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motion pictures

motion pictures, movie-making as an art and an industry, including its production techniques, its creative artists, and the distribution and exhibition of its products (see also motion picture photography; Motion Picture Cameras under camera).

Origins

Experiments in photographing movement had been made in both the United States and Europe during the latter half of the 19th cent. with, at first, no exploitation of its technical and commercial possibilities. Serial photographs of racehorses, intended to prove that all four hooves do leave the ground simultaneously, were obtained (c.1867) in California by Eadweard Muybridge and J. D. Isaacs by setting up a row of cameras with shutters tripped by wires. The first motion pictures made with a single camera were by E. J. Marey, a French physician, in the 1880s, in the course of his study of motion.

In 1889 Thomas Edison and his staff developed the kinetograph, a camera using rolls of coated celluloid film, and the Kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flipped in sequence. Marketed in 1893, the Kinetoscope gained popularity in penny arcades, and experimentation turned to ways in which moving images might be shown to more than one person at a time. In France the Lumière brothers created the first projection device, the Cinématographe (1895). In the United States, similar machines, notably the Pantopticon and the Vitascope, were developed and first used in New York City in 1896.

At first the screenings formed part of vaudeville shows and arcades, but in 1902 a Los Angeles shop that showed only moving pictures had great success; soon "movie houses" (converted shoprooms) sprang up all over the country. The first movie theater, complete with luxurious accessories and a piano, was built in Pittsburgh in 1905. A nickel was charged for admission, and the theater was called the nickelodeon. An industry developed to produce new material and the medium's potential for expressive ends began to assert itself.

The earliest films were used primarily to chronicle contemporary attitudes, fashions, and events, and ran no longer than 10 minutes. At first, simple actions were filmed, then everyday scenes and, pivotally, gag films, in which a practical joke is staged as a simple tableau. The camera was first used in a fixed position, though soon it was pivoted, or panned, on its tripod or moved toward or away from a subject.

The medium's potential as a storytelling mechanism was realized very early in its history. The Frenchman George Méliès created the earliest special effects and built elaborate sets specifically to tell stories of a fantastic nature, usually as a series of tableaux. His Cinderella (1900) and A Trip to the Moon (1902) were major innovative accomplishments. The American Edwin S. Porter demonstrated that action need not be staged for cinema screen as for theater and early realized that scenes photographed in widely separate locales could be cut, or edited, together yet still not be confusing to the audience. His subject matter tended toward depictions of modern life; his Life of an American Fireman (1902) and The Great Train Robbery (1903) are among the first works to use editing as well as acting and stagecraft to tell their stories.

As business increased, the demand for product was met by many new companies incorporated to create the supply. Cooperation among the early filmmakers yielded to the demands of the marketplace, and each company tried to secure continued success through innovations meant to distinguish its product. Out of these efforts developed the star system, the establishment of physical plants (studios) where the films would be made, and the organization of the filmmaking process into interlocking crafts. The crafts people include actors, producers, cinematographers, writers, editors, and film laboratory technicians who work interdependently in a production effort overseen and coordinated by the director.

American Film

The Early Years

The first American studios were centered in the New York City area. Edison had claimed the patents for many of the technical elements involved in filmmaking and, in 1909, formed the Motion Picture Patents Company, an attempt at monopoly that worked to keep unlicensed companies out of production and distribution. To put distance between themselves and the Patents Company's sometimes violent tactics, many independents moved their operations to a suburb of Los Angeles; the location's proximity to Mexico allowed these producers to flee possible legal injunctions. After 1913 Hollywood, Calif., became the American movie capital. At first, films were sold outright to exhibitors; later they were distributed on a rental basis through film exchanges.

Early on, actors were not known by name, but in 1910, the "star system" came into being via promotion of Vitagraph Co. actress Florence Lawrence, first known as The Vitagraph Girl. Other companies, noting that this approach improved business, responded by attaching names to popular faces and "fan magazines" quickly followed, providing plentiful, and free, publicity. Films had slowly been edging past the 20 minute mark, but the drive to feature-length works began with the Italian "spectacle" film, of which Quo Vadis (1913), running nine reels or about two hours, was the most influential.

Directors of the day, including D. W. Griffith, Thomas Ince, Maurice Tourneur, J. Stuart Blackton, and Mack Sennett, became known to audiences as purveyors of certain kinds, or "genres," of subject matter. The first generation of star actors included Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Marie Dressler, Lillian Gish, William S. Hart, Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Claudette Colbert, Rudolph Valentino, Janet Gaynor, Ronald Colman, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Lon Chaney, and Will Rogers. During World War I the United States became dominant in the industry and the moving picture expanded into the realm of education and propaganda.

The Hollywood Studio Era

In the post–World War I period the production genius of such men as Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Adolph Zukor, and Jesse L. Lasky, and the innovative talents of Cecil B. De Mille, Erich Von Stroheim, and Ernst Lubitsch were dominant. The year 1926 brought experiments in sound effects and music, and in 1927 spoken dialogue was successfully introduced in The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson. A year later the first all-talking picture, Lights of New York, was shown. With the talkies new directors achieved prominence—King Vidor, Joseph Von Sternberg, Rouben Mamoulian, Frank Capra, and John Ford. Sound films gave a tremendous boost to the careers of some silent actors but destroyed many whose voices were not suited to recording. Among the most celebrated stars of the new era were Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, W. C. Fields, and the Marx Brothers.

Also in 1927 The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences was formed and began an annual awards ceremony. The prize, a figurine of a man grasping a star, was later dubbed Oscar. These awards did much to confer status upon the medium in that they asserted a definable quality of excellence analogous to literature and theater, other media in which awards are given for excellence. The Academy Awards also offered the bonus of gathering many stars in one place and thus attracted immediate and widespread attention. The star system blossomed: actors were recruited from the stage as well as trained in the Hollywood studios.

From the 1930s until the early 1950s, the studios sponsored a host of talented actors, foremost among whom were Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Charles Laughton, Barbara Stanwyck, William Powell, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Leslie Howard, Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edward G. Robinson, Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, James Cagney, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, James Mason, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly. Producers and directors such as David O. Selznick, Darryl F. Zanuck, Mervyn LeRoy, William Wyler, George Stevens, and Billy Wilder made significant contributions to cinematic art.

The medium had, after nickelodeon days, converted many legitimate theaters into movie houses. Later, during Hollywood's "golden age," thousands of sumptuous movie palaces were erected all over the United States, and drive-in movie theaters became popular outside urban centers. Since their inception the movies have always been termed an industry, with good reason. In 1938 there were more than 80 million single admissions per week (65% of the population). To meet the huge box-office demand, more than 500 films were produced that year.

The industry in its heyday (1930–49) was managed by a number of omnipotent studios, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Brothers, RKO, Paramount, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Universal. They produced endless cycles of films in imitation of a few successful original types. The range of themes included the criminal underworld, behind-the-scenes newspaper dramas, westerns, musicals, costume romances, character series such as the Charlie Chan films, prison stories, mysteries, comedies, and Broadway shows. Because of their enormous investments and gargantuan rewards (the film industry's gross income for 1946, its best year, was nearly $2 billion), the studios were encouraged to repeat conventionalized formula pictures.

The Post-Studio Era

In the 1950s, two developments ended the studios' grip on the entertainment business: the overwhelming popularity of television began to eat into studio profits and the studios were forced by the federal courts to yield the control of distribution and exhibition that they had maintained by means of massive conglomerate corporations. In 1962 box-office receipts were only $900 million; by 1968 only 20 million people per week were going to a movie (10% of the population). Independent distributors and theaters took a huge cut of the industry's income after World War II, and the studios cut wages and laid off employees in a struggle to survive.

In order to compete with television the studio heads strongly urged technological innovation. In the 1950s experiments abounded with wide-screen processes, such as CinemaScope and Cinerama and stereophonic sound systems. The movies of the 1950s and 60s traded a bit of glamour for an increased sense of realism, providing vehicles for new directors, including Elia Kazan, John Frankenheimer, Stanley Kubrick, and Sidney Lumet, and for a great number of popular film stars, including Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Judy Holliday, James Dean, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlton Heston, Doris Day, George C. Scott, Audrey Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier.

Eventually, c.1956 many studios began to produce material especially for television, including commercials, and to sell their old films for television reruns. Independent production became the norm, with the studios acting as distributors only, and new kinds of films emerged: horror, science fiction, and rock 'n' roll stories aimed at teen-agers proliferated. Concurrently, larger studio-backed films eschewed romanticism and sentimentality, fighting the long-imposed bans on depictions of a harsher reality and a more explicit sexuality.

The trend away from the glamorous celebrity image that began in the 1960s gained momentum in the 70s. The principal stars of these years include Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, and Woody Allen. Important American directors of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s include Peter Bogdanovich, Roman Polanski, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, and Martin Scorsese.

A change came with the release of Jaws (1975), an unassuming suspense picture that unexpectedly grossed over $100 million by appealing to all ages and both sexes. Filmmakers were now encouraged to speak to the widest possible audience. The result was a series of films given over to spectacle. Star Wars (1977) cracked the $200 million barrier, and E.T. (1982) earned over $300 million. While many of these films aroused criticism for representing the triumph of special effects over any kind of human values, the net effect was to draw the audience back into movie theaters, and many movies, including those without spectacular elements, succeeded during this period. This trend has continued into the 21st cent. The leading directors are Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, the latter more active as a producer.

Two developments that greatly enhanced profitability in the 1980s were the development of low-cost videocassette recorders (VCRs), which allow films to be shown at home, and the government's relaxation of the decrees separating production from distribution. The studios first felt that videocassettes would weaken the theatrical market; the reverse was true, as viewers became more interested in movie entertainment in general. Of the latter, studio co-ownership of various theater circuits assured wider distribution of films.

Beginning in the 1960s, many of the old movie palaces began to be divided into two or more auditoriums due to weakening attendance. When audiences returned in the 1980s, multiplexes, or theaters with multiple auditoriums, became the norm and mushroomed in suburban shopping malls and urban centers. In the early 1990s, however, the recession was reflected in movie attendance. By the turn of the decade, two major studios, MGM and Orion, suffered financial difficulties, and two others, Columbia and Universal, were bought by Japanese electronics companies, although Universal later became part of a French conglomerate.

One of the few positive motion-picture trends during the late 20th and early 21st cent. was the development and proliferation of IMAX. The format, which debuted in Japan in 1970, utilizes special film and projectors, features a gigantic screen and huge sound system, and has been used to take viewers on ultrarealistic trips to earthly (e.g., Everest, 1998) and outer-space (e.g., Destiny in Space, 1994) destinations. The province of museums for roughly two decades, the system was later extended to theaters and a number of films were reformatted to fit IMAX screens. By 2002, 180 IMAX films had been made, some in 3-D, and 225 large-screen IMAX theaters were in operation, 110 of them in the United States.

Censorship

After several scandals led to the fear that the immorality perceived to be rampant in Hollywood might appear on screen, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, headed by Will H. Hays, was established in 1922 as a film review board. The Production Code, popularly known as the "Hays Code," a highly restrictive set of guidelines for movie content, was promulgated in 1934 and complied with by virtually every Hollywood producer. In the late 1960s, the determination of what constituted pornography was turned over to the states for enforcement at the same time that filmmakers were attempting to break away from the Production Code's bans on sexuality and violence.

In 1966, the Production Code was abandoned completely and succeeded by the Motion Picture Code and Rating Program. Adopted to avoid a threatened state-controlled system, the program has characterized itself as providing guidance for parents, not for filmmakers. The program initially assigned each film one of four ratings: G (general audiences, without restrictions), M (mature audiences, parental guidance advised), R (restricted audiences, no one younger than 18 admitted without a parent or guardian), and X (no one younger than 18 admitted). The age limit may be adjusted by individual state rulings. M was eventually supplanted by PG (parental guidance suggested), PG-13, was introduced for films that might contain material inappropriate for pre-teenagers, and NC-17 replaced X, which had become associated with pornographic films.

