would require that photographs be printed on a base flexible enough to be passed through a camera rapidly. Strips or discs of glass could be used, but only a short series of images could be reg istered on them.
In 1 8 8 8 , George Eastman devised a still camera that made photographs on rolls of sens itized paper. This camera, which he named the Kodak, simpli- 1. The Invention of the Cinema 1. fied photography so that unskilled amateurs could take pictures. The next year Eastman introduced transparent celluloid roll film, creating a breakthrough in the move toward cinema. The film was intended for still cameras, but inventors could use the same flexible material in de signing machines to take and project motion pictures though it was apparently a bout a year before the stock was improved enough to be practical.
Fifth, and finally, experimenters needed t o find a suitable intermittent mechanism for their cameras and proj ectors. In the camera, the strip of film had to stop briefly while light entered through the lens and exposed each frame; a shutter then covered the film as another frame moved into place. Similarly, in the proj ector, each frame stopped for an instant in the aperture while a beam of light proj ected it onto a screen; again a shutter passed behind the lens while the filmstrip moved. At least sixteen frames had to slide into place, stop, and move away each second.
A strip of film sliding contin uously past the gate would create a blur unless the light source was quite dim. Fortunately, other inventions of the century also needed intermittent mechanisms to stop and start quickly. For example, the sewing machine in vented in 1 84 6 advanced strips of fa bric several times per second while a needle pierced the m. Intermittent mechanisms usually consisted of a gear with slots or notches spaced around its edge. By the 1 8 90s, all the technical conditions necessary for the cinema existed. The question was Who would bring the necessary elements together in a way that could be successfully exploited on a wide basis? Major Precursors of Motion Pictures Some inventors made important contributions without creating moving photographic images. Several men were simply interested in analyzing motion.
In 1 8 7 8 , ex governor of California Leland Stanford asked photog rapher Eadweard Muybridge to find a way of photo graphing running horses to help study their gaits. Muybridge set up a row of twelve cameras, each making an exposure in one-thousandth of a second. The photos recorded one-half-second intervals of movement 1. Muybridge later made a lantern to project moving images of horses, but these were drawings copied from his photographs onto a revolving disc. Muybridge did not go on to invent motion pictures, but he made a major contri bution to anatomical science through thousands of mo tion studies using his multiple-camera setup. In 1 8 8 2 , inspired by Muybridge's work, French physiologist E tienne Jules Marey studied the flight of birds and other rapid animal movements by means of a photographic gun. Shaped like a rifle, it exposed twelve images around the edge of a circular glass plate that 16 CHAPTER 1 The Invention and Early Years of the Cinema, 1 8 8 0 s- 1 9 0 4 1.
made a single revolution in one second. In 1 8 8 8 , Marey built a box-type camera that used an intermittent mech anism to expo se a series of photographs o n a strip of paper film at speeds of up to 1 2 0 frames per second. Marey was the first to combine flexible film stock and an intermittent mechanism in photographing motion. He was interested in analyzing movements rather than in reproducing them on a screen, but his work inspired other inventors. D uring this same period, many other scientists used various devices to record and analyze movement. A fa scinating and isolated figure in the history of the invention of the cinema was Frenchman E mile Rey naud. In 1 8 77, he had built an optical toy, the Project ing Praxinoscope.
This was a spinning drum, rather like the Zoetrope, but one i n which viewers saw the moving images in a series of mirrors rather than through slots. Around 1 8 8 2 , he devised a way of using mirrors and a lantern to proj ect a brief series of drawings on a screen. In 1 8 8 9 , Reynaud exhibited a much larger ver sion of the Praxinoscope. From 1 8 92 on, he regularly gave pub lic performances using long, broad strips of hand-painted frames 1. These were the first pu blic exhibitions of moving images, though the effect on the screen was j erky and slow. The labor involved in mak ing the bands meant that Reynaud's films could not eas ily be reproduced.
Strips of photographs were more practical, and in 1 8 9 5 Reynaud started using a camera to make his Praxinoscope films. By 1 9 0 0 , he was out of business, however, due to competition from other, simpler motion-picture proj ection systems. In despair, he destroyed his machines, though replicas have been constructed. Another Frenchman came close to inventing the cin ema as early as 1 8 8 8-six years before the first commer cial showings of moving photographs. That year, Au gustin Le Prince, working in England, was able to make some brief films, shot at about sixteen frames per second, using Kodak's recently introduced paper roll film. To be projected, however, the frames needed to be printed on a transparent strip; lacking flexible celluloid, Le Prince ap parently was unable to devise a satisfactory proj ector. In 1 8 9 0 , while traveling in France, he disappeared, along with his valise of patent applications, creating a mystery that has never been solved.
Thus his camera was never exploited commercially and had virtually no influence on the subsequent invention of the cinema. An International Process of Invention It is difficult to attribute the invention of the cinema to a single source. There was no one moment when the cinema emerged. Rather, the technology of the motion picture came about through an accumulation of contri butions, primarily from the United States, Germany, En gland, and France. Edison, Dickson , and the Kinetoscope In 1 8 8 8 , Thomas Edison, already the successfu l inventor of the phono graph and the electric lightbulb, decided to design ma chines for making and showing moving photograp hs.
M u ch of the wor k was d one by his assistant, W. The Invent i o n o f the Cinema Dickson. Since Edison's phonograph worked by record ing sound on cylinders, the pair tried fruitlessly to make rows of tiny photographs around similar cylinders. In 1 8 8 9 , Edison went to Paris and saw Marey's camera, 1. Viewers activated it by putti ng a coin in a slot. D ickson then obtained some Eastman Kodak film stock and began working on a new type of machine. By 1 8 9 1 , the Kinetograph cam era and Kinetoscope viewing box 1. D ickson sliced sheets of Eastman film into strips 1 inch wide roughly 35 milli meters , spliced them end to end, and punched four holes on either side of each frame so that toothed gears could pull the film through the camera and Kinetoscope.