Bibliography

See G. Battcock, The New American Cinema (1967); K. Brownlow, The Parade's Gone By (1968); R. Manvell, New Cinema in the USA (1968); R. Adler, A Year in the Dark (1970); D. Shipman, The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years (1970); P. Trent, The Image Makers: Sixty Years of Hollywood Glamour (1972); P. Gilliatt, Unholy Fools (1973); C. Higham, The Art of the American Film, 1900–1971 (1973); P. Kael, I Lost It at the Movies (1965), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1968), Going Steady (1970), Deeper into Movies (1974), and For Keeps (1994); E. Mordden, The Hollywood Musical (1981) and The Hollywood Studios (1988); A. Brower and T. L. Wright, Working in Hollywood (1990); R. Barrios, A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film (1995); K. M. Cameron, America on Film (1997); W. K. Everson, American Silent Film (1998); J. Basinger, Silent Stars (1999); T. Doherty, Pre-Code Hollywood (1999); M. A. Vieira, Sin in Soft Focus (1999); D. Bardwell and K. Thompson, Minding Movies (2011); S. Griffin, ed., What Dreams Were Made Of: Movie Stars of the 1940s (2011); D. Thomson, The Big Screen (2012).



British Film

Britain has produced some of the most illustrious talents in the history of film. Early efforts (c.1929) by the producer J. Arthur Rank to achieve a world market for British films were realized with the work of such postwar directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, David Lean, and the Hungarian-born Alexander Korda. Their films were literate and often suspenseful and brought international fame to such actors as Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Paul Scofield, Merle Oberon, and Michael Redgrave. Alec Guinness, Peter Ustinov, Peter Sellers, and Terry Thomas created comedies that are sophisticated and singularly British in their sense of humor.

Major British directors of the 1960s include the American-born Joseph Losey, Tony Richardson, Sidney Furie, and John Schlesinger. Among the great number of notable British actors of recent years are Dirk Bogarde, Peter Finch, Michael Caine, Vanessa Redgrave, Stanley Baker, Glenda Jackson, Richard Burton, Julie Christie, Peter O'Toole, Maggie Smith, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Albert Finney, Kenneth More, Michael York, Tom Courtenay, and Robert Shaw.

After a long dry spell in the 1970s, the British film industry returned to life with the formation of several new production companies such as Enigma, Working Title, Handmade Films, and Palace. A new television outlet, Channel 4, also produced many movies for theatrical release. Directors whose careers were stalled by the doldrums of the previous period now produced mature works: Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette), Mike Leigh (High Hopes, Life Is Sweet), and Mike Newell (Dance with a Stranger, The Good Father) among them. A new crop of actors came to the public's attention, including Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Natasha Richardson, Rupert Everett, Helen Mirren, Ben Kingsley, Jeremy Irons, Bob Hoskins, Kenneth Branagh, and Emma Thompson.

Bibliography

See R. Low, The History of the British Film (4 vol., 1973); C. Barr, ed., All Our Yesterdays (1990); J. Caughie and K. Rocket, ed., The Companion to British and Irish Cinema (1996).; S. Street, British National Cinema (1997); A. Aldgate and J. Richards, Best of British (new ed. 1999).



French Film

In the 1920s there was enormous creative film activity in France led by Louis Delluc and a group of directors around him—Abel Gance, Jean Epstein, and Germaine Dulac. Along with such directors as René Clair, Jean Renoir, and Carl Dreyer, they created films with an impressionistic and literary flavor. Later French films reflected first the optimism and then the despair of international events, as in Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937) and Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938). In the postwar era H. G. Clouzot, René Clément, and Robert Bresson directed important films.

In the late 1950s the "new wave" of young directors, including Alain Resnais, Louis Malle, François Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard, made innovations in cinematography and dramatic approach. Their efforts achieved a new cinematic intimacy and a relaxed mood. French film stars who attained international acclaim during this period include Jean Gabin, Arletty, Gérard Philipe, Brigitte Bardot, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Among the foremost directors of this period were Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, and the Greek-born Costa-Gavras.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, the filmmakers of the new wave became curiously like the directors they had sought to replace, working on literary adaptations and stories of the occupation. A new group emerged, much more amorphous, concerned with reflecting their vision of present-day France. Among the new directors are Jean-Jacques Beneix (Diva,Betty Blue), Luc Besson (Subway,La Femme Nikita), and Leos Carax (Boy Meets Girl,Bad Blood).

The stars introduced by these films are notable for affectlessness: Beatrice Dalle, Christopher Lambert, Thierry Lhermitte, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Tcheky Karyo, and Anne Parrilaud, though some have found more range in subsequent works. The most successful star of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s has been Gérard Depardieu, who can make as many of five films in a year and is often credited for keeping the French cinema viable on the world market despite strong competition from the American film industry.

Bibliography

See R. Armes, The French Cinema since 1946 (2 vol., rev. ed. 1970) and French Cinema (1985); G. Sadoul, French Film (1953, repr. 1972); E. Ehrlich, Cinema of Paradox (1985); C. Crisp, The Classic French Cinema, 1930–1960 (1993) J. D. Andrew, Mists of Regret (1995); G. Vincendeau, ed., The Companion to French Cinema (1996).



German Film

The great era of German cinema began in 1919 with Robert Wiene's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It was written by Carl Mayer, who was among the most influential artists working in the German film industry in the 1920s. The films of this era were expressionist in style, paralleling developments in the other arts. Other notable directors, such as G. W. Pabst, F. W. Murnau, Max Ophuls, and Fritz Lang, brought the medium to new heights of imaginative production. A decline set in c.1925 when Hollywood attracted many German directors, technicians, and actors to the United States.

The advent of Hitler drove any remaining top talent abroad, and the industry did not recover its position after the war. Beginning in the early 1970s a group of young filmmakers revitalized the industry, attaining a world audience for their films: Wim Wenders (Kings of the Road and Wings of Desire), Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo) and R. W. Fassbinder (over 40 films, including The Marriage of Maria Braun and Querelle) led the renaissance.

Bibliography

See R. Manvell and H. Fraenkel, The German Cinema (1971); H. H. Wollenberg, Fifty Years of German Film (1948, repr. 1972); T. Elsaesser, New German Cinema (1989); T. Ginsberg, ed., Perspectives on German Film (1996); S. Allan and J. Sandford, ed., Defa: East German Cinema, 1946–1992 (1999); T. Elsaesser and M. Wedel, ed., The BFI Companion to German Cinema (1999).



Italian Film

The films of Roberto Rossellini in the 1940s gave new impetus to the Italian cinema. Thereafter followed a cycle of exciting, compassionate, grimly realistic films from such directors as Vittorio De Sica, Luigi Zampa, Giuseppe de Santis, and Luchino Visconti. These films, usually concerned with social themes, were successful in Italy only after they had won a foreign market. In the 1950s, in order to win box-office appeal, a tendency to produce marketable and sensational movies diminished the reputation of Italian filmmakers.

Quality and international acclaim were restored by Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Bernardo Bertolucci. Italian film stars who have won popularity abroad include Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Giulietta Masina, Monica Vitti, Raf Vallone, and Anna Magnani. The Italian industry suffered periodic crises from the 1970s to the 1990s, but produced new films by various masters and introduced an intriguing series of comic-centered films inspired by cartoons and clowning. Cinema Paradiso (1989) became the most successful Italian film released in the United States until Roberto Benigni's Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella, 1997), a bittersweet comedy about the Holocaust in Italy.

Bibliography

See V. Jarratt, The Italian Cinema (1951, repr. 1972); P. Leprohon, The Italian Cinema (tr. 1972); P. Bondanella, Italian Cinema (1993); J. Hay et al., The Companion to Italian Cinema (1996).



Japanese Film

Since World War II, films produced in the East have had an increasingly appreciative Western audience. Akira Kurosawa's films, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, are enormously popular action stories, in effect Japanese "westerns." Kurosawa's many productions, Kenju Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, and such delicately wrought works as Tokyo Story and The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice by Yasujiro Ozu brought worldwide acclaim to their directors and to Toshiro Mifune, who starred in many of Kurosawa's films. Japanese film became somewhat less culturally hermetic in later years, with directors such as Shohei Imamura (Vengeance Is Mine) and Juzo Itami (Tampopo) introducing a mixture of Japanese and Western influences into their work.

Bibliography

See D. Richie, The Japanese Movie: An Illustrated History (1982) and Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990); S. Galbraith, The Japanese Filmography (1996).



Russian Film

Dziga Vertov launched a weekly newsreel in 1922 urging new experiments in film technique, and Lev Kuleshov opened a cinema workshop to explore the psychological effects of film images. The result was the emergence of the Soviet epic films of the period 1925 to 1930. Encouraged by Lenin's belief that the film was of primary importance in the development of Soviet society, V. I. Pudovkin, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, and especially Sergei Eisenstein made films based on Russian history. Their superbly photographed, intensely dramatic films are classics of cinematic art.

The Soviet film industry was prolific but aesthetics were usurped by ideological heavy-handedness. Various thaws, however, produced intriguing works, including those by Sergei Paradjanov (The Color of Pomegranites) and Andrei Tarkovsky (Andrei Rublev). The breakdown of the Communist system has left the industry (now scattered among several newly independent nations) in an uncertain state.

Bibliography

See S. M. Eisenstein, Film Form and Film Sense (tr. 1949, repr. separately 1969) and Notes of a Film Director (rev. ed. tr. 1970); J. Leyda, Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film (1960, repr. 1983); T. J. Slater, ed., Handbook of Soviet and East European Films and Filmmakers (1992).



Swedish Film

Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller were the two men most responsible for the first flowering of Swedish films (c.1917–c.1924); Sjöström's Phantom Chariot (1920) was especially notable. When the Swedish film attained success and a world market, Hollywood and the German studios stepped in and hired the best technicians and artists, effectively destroying the industry. After World War II, Gösta Werner, Arne Sucksdorf, and Alf Sjöberg (especially his Torment, 1947) gained international repute. Film in Sweden was brought to unprecedented heights in the visionary works of Ingmar Bergman, a giant of modern cinema. He retired from filmmaking in 1983. Other modern Swedish directors of note include Bo Widerberg and Mai Zetterling. In 1987, Lasse Hallstrom's My Life as a Dog became the most successful Swedish film released abroad.

Bibliography

See J. Donner, The Personal Vision of Ingmar Bergman (1964); P. Cowie, Swedish Cinema (1966); A. Kwiatowski, Swedish Film Classics (1983); P. O. Qvist and P. Von Bagh, Guide to the Cinema of Sweden and Finland (1999).



Nontheatrical Film

Special types of films include the documentary, the newsreel, and the animated cartoon. The documentary, broadly defined, includes the newsreel, the travelogue, the educational film, and all other fact or nonfiction films, as well as some sorts of advertising. The term also includes artistic, interpretive films of the type that developed out of the work of Robert Flaherty (1920s and 30s) and Pare Lorentz (1930s) in the United States and John Grierson (1930s and 40s) in England. The documentary proved its value in the schoolroom and in training programs during World War II and has been widely used as a medium for propaganda since its inception. Documentary films on a vast range of subjects and exploiting every imaginable film technique are a primary staple of television entertainment.

The newsreel, introduced by Charles Pathé, was a series of short, generally unrelated films of current events, shown primarily as adjuncts to feature-film programs. The scope of the newsreel was broadened by the historical concept of the March of Time series (begun 1934); the newsreel was superseded by television news coverage in the early 1950s.