Dickson's early decisions influenced the entire history of the cinema; 3 5 mm film stock with four perforations per frame has remained the norm. Amazingly, an original Kinetoscope film can be shown on a modern proj ector. Initially, however, the film was exposed at about forty six frames per second-much faster than the average speed later adopted for silent filmmaking. Edison and Dickson needed films for their machines before they could exploit them commercially. They built a small studio, called the Black Maria, on the grounds of Edison's New Jersey laboratory and were ready for production by January 1 8 9 3 1.
The films lasted only twenty seconds or so-the longest run of film that the Kinetoscope could ho ld. Most films fe atured well known sports figures, excerpts from noted vaudeville acts, or performances by dancers or acrobats 1. Annie Oakley displayed her riflery and a bodybuilder flexed his muscle s. A few Kinetoscope shorts were knockabout comic skits, forerunners of the story film. The black backgro u n d and patch o f sunlight from the opening i n the roof were standard traits o f Kinetoscope films. The slanted portion o f the roof opened to admit sunlight for filming, and the whole building revolved on a track to catch optimal sun light. Edison had exploited his phonograph by leasing it to special phonograph parlors, where the public paid a nickel to hear records through earphone s.
O nly in 1 8 95 did phonographs become available for home use. O n April 1 4 , 1 8 94, the first Kinetoscope parlor opened in New York. Soon other parlors, both in the United States and abroad, exhibited the machines 1. For about two years the Kinetoscope was highly profita ble, but it was eclipsed when other inventors, inspired by Edison's new device, found ways to project films on a screen. E u ropean Contri buti o n s Another early system for tak ing and proj ecting films was invented by the Germans Max and Emil Skladanowsky. Their Bioscop held two strips of film, each 3 inches wide, running side by side; frames of each were proj ected a lternately. The Sklada nowsky brothers showed a fifteen-minute program at a large vaudeville theater in Berlin on November 1 , 1 8 95nearly two months before the famous Lumiere screening at the Grand Cafe see below. The Bioscop system was too cumbersome, however, and the Skladanowskys even tually adopted the standard 35mm, single-strip film used by more influential inventors.
The brothers toured Eu rope through 1 8 9 7, but they did not establish a stable production company. The Lumiere brothers, Louis a n d Auguste, in vented a proj ection system that helped make the cin ema a commercially viable enterprise internationally. Their family company, Lumiere Freres, based in Lyon, France, was the biggest European manufacturer of pho- tographic plates. In 1 8 94, a local Kinetoscope exhibitor asked them to produce short films that would be cheaper than the ones sold by Edison. Soon they had designed an elegant little camera, the Cinematographe, which used 3 5 mm film and an intermittent mechanism modeled on that of the sewing machine 1. The camera could serve as a printer when the positive copies were made. Then, mounted in front of a magic lantern, it formed part of the proj ector as wel l.
One important decision the Lu mieres made was to shoot their films at sixteen frames 1. This 1 9 3 0 photo shows Francis D oublier, one of the firm's representatives who toured the world showing and making films during the 1 8 9 0s, posing with his Cinematographe. The Invention of the Cinema 19 The Lumiere brothers' first film, Workers Leaving the Factory, was a single shot made outside their photo graphic factory. It embodied the essential appeal of the first films: realistic move ment of actual people. The first film made with this system was Workers Leaving the Fac tory, apparently shot in March 1 8 95 1. It was shown in public at a meeting of the Societe d'Encouragement a l'Industrie Nationale in Paris on March Six further showings to scientific and commercial groups followed, including additional films shot by Louis.
On December 2 8 , 1 8 95, one of the most famous film screenings in history took place. The location was a room in the Grand Cafe in Paris. In those days, cafes were gath ering spots where people sipped coffee, read newspapers, and were entertained by singers and other performers. That evening, fashionable patrons paid a franc to see a twenty-five minute program of ten films, about a minute each. Among the films shown were a close view of Au guste Lumiere and his wife feeding their baby, a staged comic scene of a boy stepping on a hose to cause a puz zled gardener to squirt himself later named Arroseur ar rose, or " The Waterer Watered " , and a shot of the sea. Although the first shows did moderate business, within weeks the Lumieres were offering twenty shows a day, with long lines of spectators waiting to get in. They moved quickly t o exploit this success, sending rep resentatives all over the world to show and make more short films.
At the same time that the Lumiere brothers were de veloping their system, a parallel process of invention was going on in England. The Edison Kinetoscope had pre miered in London in October 1 8 94, and the parlor that displayed the machines did so well that it asked R. Paul, a producer of photographic equipment, to make some extra machines for it. For reasons that are still not clear, Edison had not patented the Kinetoscope outside the United States, so Paul was free to sell copies to any one who wanted them. Since Edison would supply films only to exhibitors who had leased his own machines, Paul also had to invent a camera and make films to go with his duplicate Kinetoscopes.
By March 1 8 9 5 , Pa u l and his partner, Birt Acre s, had a functional camera, which they based partly on the one Marey had made seven years earlier for analyzing motion. Acres shot thirteen films during the first half of the year, but the partnership broke up. Paul went on im proving the camera, aiming to serve the Kinetoscope market, while Acres concentrated on creating a projec tor. O n January 1 4 , 1 8 9 6 , Acres showed some of his films to the Royal Photographic Society. Among these was R o ugh Sea at D o ver 1. Ebook Download Enter The Minecraft: EPISODE 1: The Minecraft King Games Volume 1.
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