The animated cartoon is traditionally defined as a series of static drawings or scenes arranged and photographed and then synchronized with sound. In France in 1905, Émile Cohl produced several films with animated puppets, and in 1907, he made the first films to use animated drawings. American pioneers include Winsor McCay, who made Gertie the Dinosaur (1909); Bud Fisher, who began his "Mutt and Jeff" cartoons c.1918; Pat Sullivan, who produced "Felix the Cat" cartoons (1924); Chuck Jones, who in collaboration with Isador (Friz) Freleng, Tex Avery, and others, oversaw and animated (1930s–1960s) the Loony Tunes and Merry Melodies series (Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, et al.) at Warner Brothers (Jones also created (1949) the Road Runner series and later worked with on Dr. Seuss film cartoons; Freleng subsequently created the Pink Panther); and, of course, the celebrated Walt Disney.

Beginning with the Disney studios' Tron (1982), animation has become increasingly computer generated, largely due to the work of two California-based animation studiosa—DreamWorks and Pixar. Their early computer-made feature films include Pixar's Toy Story movies (1995, 1999) and A Bug's Life (1998) and DreamWorks' Antz (1998). By 2000, traditional cartoons were in decline and most U.S. film animation (with the exception of nearly all the features produced by Disney) was digital, seemingly three-dimensional, and computer-generated. In DreamWorks' Shrek (2001) and Shrek 2 (2004) and Pixar's Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), and The Incredibles (2004), computer animation reached new heights of technological sophistication and complexity. Their seemingly real characters, voiced by actors but otherwise completely electronic in origin, interact in an apparently organic environment.

The Polar Express (2004) combined live action and animation, digitizing and transforming the body and face movements of actors into the actions of computerized characters that inhabit a three-dimensional, computer-generated world. The boundaries of traditional animation continued to expand as animation and live action were increasingly merged and the technology employed to combine the two became increasingly sophisticated. These advances are evident, for example, in the processed live action of Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly (2006) and in the motion-capture techniques used to change human dancers into dancing penguins in George Miller's Happy Feet (2006). Pixar's robot love story, WALL-E (2008, Academy Award), is told mainly in compelling digital images.

Although animation has been generally treated as a children's medium, some animators, such as Ralph Bakshi, have aimed their works at adults, and the Disney organization, after several moribund years, began a series of features aimed equally at kids and at their parents, such as The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and The Lion King (1994), which have proved to be extremely successful at the box office. Another notable talent is Don Bluth, who produced An American Tail and The Land before Time, combining old-fashioned full-animation with up-to-date wit.

Late 20th-century Japanese animation, much of it computer-generated, has been extremely influential. By the early 21st cent. some 60 percent of Japanese films and many television programs were in the style known as anime (ä´nēmā) [Jap.,=animation], which usually represents a fusion of Japanese pictorial tradition, particularly wood-block prints, with characters and stories in the American idiom. The style began in the 1950s with the work of Osamu Tezuka, creator of the Astro Boy comic book (1951) and television series (1963). Characterized by somewhat jerky movements and big-headed characters (as in the well-known Pokémon series), these films do not stress realism, but attempt to capture expressive gesture and mood. Anime films range from Disney-style adventures to surrealist fantasies, and many mix genres. Particularly impressive is the work of Hayao Miyazaki, e.g., the complex and brooding Princess Mononoke (1997) and the later Spirited Away (2001). Other outstanding anime films include Katusuhiro Otomo's Akira (1988), Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell (1996), Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue (1997), and Rintaro's Fritz Lang–inspired Metropolis (2000).

Bibliography

See K. C. Lahue, World of Laughter: The Motion Picture Comedy Short, 1910–1930 (1966); R. L. Snyder, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film (1968); A. Rosenthal, The New Documentary in Action (1971); J. Lenburg, The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (1991); M. Barrier, Hollywood Cartoons (1999); S. J. Napier, Anime from "Akira" to "Princess Monoke" (2000); K. Paik, To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios (2007); D. A. Price, The Pixar Touch (2008).



General Bibliography

See K. Macgowan, Behind the Screen (1965); A. Bazin, What Is Cinema? (1967); B. Crowther, The Great Films (1967); D. Shipman, The Great Movie Stars (2 vol., 1970–72); D. Robinson, The History of World Cinema (1973); J. D. Andrew, The Major Film Theories (1976) and Concepts in Film Theory (1984); K. Brownlow, Hollywood, the Pioneers (1979); D. Cook, A History of Narrative Film (1981); G. Mast, A Short History of the Movies (1986); B. F. Kawin, How Movies Work (1987); I. Konigsberg, The Complete Film Dictionary (2d ed. 1997); D. Thomson; A Biographical Dictionary of Film (rev. ed. 2004) and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood (2004).

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Motion Pictures

MOTION PICTURES

The statement "Cinema is for us the most important of all arts" has been attributed to Vladimir Lenin. This statement, whether apocryphal or not, became the motto of the Soviet motion picture industry. Because of the central part the movies played in Soviet propaganda, the motion picture industry had an enormous impact on culture, society, and politics.

early russian cinema, 18961918

The moving picture age began in Russia on May 6, 1896, at the Aquarium amusement park in St. Petersburg. By summer of that year, the novelty was a featured attraction at the popular provincial trading fairs. Until 1908, however, the vast majority of movies shown in Russia were French. That year, Alexander Drankov (18801945), a portrait photographer and entrepreneur, opened the first Russian owned and operated studio, in St. Petersburg. His inaugural picture, Stenka Razin, was a great success and inspired other Russians to open studios.

By 1913, Drankov had been overshadowed by two Russian-owned production companies, Khanzhonkov and Thiemann & Reinhardt. These were located in Moscow, the empire's Hollywood. The outbreak of war in 1914 proved an enormous boon to the fledgling Russian film industry, since distribution paths were cut, making popular French movies hard to come by. (German films were forbidden altogether.) By 1916 Russia boasted more than one hundred studios that produced five hundred pictures. The country's four thousand movie theaters entertained an estimated 2 million spectators daily.

Until 1913 most Russian films were newsreels and travelogues. The few fiction films were mainly adaptations of literary classics, with some historical costume dramas. The turning point in the development of early Russian cinema was The Keys to Happiness (1913), directed by Yakov Protazanov (18811945) and Vladimir Gardin (18811945) for the Thiemann & Reinhardt studio. This full-length melodrama, based on a popular novel, was the legendary blockbuster of the time.

Although adaptations of literary classics remained popular with Russian audiences, the contemporary melodrama was favored during the war years. The master of the genre was Yevgeny Bauer (18651917). Bauer's complex psychological portraits, technical innovations, and painterly cinematic style raised Russian cinema to new levels of artistry. Bauer worked particularly well with actresses and made Vera Kholodnaya (18931919) a legend. Bauer's surviving filmswhich include Twilight of a Woman's Soul (1913), Child of the Big City (1914), Silent Witnesses (1914), Children of the Age (1915), The Dying Swan (1916), and To Happiness (1917)provide a vivid picture of a lost Russia.

The revolutionary year 1917 brought joy and misgiving to filmmakers. Political, economic, and social instability shuttered most theaters by the beginning of 1918. Studios began packing up and moving south to Yalta, to escape Bolshevik control. By 1920, Russia's filmmakers were on the move again, to Paris, Berlin, and Prague. Russia's great actor Ivan Mozzhukhin (18901939, known in France as "Mosjoukine") was one of few who enjoyed as much success abroad as at home.

soviet silent cinema, 19181932

The first revolutionary film committees formed in 1918, and on August 27, 1919, the Bolshevik government nationalized the film industry, placing it under the control of Narkompros, the People's Commissariat for Enlightenment. Nationalization represented wishful thinking at best, since Moscow's movie companies had already decamped, dismantling everything that could be carried.

Filmmaking during the Civil War of 19171922 took place under extraordinarily difficult conditions. Lenin was acutely aware of the importance of disseminating the Bolshevik message to a largely illiterate audience as quickly as possible, yet film stock and trained cameramen were in short supplynot to mention projectors and projectionists. Apart from newsreels, the early Bolshevik repertory consisted of "agit-films," short, schematic, but exciting political messages. Films were brought to the provinces on colorfully decorated agit-trains, which carried an electrical generator to enable the agitki to be projected on a sheet. Innovations like these enabled Soviet cinema to rise from the ashes of the former Russian film industry, leading eventually to the formation of Goskino, the state film trust, in 1922 (reorganized as Sovkino in 1924).

Since most established directors, producers, and actors had already fled central Russia for territories controlled by the White armies, young men and women found themselves rapidly rising to positions of prominence in the revolutionary cinema. They were drawn to film as "the art of the future." Many of them had some experience in theater production, but Lev Kuleshov (18991970), who had begun his cinematic career with the great prerevolutionary director Bauer, led the way, though he was still a teenager.

By the end of the civil war, most of Soviet Russia's future filmmakers had converged on Moscow. Many of them (Kuleshov, Sergei Eisenstein, and their "collectives") were connected to the Proletkult theater, where they debated and dreamed.

Because film stock was carefully rationed until the economy recovered in 1924, young would-be directors had to content themselves with rehearsing the experiments they hoped to film and writing combative theoretical essays for the new film journals. The leading director-theorists were Kuleshov, Eisenstein (18981948), Vsevolod Pudovkin (18931953), Dziga Vertov (18961954, born Denis Kaufman), and the "FEKS" team of Grigory Kozintsev (19051973) and Leonid Trauberg (19021990). Kuleshov wrote most clearly about the art of the cinema as a revolutionary agent, but Eisenstein's and Vertov's theories (and movies) had an impact that extended far beyond the Soviet Union's borders.

The debates between Eisenstein and Vertov symbolized the most extreme positions in the theoretical conflicts among the revolutionary avantgarde of the 1920s. Eisenstein believed in acted cinema but borrowed Kuleshov's idea of the actor as a type; he preferred working with nonprofessionals. Vertov privileged non-acted cinema and argued that the movie camera was a "cinema eye" (kino-glaz ) that would catch "life off-guard" (zhizn vrasplokh )yet he was an inveterate manipulator of time and space in his pictures. Eisenstein believed in a propulsive narrative driven by a "montage of attractions," with the masses as the protagonists, whereas Vertov was decisively anti-narrative, believing that a brilliantly edited kaleidoscope of images best revealed the contours of revolutionary life.

Eisenstein's first two feature films, Strike (1925) and Battleship Potemkin (1926), enjoyed enormous success with critics and politicians but were much less popular with the workers and soldiers whose interests they were supposed to service. The same was true of Vertov's pictures. The intelligentsia loved Forward, Soviet! and One-Sixth of the World (both 1926), but proletarians were nonplussed.

Kuleshov, Pudovkin, Kozintsev, and Trauberg (who directed as a team) were more successful translating revolutionary style and content for mass audiences because they retained plot and character at the heart of their films. The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924), one of Kuleshov's earliest efforts, appeared as a favorite film in audience surveys through the end of the 1920s. The same was true of Pudovkin's Mother (1926), a loose adaptation of Maxim Gorky's famous novel. Kozintsev and Trauberg's The Overcoat (1926) is a good example of the extremes to which young directors pushed the classical narrative.

Despite this wealth of talent, Soviet avantgarde films never came close to challenging the popularity of American movies in the 1920s. Douglas Fairbanks's and Charlie Chaplin's pictures drew sell-out audiences. In response to the pressures to make Soviet entertainment filmsand the need to show a profitGoskino and the quasi-private studio Mezhrapbom invested more heavily in popular films than in the avant-garde, to the great dismay of the latter, but to the joy of audiences. The leading popular filmmaker was Protazanov, who returned to Soviet Russia in 1923 to make a string of hits, starting with the science fiction adventure, Aelita (1924).

Also very successful with the spectators were the narrative films of younger directors such as Fridrikh Ermler (18981967, born Vladimir Breslav), Boris Barnet (19021965), and Abram Room (18941976). Ermler earned fame for his trenchant social melodramas (Katka's Reinette Apples, 1926 and The Parisan Cobbler, 1928). Barnet's intelligent comedies such as The Girl with the Hatbox (1927) sparkled, as did his adventure serial Miss Mend (1926),. Room was perhaps the most versatile of the three, ranging from a revolutionary adventure, Death Bay (1926), to a remarkable melodrama about a ménage à trois, Third Meshchanskaya Street (1927, known in the West as Bed and Sofa ).

It must be emphasized that moviemaking was not a solely Russian enterprise, although distribution politics often made it difficult for films from Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia to be considered more than exotica. The greatest artist to emerge from the non-Russian cinemas was certainly Ukraine's Alexander Dovzhenko (18941956), but Armenia's Amo Bek-Nazarov (18921965) and Georgia's Nikolai Shengelaya (19031943) made important contributions to early Soviet cinema as well.

In 1927, as the New Economic Policy era was coming to a close, Soviet cinema was flourishing. Cinema had returned to all provincial cities and rural areas were served by cinematic road shows. There was a lively film press that reflected a variety of aesthetic positions. Production was more than respectable, about 140 to 150 titles annually. Six years later, production had plummeted to a mere thirty-five films.

Many factors contributed to the crisis in cinema that was part of the Cultural Revolution. First, in 1927, sound was introduced to cinema, an event with significant artistic and economic implications. Second, proletarianist organizations such as RAPP, the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers, and ARRK, the Association of Workers in Revolutionary Cinematography were infiltrated by extremist elements who supported the government's aims to turn the film industry into a tool for propagandizing the collectivization and industrialization campaigns. This became apparent at the first All-Union Party Conference on Cinema Affairs in 1928. Third, in 1929, Anatoly Lunacharsky, the leading proponent of a diverse cinema, was ousted as commissar of enlightenment, and massive purges of the film industry began that lasted through 1931.

These troubled times saw the production of four great films, the last gasp of Soviet silent cinema: Ermler's The Fragment of the Empire, Kozintsev and Trauberg's New Babylon, Vertov's The Man with the Movie Camera (all 1929), and the following year, Dovzhenko's Earth.

stalinist cinema, 19321953

By the end of the Cultural Revolution, it was clear to filmmakers that the era of artistic innovation had ended. Movies and their makers were now "in the service of the state." Although Socialist Realism was not formally established as aesthetic dogma until 1934, (reconfirmed in 1935 at the All-Union Creative Conference on Cinematographic Affairs), politically astute directors had for several years been making movies that were only slightly more sophisticated than the agit-films of the civil war.

In the early 1930s, a few of the great artists of the previous decade attempted to adapt their experimental talents to the sound film. These efforts were either excoriated (Kuleshov's The Great Consoler and Pudovkin's The Deserter, both 1933) or banned outright (Eisenstein's Bezhin Meadow, 1937). Film production plummeted, as directors tried to navigate the ever-changing Party line, and many projects were aborted mid-production. Stalin's intense personal interest and involvement in moviemaking greatly exacerbated tensions.

Some of the early cinema elite avant-garde were eventually able to rebuild their careers. Kozintsev and Trauberg scored a major success with their popular adventure trilogy: The Youth of Maxim (1935), The Return of Maxim (1937), The Vyborg Side (1939). Pudovkin avoided political confrontations by turning to historical films celebrating Russian heroes of old in Minin and Pozharsky (1939), followed by Suvorov in 1941. Eisenstein likewise found a safe historical subject in the only undisputed masterpiece of the decade, Alexander Nevsky (1938). Others, such as Dovzhenko and Ermler, seriously compromised their artistic reputations by making movies that openly curried Stalin's favor. Ermler's The Great Citizen (two parts, 19371939) is a particularly notorious example.

New directors, most of them not particularly talented, moved to the forefront. Novices such as Nikolai Ekk and the Vasiliev Brothers made two of the enduring classics of Socialist Realism: The Road to Life (1931) and Chapayev (1934). Another relative newcomer, Ivan Pyrev, churned out Stalin-pleasing conspiracy films such as The Party Card (1936), about a woman who discovers her husband is a traitor, before turning to canned socialist comedies, of which Tractor Drivers (1939) is the most typical.

Some of the new generation managed to maintain artistic standards. Mikhail Romm's revisionist histories of the revolution, Lenin in October (1937) and Lenin in 1918 (1939), which placed Stalin right at Lenin's side, were the first major hits in his distinguished career. Mark Donskoy's three-picture adaptation of Maxim Gorky's autobiography, beginning with Gorky's Youth (1938) also generated popular acclaim. The most beloved of the major directors of the 1930s was, however, Grigory Alexandrov. Alexandrov, who had worked as Eisenstein's assistant until 1932, successfully distanced himself from the maverick director, launching a series of zany musical comedies starring his wife, Lyubov Orlova, in 1934 with The Jolly Fellows.

When the German armies invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the tightly controlled film industry easily mobilized for the wartime effort. Considered central to the war effort, key filmmakers were evacuated to Kazakhstan, where makeshift studios were quickly constructed in Alma-Ata. With very few exceptionsEisenstein's Ivan the Terrible (19441946) being most noteworthymoviemaking during the war years focused almost exclusively on the war. Newsreels naturally dominated production. The fiction films that were made about the war effort were quite remarkable compared to those of the other combatant nations in that they focused on the active role women played in the partisan movement. One of these, Ermler's She Defends Her Motherland (1943), which tells the story of a woman who puts aside grief for vengeance, was shown in the United States during the war as No Greater Love.

The postwar years, until Stalin's death in 1953, were a cultural wasteland. Film production nearly ground to a halt; only nine films were made in 1950. The wave of denunciations and arrests known as the anti-cosmopolitan campaign roiled the cultural intelligentsia, particularly those who were Jewish such as Vertov, Trauberg, and Eisenstein. Eisenstein's precarious health was aggravated by the extreme tensions of the time and the disfavor that greeted the second part of Ivan the Terrible. He became the most famous casualty among filmmakers, dying of a heart attack in 1948 at the age of only fifty. Cold War conspiracy melodramas

dominated movie theaters (not unlike McCarthy era films in the United States a few years later), along with ever more extravagant panegyrics to Stalin. Georgian director Mikhail Chiaureli's first ode to Stalin, The Vow (1946), was followed by The Fall of Berlin (1949), which Richard Taylor has aptly dubbed "the apotheosis of Stalin's cult of Stalin."

soviet cinema from the thaw through stagnation, 19531985

By the mid-1950s, filmmakers were confident that the Thawas Khrushchev's relaxation of censorship was known-would last long enough for them to express long-dormant creativity. The move from public and political toward the private and personal became a hallmark of the period. Thaw pictures were appreciated not only at home, but also abroad, where they received numerous prizes at international film festivals. There was now a human face to the Soviet colossus.

The greatest movies of the period rewrote the history of World War II, the Great Patriotic War. Mikhail Kalatozov's The Cranes Are Flying (1957) won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1958, signaling that Soviet cinema was once again on the world stage after nearly thirty years. Cranes is the story of a woman who betrays her lover, a soldier who is killed at the front, to marry his cousin, a craven opportunist. There is no upbeat ending, no neat resolution. The same can be said of Sergei Bondarchuk's The Fate of a Man and Grigory Chukhrai's The Ballad of a Soldier (both 1959). In the former, a POW returns home to find his entire family dead; in the latter, a very young soldier's last leave home to help his mother is movingly recorded.

A film that is often considered the last important movie of the Thaw also launched the career of the greatest film artist to emerge in postwar Soviet cinema. This was Ivan's Childhood (1962, known in the United States as My Name Is Ivan ), a stunning antiwar film that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The director was Andrei Tarkovsky (19321986). By the time Tarkovsky began work on Andrei Rublev in the mid-1960s, Khrushchev had been ousted, and Leonid Brezhnev's era of stagnation had begun. Cultural iconoclasm was no longer tolerated, and Tarkovsky's dystopian epic about medieval Russia's greatest painter was not released in the USSR until 1971, although it won the International Film Critics' prize at Cannes in 1969. Tarkovsky toiled defiantly in the 1970s to produce three more Soviet films, Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975), and Stalker (1980). He emigrated to Europe in 1984 and died of cancer two years later.

Filmmaking under Brezhnev was generally unremarkable, although two films, Bondarchuk's War and Peace (1966) and Vladimir Menshov's Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979) each won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The most interesting movies (such as Alexander Askoldov's The Commissar, 1967) were shelved, not to be released until the late 1980s as part of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost. Among the exceptions to the mundane fare were Larisa Shepitko's tale of World War II collaboration, The Ascent (1976), and Lana Gogoberidze's Several Interviews on Personal Questions (1979), which sensitively explored the drab, difficult lives of Soviet women.

The best-known director to have started his career during the Brezhnev era is Nikita Mikhalkov (b. 1945). Son of Sergei Mikhalkov, a Stalinist writer of children's stories, the younger Mikhalkov first made a name for himself as an actor. Mikhalkov achieved his greatest successes in the 1970s and 1980s with his "heritage" films, elegiac recreations of Russian life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, often adapted from literary classics, among them An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano (1977), Oblomov (1979), and Dark Eyes (1983).

russian cinema in transition, 19852000

When Gorbachev announced the advent of perestroika and glasnost in 1986, the Union of Cinematographers stood at the ready. After a sweeping purge of the union's aging and conservative bureaucracy, the maverick director Elem Klimov (b.1933) took the helm. Although Klimov had made a number of movies under Brezhnev, he did not emerge as a major director until 1985, with the release of his stunning antiwar film Come and See. Under Klimov's direction, the union began releasing the banned movies of the preceding twenty years, in effect rewriting the history of late Soviet cinema.

The film that most captured the public's imagination in that tumultuous period was Georgian, not Russian. Tengiz Abuladze's Repentance (1984, released nationally in 1986) is a surrealistic black comedy-drama that follows the misdeeds of the Abuladze family, provided a scathing commentary on Stalinism. Although a difficult film designed to provoke rather than entertain, Repentance packed movie theaters and sparked a national debate about the legacy of the past and the complicity of the survivors.

Television also became a major venue for filmmakers. Gorbachev's cultural policies encouraged publicistic documentaries that exposed either the evils of Stalin and his henchmen or the decay and degradation of contemporary Soviet life. Fiction films such as Little Vera (Vasily Pichul, 1988), Intergirl (Pyotr Todorovsky, 1989), and Taxi Blues (Pavel Lungin, 1990) followed suit by telling seamy tales about the Soviet underclass.

The movie industry began to fragment even before the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Union of Cinematographers decentralized in mid-1990, and Goskino and Sovexportfilm, which provided central oversight over film production and distribution, had completely lost control by the end of 1990. The early 1990s saw the collapse of native film production in all the post-Soviet states. Centralization and censorship had long been the bane of the industry, but filmmakers had no idea how to raise money for their projectsand were even more baffled by being expected to turn a profit. Market demands became known as "commercial censorship." Filmmakers also had to contend for the first time with competition from Hollywood, as second-rate American films flooded the market.

The Russian cinema industry began to rebound in the late 1990s. It now resembled other European cinemas quite closely, meaning that national production was carefully circumscribed, focusing on the art film market. Nikita Mikhalkov emerged the clear winner. By the turn of the century he became the president of the Russian Filmmakers' Union, the president of the Russian Cultural Foundation, and the president of the only commercially successful Russian studio, TriTe. He established a fruitful partnership with the French company Camera One, which coproduced his movies and distributed them abroad. He took enormous pride in the fact that Burnt by the Sun, his 1995 exploration of the beginnings of the Great Terror, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Picture that year, only the third Russian-language film to have done so, and certainly the best.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, therefore, it seems that the glory days of Russian cinema are past. This past, however, has earned Russian and Soviet films and filmmakers an enduring place in the history of global cinema.

See also: agitprop; alexandrov, grigory alexandrovich; bauer, yevgeny frantsevich; chapayev, vasily ivanovich; cultural revolution; eisenstein, sergei mikhailovich; mikhalkov, nikita sergeyevich; orlova, lyubov petrovna; socialist realism; tarkovsky, andrei arsenievich; thaw, the

bibliography

Horton, Andrew, and Brashinsky, Mikhail. (1992). The Zero Hour: Glasnost and Soviet Cinema in Transition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Kenez, Peter. (2001). Cinema and Soviet Society from the Revolution to the Death of Stalin. London: I. B. Tauris.

Lawton, Anna. (1992). Kinoglasnost: Soviet Cinema in Our Time. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Leyda, Jay. (1960). Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. London: Allen & Unwin.

Taylor, Richard. (1979). The Politics of the Soviet Cinema, 19171929. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, Richard. (1998). Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, 2nd rev. ed. London: I. B. Tauris.

Taylor, Richard, and Christie, Ian, eds. (1988). The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, 18961939. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Tsivian, Yuri, comp. (1989). Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 19081919. Pordenone and London, 1989.

Tsivian, Yuri. (1994). Early Cinema in Russia and Its Cultural Reception. Friuli-Venezia: Edizioni Biblioteca dell'immagine; London: British Film Institute.

Woll, Josephine. (2000). Real Images: Soviet Cinema and the Thaw. London: I. B. Tauris.

Youngblood, Denise J. (1991). Soviet Cinema in the Silent Era, 1918-1935. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Youngblood, Denise J. (1992). Movies for the Masses: Popular Cinema and Soviet Society in the 1920s. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Youngblood, Denise J. (1999). The Magic Mirror: Moviemaking in Russia, 1908-1918. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Denise J. Youngblood

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motion picture photography

motion picture photography or cinematography, photographic arts and techniques involved in making motion pictures.

See also photography, still.

The Camera

The motion picture camera (see under camera) was developed from simple multi-image devices that, when spun or flipped, displayed the parts of a continuous movement, which, combined with the ocular principle of persistence of vision, produces the illusion of movement. The camera takes a series of photographs on negative film; when the positive is moved through a projector at a speed consistent with that of the camera, they throw a realistically perceived moving image on a wall or screen.

Film Editing

In the first decade of filmmaking, pioneers Georges Méliès and Edwin S. Porter found that the effect of motion could be warped, shooting the film at a slower speed than it was projected to produce a speeded-up image (and vice versa) which could be used for comical or fantastical purposes. Porter and especially D. W. Griffith discovered that cutting, or editing, strips of films did not destroy the viewer's ability to comprehend the flow of images.

Griffith developed the use of the close-up, a full view of a detail within the larger image, often a hand, face, or object, the audience retaining the context of the scene into which the close-up was cut. With this method, Griffith was able to bind the audience closer to the characters on the screen, intensifying emotional involvement with the story. Griffith also experimented with cutting scenes widely separated in space but meant to communicate a temporal simultaneity. Thus, in The Lonesdale Operator (1909), when the heroine is menaced by the villain, Griffith could cut to her approaching rescuers and through ever-shorter alternations between the two actions could imply that the rescuers were coming closer until, finally, the two converge in the same frame and the heroine is rescued. Griffith's use of editing became extremely sophisticated, but was a largely intuitive process.

The initial codification of editing possibilities and the theory and application of it for aesthetic purposes began in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. Montage, the cutting of images so that meaning could be generated from their juxtaposition, was devised by Sergei M. Eisenstein and demonstrated with unusual power in the scene depicting the slaughter of civilians by Russian troops on the Odessa steps in the classic film The Battleship Potemkin (1925). In this scene, hundreds of shots, some on screen for no longer than a second or two, communicate an overwhelming sense of violence and terror while depicting no direct violence in any one image. Filmmakers in general incorporated editing as one element of a total work rather than the determining element of the work itself.

Early Cinematography

Cinematography is the act of lighting and photographing the images. Its history includes aesthetic elements, such as the way a set or location may be lighted to bolster the drama. Also important are technological elements, which broaden the expressive capacity of the image and even affect the environment of the film-watching experience, for example, the variety of framing options offered by masking the screen or, later, through methods intended to increase the medium's panoramic possibilities.

Striking work on this level was done in Germany during the 1920s, as filmmakers worked to bring expressionism, then a movement in drama and painting, to their medium. Fritz Lang and F. W. Murnau tried through manipulation of the image to portray the psychic and emotional states of their films' characters. Through an increased attention to the meanings that could be generated through sculpting the individual images with light and particularly darkness, they evolved a highly subjective film style in which these elements were combined to reflect the mental state of the characters. This sort of subjectivity is particularly vivid in Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924), in which the tribulations of a hotel doorman who faces a series of humiliations is so vividly expressed through the photographic treatment that no titles (intercut written texts) were necessary to explain the narrative.

Sound

From 1927, the addition of the soundtrack to film posed the problem of incorporating sound into the visual repertoire of the silents. The first feature with dialogue, The Jazz Singer (1927), used a film and phonograph method that allowed for camera mobility but was difficult to synchronize. It was soon displaced by a method in which sound and image were recorded together and projected on a single piece of film.

Directors such as René Clair and Rouben Mamoulian were pioneers in the effort to use sound creatively and in conjunction with the image, but most films simply recorded dialogue to accompany static images, as early sound recording methods required that the camera be encumbered within a soundproof booth. As the technological difficulties of sound recording receded, the image regained its prominence and the stalled work begun in the twenties went forward.

Sound and Cinematography: Citizen Kane

Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941) is a compendium of photographic techniques combined with a creative use of sound. Welles and cinematographer Gregg Toland developed or enhanced techniques for allowing the drama to develop on multiple planes of vision and sound. Deep focus photography, which Toland had used in more limited fashion in earlier films, allowed actors and objects to remain in focus whatever their distance from the camera. Using this method, multiple actions could be staged within a single frame and remain comprehensible, allowing for complex interactions between foreground and background.

The soundtrack followed suit. Welles created a complex soundtrack that merged multiple dialogues, sometimes spoken simultaneously, and music into a comprehensible whole. Toland also developed ways to light sets so that it was no longer necessary to avoid extreme low-angle shots for fear of exposing the lamps; the effect of allowing different, often extreme, camera angles was to intensify the meaning of a given shot or scene.

Color

While sound was rapidly merged with the image, color proved more difficult. Many early films were hand-painted, and various mechanical methods of suggesting color were developed. But the technology necessary to reproduce color comparable to that perceived by the eye only developed during the 1920s and attained a full palette in 1933 with the introduction of three-color Technicolor. Ironically, by this time, black-and-white was assumed to represent "reality" on screen and color was first used primarily in musicals, fantasies, and large-scale spectacles. Color replaced black-and-white as the dominant medium during the late 1950s, perhaps because it could be marketed as an alternative to black-and-white television.

Wide-Screen and Other Processes

The studios responded to television, and its rapid siphoning of the movie audience, with a battery of technical "advances," many of them modernized versions of processes developed two to three decades earlier. Three techniques were introduced that employed panoramic framing, which met with varying degrees of success. The standard film aspect ratio had been 1.33:1, nearly square. In 1953, Twentieth Century-Fox studio initiated CinemaScope, with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. CinemaScope is an anamorphic process, using a lens while filming which squeezes a wide image onto a standard-sized frame of film; the image is unsqueezed via a complementary lens on the projector. A competing system, VistaVision, has a ratio of 1.85:1, accomplished by turning the film strip 45 degrees and photographing and projecting the film horizontally. These aspect ratios became the industry standard.

A third process, Cinerama, used three cameras to photograph a scene and three projectors that showed the image on a curved screen. The intention was to duplicate peripheral vision and thus trick the mind into generating a realistic three-dimensional image. Artistically, Cinerama reached its apex with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which director Stanley Kubrick used the format to convey the enormousness of outer space. Expensive and cumbersome, the format was retired in 1973.

Also during the 1950s, 3-D, which reproduced depth perception through the use of glasses that merged split images, proved unworkable and headache inducing. In the early 1990s a much more sophisticated 3-D technique, IMAX, was introduced. Requiring a headset equipped with infrared sensors, liquid crystal lenses, and stereo speakers, its effects are remarkably lifelike. It uses images produced by two spools of synchronized film whose frames are more than ten times the size of conventional 35-mm images. It was uncertain whether or not the process would prove viable for large-scale production and acceptable to large audiences. IMAX in a non-3-D version, which does not require a headset, in a high definition (HD) format, also came into wide usage in the early 1990s. Shot with a bulky and complex camera, it produces images about 10 times larger and with 10 times greater resolution than that produced by a standard 35-mm print. The depth and sharpness of these images are thought to be the highest quality ever produced for the motion picture. At first, IMAX was primarily used to shoot short science documentaries dealing with outer space, undersea life, and other such subjects. These continue to be popular features and are usually shown in special IMAX theaters with huge screens, many of them located in theme parks. In the 2000s, Hollywood directors began using sections of IMAX images in their feature films.

Prominent Cinematographers

Cinematography developed as a separate craft very early in film history; the first prominent cinematographer was Billy Bitzer, who worked on Griffith's films. The best cinematographers develop styles that carry over to the films of the many directors with whom they work. Occasionally, a collaboration between a director and cinematographer will produce a series of films of unusually consistent photographic quality. The foremost American cameramen from the first half of the 20th cent. include Gregg Toland (Wuthering Heights, The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane), Charles Rosher (Sunrise, The Yearling), James Wong Howe (The Thin Man, The Rose Tattoo, Picnic, Hud), Lee Garmes (Morocco, Shanghai Express, Duel in the Sun), and Karl Freund (The Last Laugh, Metropolis, Camille).

The French directors of the "new wave" of the 1960s, including Alain Resnais, Louis Malle, François Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard, revolutionized photographic technique by using newly invented smaller cameras and faster film stocks requiring less deliberate lighting techniques. These films feature a rawer style, more usually associated with documentary, that attempts to present an unmediated naturalistic narrative. The basic methodology was carried back into a documentary movement loosely grouped under the cinéma vérité rubric. Hollywood filmmakers adapted these methods, but continued to strive for a photographically "perfect" environment, in which the audience is never made aware of the mechanics of producing a movie.

Some prominent cinematographers of the last 20 years include Sven Nykvist (Persona and virtually every film directed by Ingmar Bergman after 1960), Gordon Willis (The Godfather, Annie Hall), Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, The Sheltering Sky), Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, McCabe and Mrs. Miller) and Nestor Almendros (The Story of Adele H., Places in the Heart).

Bibliography

See S. M. Eisenstein, Film Form and Film Sense (tr. 1949, repr. separately 1969) and Notes of a Film Director (rev. ed. tr. 1970); H. M. Geduld, ed., Film Makers on Film Making (1967); R. L. Bare, The Film Director: A Practical Guide to Motion Picture and Television Techniques (1971).

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colorization, motion picture

motion picture colorization, electronic process that uses computers to add color to black-and-white movies, creating new colored videotape versions. Invented by Canadians Wilson Markle and Brian Hunt, the process was first used in 1970 and became viable in the late 1980s. Proponents of colorization argue that it makes old movies more acceptable to the public. The process was enthusiastically backed by Ted Turner, whose 1986 proposal to colorize all the black-and-white films in the MGM archives, which he owns, led to a storm of opposition and to denunciations by such figures as John Huston, Jimmy Stewart, and Woody Allen, among others, who saw colorization is a defilement of the original work. The process became particularly controversial in the late 1980s when such monochrome film classics as Casablanca,Citizen Kane, and It's a Wonderful Life were threatened with colorization. Since that time, the demand for colorized films has greatly diminished. Some old television programs, however, continue to appear in colorized versions.

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Motion Pictures

MOTION PICTURES

MOTION PICTURES. SeeCartoons ; Film .

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moving pictures

moving pictures: see motion pictures.

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Motion Pictures

MOTION PICTURES

Since the early years of motion pictures, Jews have played a major role in the development of the industry and have been prominent in all its branches. This is true not only of Hollywood, where the role played by Jews is generally known and acknowledged, but of the German film industry up to the Nazi era, Russian film production up to the time of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, the British film industry up to the present, and contemporary underground motion pictures in the United States. The motion picture was created at a time when the Jews were seeking entry into the economic and cultural life of their host countries. Their involvement with motion pictures was due to a number of factors: the film business had not developed a tradition of its own and had no vested interests to defend; participation in it required no intimate knowledge of the vernacular; and films were not yet the realm of businessmen, entrepreneurs, or professional entertainers, but rather scientists, such as Edison and Lumière, who had no idea of the economic and industrial future of their inventions. In addition, the motion picture was initially regarded as a low-grade form of entertainment – suitable only for the immigrant or the uneducated masses – rather than a valid art form, and those connected with films were held in contempt. New immigrants, therefore, found it relatively easy to enter this field, and Jewish immigrants used the opportunity to transform the media from a marginal branch of entertainment into a multi-million dollar industry.

[Nahman Ingber]

In the United States

A century ago, motion pictures went from invention to entertainment to being an industry. First introduced in 1896, moving pictures were at first a novelty shown at the end of vaudeville shows or in penny arcades. Sigmund "Pop" Lubin (1851–1923), a Jewish immigrant from Germany built one of the first movie houses in 1899 (he charged ten cents, twice the customary rate). By 1907, more than 100 Nickelodeons – theaters seating fewer than 300 persons and charging a nickel per showing – had opened in New York, and more than a quarter of those were located in the densely populated Lower East Side – home of the great majority of Jewish immigrants.

Max Aronson (1882–1971), who changed his name to Gilbert Maxwell Anderson, was the first movie-star cowboy. He had played a role in Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery (1903), the first genuine American feature film. After working at Vitagraph as a production assistant Anderson moved to Chicago and then to California. In 1907, he cofounded the Essenay Co., where he worked as a writer, producer, and actor. In 1908 he launched the "Bronco Billy" western series, which was a great success, producing 375 films in a seven-year period.

On Christmas Eve 1908 Mayor McClellan of New York closed all the nickelodeon theaters calling them immoral. Leading the successful fight to have them reopened were former garment worked turned exhibitor William *Fox (1879–1952) and former newsboy Marcus Loew (1870–1927). Competition was so fierce among exhibitors and producers that in 1909 Thomas Edison signed an agreement with most of the large film companies that led to the founding of the Motion Picture Patents Co. The theater owners were forced to rent projectors and films only from the Motion Picture Patents Co. – in effect Edison was creating a monopoly to keep new independent producers out. Fox and German Jewish immigrant Carl *Laemmle (1867–1939), an exhibitor turned producer and distributor objected to such control; they sued and won in 1912. Laemmle relocated to Southern California with his Universal Film Manufacturing Company (later Universal Studios) leading the exodus of film producers to the West.

By 1909 the nickelodeon boom was over; by 1915 the age of movie palaces began. By 1915, movie production had effectively moved to California. The age of the movie moguls had begun.

The first large Hollywood company was Paramount, which was founded and managed by Adolph Zukor (1873–1976). Together with Daniel *Frohman, a theatrical agent, Zukor decided to import a prestigious European film, Queen Elizabeth (1912), starring Sarah *Bernhardt. The film was shown in legitimate theater halls and was reviewed in the regular press, enabling Zukor to claim that film was a legitimate art form. Under the slogan "Famous Players in Famous Plays," Zukor produced films based on literary and dramatic works, with casts of well-established, legitimate actors. He also initiated the practice of advertising the "star" actors in films; the first "star" he promoted was Mary Pickford.

Jesse *Lasky (1880–1958) owned a similar production company in Hollywood, and in 1917 he and Zukor founded a joint distribution company called Paramount; two years later their production companies also merged. Paramount produced, distributed, and exhibited films through its own worldwide theater chain. Lasky also brought two of his partners, Samuel *Goldwyn (Goldfish; 1882–1974) and Cecil B. De Mille, into the new company. As Paramount continued to grow, smaller producers were compelled either to disband or merge with one another in order to compete. Paramount's commercial power was based upon the block-booking system that forced local exhibitors to rent an outline group of Paramount's films, rather than choose only those they desired.

One producer who tried to fight Paramount was Carl Laemmle, who was developing Universal into one of the giants. William Fox, his former partner in the fight against the Patents Co., joined Twentieth Century and also made it into one of the large Hollywood companies.

Louis B. *Mayer, who owned a chain of movie theaters (mainly in New England), purchased the Metro Co. in Hollywood (which had its own studios) and founded the Metro-Mayer Co. Samuel Goldwyn left Paramount in 1919 and, together with the Selwyn brothers, founded the Goldwyn Co. In 1924 it merged with Metro-Mayer to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (mgm), which was headed by Mayer; Goldwyn himself did not join mgm and instead established one of Hollywood's outstanding independent production companies.

Columbia, owned and dominated by Harry *Cohn from 1929 until his death in 1958, was built into a large company during the 1930s by producing a series of successful films by the clever use of stars and directors.

Warner Brothers was founded by Sam, Jack, Albert, and Harry *Warner, who started out with a small exhibition hall and later became the managers of the First National Theater chain, and eventually formed their own company. In 1923 they bought out the Vitagraph Company, owners of the Vitaphone, which was a sort of record that played simultaneously with the silent film. Seeking to improve their difficult financial situation, in 1926 they developed and presented the first film with its own musical score.

A year later Warner Brothers produced The Jazz Singer starring Al *Jolson, containing both dialogue and singing parts. Written by Samson Raphaelson, based on his play, and starring Al Jolson as the son of a cantor torn between the observant and secular world, the film was a success and brought about the "sound revolution" in motion pictures and made Warner Brothers into one of the great Hollywood companies. Thus the majority of large Hollywood Studios were founded and controlled by Jews.

In addition, the first bank to finance the film industry was the Jewish-owned Kuhn, Loeb and Co., in 1919.

These founding fathers of the movie studio were part of a first generation who created "the dream factory," where Jewish immigrant movie moguls, eager to leave the Old World behind, became more American than the Americans (see N. Gabler, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Created Hollywood).

Other Jews who played a leading role in the large companies were Barney *Balaban, who joined Paramount and became its president in 1936; Nicholas and Joseph M. Schenk, who became presidents of mgm (while Mayer was in charge of its Hollywood operations); and Irving *Thalberg, who was production manager of mgm from the end of the 1920s until his death in 1936. Thalberg, who was responsible for production at the age of 23, was the wunderkind of the film industry and became the symbol of the successful Hollywood producer.

In the two years following Warner's The Jazz Singer, Hollywood frantically set about converting to sound. As the studios began importing New York talent, many Jews landed in Hollywood. Among the Jewish performers who made their way west were Jack *Benny, Ben Blue, Fanny *Brice, George *Burns, Harry Green, Ted Lewis, the *Marx Brothers, Sophie *Tucker, and Ed *Wynn. In addition, directors and writers shifted from theater to film, including men such as George *Cukor, Sidney Buchman, Norman *Krasna, Charles Lederer, Joseph *Mankiewicz, S.J. *Perelman, Robert Riskin, Morrie Ryskind, and Ben *Hecht.

In the 1920s and 1930s another wave of Jewish émigrés came to Hollywood. They were mainly directors and actors.

Ernst *Lubitsch, who came to the United States in 1923 after achieving fame in Germany, was best known for directing sophisticated comedies with a finesse that became known as the "Lubitsch touch." Among his films were Ninotchka, To Be Or Not To Be, and Cluny Brown. For several years Lubitsch served as president of production of Paramount, the first working director to also be head of a studio.

Erich van *Stroheim, an Austrian-born actor and director, became known in the 1920s for his realistic direction, especially in the film Greed. His acting captivated audiences for a period of 30 years.

Josef von *Sternberg directed several films in the United States in the 1920s; he directed Blue Angel in Germany in 1930 and became Marlene Dietrich's permanent director, famous for a grand style that made Dietrich into a screen goddess. William *Wyler, who was born in Germany, began his career as a director in 1928; his films were based mainly on adaptations of literary works, and he was particularly successful in the direction of female stars. Billy *Wilder also began his career in Germany, together with Fred Zinnemann and Robert Siodmak. Wilder's films were distinguished by their sharp humor and bitter irony.

Other Jewish actors and directors who arrived in Hollywood from Europe in the 1920s and 1930s leaving their past and sometimes their names behind, were Leslie *Howard, Peter *Lorre, and Michael *Curtiz.

Curtiz, a Hungarian, would go on to direct Casablanca – perhaps the greatest American movie – as well as other American classics, including Captain Blood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Robin Hood, and White Christmas.

White Christmas is a great example of the ways in which Jews assimilated American culture, making it their own. "White Christmas" was first born as a song written by Irving *Berlin (né Izzy Baline in Siberia) for the 1942 film Holiday Inn. Wishing for an idealized world "I used to know" that is "merry and bright," the lyrics are, at the same time, wistful, hopeful, and all-inclusive. The song was so popular (it is one of the most popular songs of all time), it spawned a movie of its own.

The movie White Christmas as directed by Curtiz pairs Bing Crosby with the very versatile Danny Kaye (born David Kaminsky) in a romantic musical comedy, written by Norman*Krasna, about two World War ii veterans who achieve success in show business and then success in love. Its message is not religious, but universal.

Curtiz presents the world as it was and as it should be. Curtiz, like Berlin, was often critiqued for having no signature style. But for Curtiz and Berlin's generation of Jews, being able to work successfully in any number of styles was a virtue unto itself. Making a Christmas movie was not about assimilation, it was about versatility.

Curtiz had already assimilated back in Hungary when he first changed his name from Mano Kaminer to Mihaly Kertesz (a more Hungarian-sounding name). The jump from Kertesz to Curtiz was itself a testament to having an identity that was easily translated – that worked, literally and figuratively, in any culture. America was the land of freedom, and for Jewish directors and actors, it was a country where you could do anything, even make a Christmas movie.

In 1951, when Mayer was dismissed from his post at mgm, he was replaced by Dore *Schary, who had built a career as a writer. A similar position was held by William Goetz, who was head of 20th Century-Fox and, at a later stage, of Universal International Co.

Some of the most successful Jewish producers employed by the studios included Joe *Pasternak, Walter Wanger, Arthur *Freed, Jerry Wald, Pandro S. *Berman, among others. An even more important influence on the film industry – because of their greater control over the nature of the finished product – were the independent producers, such as Mike *Todd, producer of Around the World in 80 Days, who was connected with the Todd-ao method of cinematography; and David O. *Selznick, the son of Lewis J. Selznick, one of the industry's pioneers. Next to Samuel Goldwyn, David Selznick became the most famous and successful independent producer. He was responsible for the production of Gone with the Wind (1939), which was one of the most profitable films in Hollywood's history, having grossed $72,000,000 through 1970. Among his other films were David Copperfield, King Kong, Spellbound, and Rebecca.

Hal Roach, one of the most prolific producers of comedies, was responsible for a part of the Harold Lloyd series and for the Laurel and Hardy films during the 1920s and 1930s. Sam *Spiegel, who maintained a high artistic standard, using outstanding directors and choosing serious subjects, produced such films as The African Queen, On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Lawrence of Arabia. The *Mirisch Brothers, originally theater owners, established their own company in 1957. After the decline of the big studios, it became one of the most successful Hollywood enterprises, producing West Side Story and The Great Escape.

After 1945, Stanley *Kramer, an independent producer who was connected with Columbia, produced such films as Home of the Brave, Champion, High Noon, and Death of a Salesman. Later on he also directed On the Beach, Judgment at Nuremberg, and Ship of Fools. Kramer believed that audiences wanted films that dealt with contemporary life.

Joseph E. *Levine, who began as a theater owner and became an importer of cheap or erotic Italian films, then turned to the financing of outstanding European films (), and later produced such films as Where Love Has Gone, The Carpetbaggers, and Harlow.

Among Jewish directors who earned success at the box office or received great critical acclaim one must include Jules *Dassin, Garson *Kanin, Robert *Aldrich, James *Brooks, Fred *Zinnemann, Joseph L. *Mankiewicz, Sidney *Lumet, John *Frankenheimer, Alan Pakula, Martin *Ritt, Roman *Polanski, Michael Curtiz, Mervyn Le Roy, Otto *Preminger, Richard *Brooks, George *Cukor (d. 1983), Daniel *Mann (d. 1991), Delbert *Mann, and Robert *Rossen.

The number of successful Jewish scriptwriters is so vast that only a few can be mentioned here. Among the most famous were Ben *Hecht, Samson *Raphaelson; George *Axelrod; Carl *Forman; Herman *Mankiewicz; Aaron *Sorkin; William *Goldman; Nora *Ephron; Eric Roth; Norman Krasna; and Abby *Mann.

Among the prominent composers of musical scores are Irving *Berlin, Alfred Newman, Franz Waxman, Dmitri Tiomkin (d. 1979), Elmer *Bernstein, and Burt *Bacharach.

The first great sex symbol was Theda *Bara (1885–1955), born Theodisia Goodman, whose portrayal of a seductive vampire inspired the appellation "Vamp." Other Jewish actresses known as sex symbols included Mae *West, Mirna Loy, Sylvia Sydney, Hedy *Lamarr, Judy *Holliday, and more recently, Debra *Winger, Rachel Weisz, and Natalie Portman. There is also a long tradition of Jewish comediennes in which Mae West would also be included, but which begins with Fanny *Brice, and stretches to Barbra *Streisand and Bette *Midler.

A small sample of well-known Jewish actors and actresses includes the Marx Brothers, Danny *Kaye, Jerry *Lewis, Paul *Muni, Edward G. *Robinson, Eddie *Cantor, John *Garfield, Al Jolson, Peter Lorre, Zero *Mostel, Tony *Curtis, Alan *Arkin, Lee J. *Cobb, Kirk *Douglas, Melvyn *Douglas, Dustin *Hoffman, Elliot *Gould, Alla *Nazimova, Louise *Rainer, Paulette *Goddard, Shelley *Winters, Polly Bergen, Tovah *Feldshuh, and Lilli *Palmer. A number of film stars converted to Judaism including Sammy *Davis Junior, Marilyn *Monroe, and Elizabeth *Taylor.

By the mid-1930s ethnically distinct characters, especially Jews, were no longer considered desirable by studio heads. The degree to which Hollywood eliminated a Jewish presence can be assessed by comparing The House of Rothschild (1934) with The Life of Emile Zola (1937). In the former there is no question of Rothschild's identity. By contrast, The Life of Emile Zola treats the infamous *Dreyfus affair, yet oddly never reveals that Dreyfus was a Jew.

Despite Hitler's election as chancellor of the Third Reich in 1933, and the growing militarization, civilian restrictions, and legislated discrimination against Jews in Germany, Hollywood remained totally silent on the subject throughout the 1930s. The producers reflected the neutralist philosophy emanating from Washington. mgm's Three Comrades (1938) and the Warner Bros. film Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) merely intimated at the true horror.

Charlie Chaplin, a non-Jew (whom antisemites often labeled "Jewish"), broke ranks by producing The Great Dictator (1940), a comedy which lampooned Hitler and depicted contemporary conditions in his mythical Tomania.

With the onset of World War ii, Hollywood set about dealing with Fascism, although it was less explicit about Jewish persecution. But it was not until Pearl Harbor that Hollywood went to war in full force. Increasingly the victims were identified as Jews rather than the previous nomenclature non-Aryans (ironically a Nazi classification). Titles include The Pied Piper (1942), None Shall Escape (1944), and Address Unknown (1944).

The war also saw the rise of the combat film, which depicted a fighting unit of ethnically and geographically diverse soldiers. Most typically Jews functioned as comic relief. More serious depictions of the Jewish participation in World War ii can be found in The Purple Heart (1944) and Pride of the Marines (1945), where characters evidence intelligence, bravery, and patriotism.

Following the war and the full knowledge of the Nazi atrocities, it was natural to ask, "How could this happen?" "Could it happen here?" The response to these questions was Crossfire (1947), a murder thriller, and Gentleman's Agreement (1947), a drama which presented a journalist, played by Gregory Peck, posing as a Jew to gain firsthand experience of discrimination. Both films received critical and popular acclaim and, despite initial concern on the part of Jewish agencies, both works proved through testing to be effective tools in combating prejudice.

However, it is important to note that when Hollywood needed a handsome actor to play a role where the character was Jewish, such as King David, they preferred a non-Jew such as Gregory Peck to play him, as he did in David and Batsheba (1951), later reprised by Richard Gere in King David (1985).

The postwar period also produced an unexpected backlash against Jews, most particularly in Hollywood. Spurred on by anti-Communist fears, conservative individuals were able to effect their prejudices through the workings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Of the original "Hollywood Ten" who faced investigation and charges, seven were Jewish.

However, the films of the 1950s consistently promoted tolerance. In no decade are screen Jews so intelligent, patriotic, and unqualifiably likeable. At no other time is religious tolerance and good will so consistently foregrounded.

Beginning in 1951 with The Magnificent Yankee, which depicts Louis *Brandeis, to the screen adaptation of Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960), the films all preach the same message – antisemitism is no longer acceptable; antisemitism is un-American.

In between these two works, several important films came to the screen. In 1952 Dore *Schary adapted Ivanhoe, with Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Rebecca. In 1953 the first remake of The Jazz Singer, directed by Michael Curtiz, appeared with Danny Thomas in the lead role. The once Orthodox family have now become assimilated Reform Jews. And in 1959 Paul Muni played the kindly old doctor in the film version of The Last Angry Man (1959). Antisemitism in the U.S. army became the subject of two films – The Naked and the Dead (1958) and The Young Lions (1958).

Other films of importance include Majorie Morningstar (1958), the first major film since the 1920s to focus on Jewish domestic life and a precursor of the self-critical approach of the 1960s; Me and the Colonel (1958), a bittersweet comedy about World War ii starring Danny Kaye; The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), the first Hollywood film to focus exclusively on the plight of Jews caught in the Holocaust; The Juggler (1953), starring Kirk Douglas, in the first U.S. production shot entirely in Israel; and Exodus (1960), the film which fixed Israel in the American imagination for years to come.

Exodus with the handsome Paul *Newman, whose father was Jewish, and in which Newman appears bare-chested wearing a Jewish Star, paved the ground for a new sex symbol: the Jewish Man. The 1960s were a time when the anti-hero took center stage and such non-traditional leading men as Dustin Hoffman, Elliott Gould, and Richard *Dreyfus became stars.

Not since the silent era had so many Jewish characters appeared, especially in major roles. Beginning in 1967 with Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, a series of comedies set a new direction and established Jewish humor as a major mainstream trend for the next two decades. Films such as The Producers (1968), Funny Girl (1968), Take the Money and Run (1969), and Goodbye, Columbus (1969) launched a new Jewish sensibility in America.

Although comedy dominated the decade in terms of Jewish film, the Holocaust was approached in two works with forceful impact. First, Abby Mann's Judgment at Nuremburg (1961) soberly approached the range of Nazi injustices. Then in 1965 The Pawnbroker, starring Rod Steiger in the role of a German survivor, was the first American fictional work to treat the camp experience with such harrowing reality. Closely related, The Fixer (1968) depicted Jewish victimization under the Czarist regime, and by implication called attention to current Soviet discrimination.

The decades closed with one of the most celebrated films about Jewish life ever to reach the screen – Fiddler on the Roof (1971). Based on *Sholem Aleichem, the film exposed millions around the world to Jewish family life, Jewish traditions, and the shtetl.

In the 1970s and 1980s, in such films as Play It Again Sam (1972), Annie Hall (1977), and Manhattan (1979), Woody *Allen became the embodiment of an urban Jewish humor-filled sensibility, and of a seeming nebbish who won the girl (who was often non-Jewish).

The other major comedies of this era focus once again on domestic life, some with a nostalgic look towards the past; others with a derisive look at the present. Films include MyFavorite Year (1982), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1987), and Radio Days (1987).

Meanwhile Jewish women began to have their say in films such as The Way We Were (1973), starring Barbra Streisand; Hester Street (written and directed by Joan Micklin *Silver); and Girlfriends (1978, written and directed by Claudia Weill).

Jewish women came to the fore with great strength, in large measure due to women's participation in production. Beginning with Private Benjamin (1980), co-produced and starring Goldie *Hawn as the Jewish American Princess who finally grows into an autonomous woman, Jewish women are admirably depicted in Tell Me a Riddle (1980), Baby, It's You (1983), Hanna K (1983), Yentl (1983), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Sweet Lorraine (1987), and Dirty Dancing (1987). Among the Jewish women active in film as directors, screenwriters, and producers were: Barbra Streisand, Susan Seidelman, Claudia Weill, Lee *Grant, Joan Micklin Silver, Gail Parent, and Sherry *Lansing (who would go on to be chairman of Paramount).

The 1970s also introduced many new types: the Jewish gambler (The Gambler, 1974), the Jewish madam (For Pete's Sake, 1974), blacklisted artists (The Front, 1976), the Jewish gumshoe (The Big Fix, 1976), the Jewish lesbian (A Different Story, 1978), a Yiddish cowboy (The Frisco Kid, 1979), a Jewish union organizer (Norma Rae, 1979), a Jewish murderess (The Last Embrace, 1979), and an elderly Jew pushed to violence (Boardwalk, 1979). The Frisco Kid deserves special mention. Despite its high comedy, the film is one of the few Hollywood works to treat Jewish values as a serious topic. Briefly stated, the film shows the confrontation between talmudic piety and American pragmatism, as personified by characters played by Gene *Wilder and Harrison *Ford, as the two influenced each other as Jew met Gentile in the New Land.

For the rest of the 20th Century Jews assumed a wide variety of roles. From the romantic, such as Billy *Crystal in When Harry met Sally to non-Jewish Ian McKellen as the evil Holocaust survivor Dr. Magneto in X-Men (2000), Jewish actors and Jews on screen took on a democratic smorgasbord of roles. Jewish leading men continue to be few and far between but a new crop of handsome young and versatile actors such as Ben *Stiller, Jason Schwartzman, Adam *Sandler, and David Duchovny continue to redefine Jewish actors on the screen.

In other areas, some things never change. Just as the non-Jewish Natalie Wood played Marjorie Morningstar, in the romantic comedy from Nancy Meyers, Something's Got to Give (2003), Diane Keaton is featured as playing a Jewish woman and Frances McDormand as her sister.

Regarding the Holocaust as a subject for Hollywood, prior to the 1980s, the Shoah was mainly used as a backdrop from which to create thrillers such as The Odessa File (1974), Marathon Man (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). Only The Man in the Glass Booth (1975), based on a stage play, stands apart. However, after the successful 1978 tv broadcast of the mini-series The Holocaust, a proliferation of Holocaust-themed or related films were made, most notably Schindler's List (1993).

Finally, the beginning of the 21st century has been witness to a landmark event: the release of the first animated Chanukah feature-length movie, Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights. Sandler's appeal is his endearing cretin-savant aesthetic: although his mind may be trapped in adolescence, his heart inevitably is in the right place.

In sum, 100 years after the start of the movie industry, the landscape is much changed. Born in America, the second, third, and fourth generation of Jews in Hollywood were raised during a time when institutional antisemitism had all but disappeared and where assimilation was not so much a goal as a norm. The melting pot has given way to the multicultural quilt – and religious choice is as varied as the combo plates on a Chinese menu. Jewish actors and directors continue to work in Hollywood making a diverse selection of studio and independent films. They no longer need to hide their religion or ethnicity but they are free to make movies on any subject, Christmas included.

Hollywood belongs to no religion – save a corporate one. The most marked change in the motion picture industry is one regarding ownership. The last several decades of the 20th century has seen tremendous change and consolidation in the motion picture industry. There are almost no truly independent studios, and the studios once owned by Jews are now part of international conglomerates and publicly traded companies. Warner Brothers was acquired by Time-Warner and in 2006 includes such former mini-major studios as New Line and Castle Rock; Disney is a public company that includes the Miramax independent film label and abc television networks; Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.; Columbia by the Japanese conglomerate Sony; Universal was sold to Matsushita, then to Edgar *Bronfman's Seagram, then to the French utility Vivendi, and then to General Electric which has also acquired the nbc television network. Paramount is owned by Viacom and, as of January 1, 2006, is part of a company that also includes MTV networks.

Stephen *Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen launched their own studio in 1994, dreamworks skg. Although they produced such successful movies as Shrek, Collateral, Seabiscuit, and Minority Report, among others, they could not remain independent. They spun off Dreamworks Animation as a public company, and at the end of 2005 they concluded an agreement to sell Dreamworks' movie division to Paramount.

The first generation of Jewish movie moguls owned the studios. On the business side, adding to Hollywood's reputation as a Jewish industry was the fact that many of the talent agencies were founded and staffed by Jews – to mention a few: William Morris (founded by William Morris); mca, led by Lew Wasserman and Jules Stein; International Creative Management (icm), managed by Marvin Josephson, and in 2006 by Jeff Berg. One of the most powerful Hollywood agencies was founded by William Morris defectors Michael *Ovitz, Ron Meyer, and Bill Haber. caa is led in 2006 by Richard Lovett. One of the newer agencies is Endeavor, whose founders include Ari Emmanuel.

At the beginning of the 21st century, by contrast, the studios are owned by corporations and controlled in great part by non-Jews. A great many Jewish people have continued to work in Hollywood as executives, agents, and attorneys. They are involved at every level in the creative decisions affecting the movies made in America and seen the world over. But increasingly, they are making those decisions with their eyes on a mass audience and for corporate masters concerned with the bottom line, profits and stock performance. So although there are many Jewish executives, they are merely employees, serving at the whim of the marketplace and their masters.

In this light, it is legitimate to wonder: can the movie industry still be considered Jewish?

[Tom Teicholz (2nd ed.)]

Yiddish films were made in the U.S. from the 1920s. These films, for all their bathos, were a uniquely authentic expression. Although provincial and stylized, they reflected and preserved a Jewish way of life, stressing the unity of the Jewish people, traditional values, belief in human goodness, the triumph of justice, respect for education, and the ideal of the happy family nucleus. The success of Yiddish shorts in Jewish neighborhoods in the late 1930s led to the production of full-length features. The stars of the Yiddish theater, such as Maurice Schwartz, Boris Thomashevsky, and Celia Alder, participated in these films, which were heavily melodramatic and sentimental. The films have a "happy ending" often with a family reconciliation. Religious ceremonies were often portrayed as part of the action. Some of the films were adapted from Yiddish stage classics, such as Hirschbein's Green Fields and Gordin's Mirele Efros.

Serious Yiddish film-making ended in the U.S. at the same time as it was being brought to an end in Poland. The decline of the Yiddish theater in the 1930s in the U.S. was paralleled by a similar trend in the Yiddish cinema. After 1940, the only Yiddish films being produced were made up of vaudeville acts taken from the "Borscht Belt," the chain of Jewish hotels in the Catskill Mountains hosting vaudeville acts. These, too, dried up within a few years. The end of the Yiddish cinema was inevitable with the disappearance of Yiddish as a spoken language in the younger generation. Moreover, even where the language was still spoken, the naiveté of the Yiddish films had no appeal to an acculturated and sophisticated public.

[Geoffrey Wigoder]

In Britain

Although the proportion of Jews involved in films was much smaller than in America, they made a significant contribution to the British film industry and were among its pioneers. For a long period, American competition made it impossible for the British motion picture to gain a foothold in the world market. It was a Hungarian Jew, Sir Alexander *Korda, who finally pulled the British industry out of the doldrums. Korda had been a pioneer of film making in Hungary and after World War i had worked in Austria, Germany, France, and Hollywood. In 1930 he moved to Britain and founded the London Films Company, for which he directed and produced some of the best films credited to Britain in the 1930s and the 1940s. His success was due to his fine artistic sense, his ability to build artists from different fields into a working team, and his belief that by employing great British actors and choosing the proper subjects, the British film could be adapted to suit the American market. His greatest success as a director was The Private Life of Henry viii (1933), in which he punctured the formal rigidity associated with royalty; he had other successes in The Private Life of Don Juan and in Rembrandt. His greatest achievements were as the producer of such films as The Scarlet Pimpernel, Catherine the Great, Elephant Boy, Lady Hamilton, and The Third Man, which established Britain's reputation for fine films. His brother, Zoltan Korda, also worked for London Films as a successful director. Sir Michael *Balcon, who was initially in charge of Alfred Hitchcock's British films, earned his reputation after World War ii managing the operations of Ealing Studios. This company created the series of comedies (known as the "Ealing Comedies") that depict the eccentric British character with subtle humor and irony (such films as Kind Hearts and Coronets, Whisky Galore, and The Ladykillers). Another outstanding producer was Harry Saltzman, a partner in the James Bond series; he later produced mainly war films and, from time to time, low-budget artistic films. Anatole de Grunwald also was a producer of note. A noted young director was John Schlesinger, who was responsible for such films as Billy Liar, Darling, and Midnight Cowboy. Among the outstanding British film actors were Leslie *Howard, Elizabeth *Bergner (who moved from Germany in the 1930s, as did Anton Walbrook), Claire *Bloom, Yvonne Mitchell, Laurence *Harvey, and Peter *Sellers.

[Nahman Ingber]

In France

What is a Jewish film? A film that is produced by a Jewish producer? A film that is made by a Jewish director? A film that has a Jewish theme? One may more specifically ask this question about France, for until the 1950s characters were not identified in French movies by religious or ethnic affiliation. However, after World War ii it was impossible to ignore the Jewish presence in France, or the Holocaust.

In 1937, Jean Renoir directed La grande illusion ("The Great Illusion"), a pacifist film which depicts a group of French prisoners during World War i. One of them, Rosenthal, is a stereotyped nouveau riche Jew who, however, stands by his friends. At the end of the film, one of these friends, played by Jean Gabin, let's the cat out of the bag. "I never could stand Jews!" he says. This cutting remark and Rosenthal's ambivalent portrait brought accusations of antisemitism against Renoir. The controversy itself shows all the ambiguity of the Jews' situation in French society, for Rosenthal is generous and human. In his next film, La règle du jeu ("The Rules of the Game," 1938), the subtle and grand figure of the host goes under the name La Chesnay, but it is clearly said that he is of Jewish origin. It is significant that Marcel Dalio played both these parts. He was himself a Jew and had to leave France in 1940. The cliché about Jews who wish to believe they are accepted in French society is also the main theme of Julien Duvivier's David Golder (1931), from Irène Nemirovsky's book. After becoming wealthy, David Goldet is despised by his wife and daughter; he ends his days as a ruined and lonely old man. Unlike Renoir's films, David Goldet is undoubtedly antisemitic, echoing all the physical and psychological stereotypes spread by France's extreme right in the 1930s.

From the 1950s, documentaries – made from archives or from witness interviews – shed new light on the Jews' lot in French society during World War ii. Thus in Nuit et Brouillard ("Night and Fog," 1955) by Alain Resnais, in Le temps du ghetto ("The Ghetto Time," 1968) by Frederic Rossif, Le chagrin et la pitié ("Distress and Compassion," 1971) by Marcel Ophuls, Français si vous saviez ("French Citizens, If Only You Knew," 1973) by André Harris and Alain de Sédouy, French eyes were opened to the realities of French society and the behavior of French politicians toward Jews under the German occupation. In other respects, at the same time Frederic Rossif and Claude Lanzmann made documentaries about Israel.

Some Jewish film makers were interested in making semi-autobiographical films on this period as well. These include Claude Berri (Le vieil homme et l'enfant, "The Old Man and the Boy," 1957), Henri Glaeser (Une larme dans l'océan,"A Tear in the Ocean," 1973), and Jacques Doillon (Un sacde billes, "A Bag of Marbles," 1976, from Joseph Joffo's book). Others produced stories in the context of collaboration: Le dernier métro ("The Last Subway," 1980) by François Truffaut tells the story of a Jewish director in Paris who hides in a cellar. Conversely, Lacombe Lucien (1974) by Louis Malle – from Patrick *Modiano's book – absolves the hero from responsibility (he becomes a militiaman by chance) and depicts Jews as passive victims. Some years later, Malle made Au revoir lesenfants ("Good Bye, Children"), which expressed feelings of guilt about the persecution of Jewish children. In 2005, La maison de Nina ("Nina's House") by Richard Dembo told the story of young survivors of the Nazi camps.

Several documentaries have been made with survivors: La mémoire est-elle soluble dans l'eau? ("Is Memory Soluble in Water?" 1995) by Charles Najman and La petite maison dans la forêt de bouleaux ("The Little House in the Birch-Tree Forest," 2003) by Marceline Loridan. One must mention too Emmanuel Finkiel's work, especially Voyages (1999), dealing with the memory of the Holocaust, moving on, and Jewish identity in the Diaspora and Israel.

There have also been comedies with popular actors like Louis de Funès and Roger Hanin. Their humor and optimism as they show reconciliation among people made them successful films. Such films are Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob ("Rabbi Jacob's Adventures," 1973) by Gérard Oury, Le coup de sirocco ("Gust of Sirocco," 1979), Le Grand Pardon ("Yom Kippur," 1982), and Le grand carnaval ("The Great Carnival," 1985), the last three by Alexandre Arcady. La vérité si je mens ("Damn It If I'm Lying," 1996) by Thomas Gilou gives Jewish humor a different perspective with a Sephardi contribution dealing with North African Jews who settled in France from the 1960s. And Claude *Lelouch evokes men and women of all origins who are thrown into distress by History.

The most highly acclaimed of all these Jewish films was undoubtedly Claude *Lanzmann's masterpiece, Shoah (1985).

[Annie Goldmann (2nd ed.)]

In Germany

As in the United States, the impetus to produce films catering to popular taste in Germany came from Jewish owners of a chain of theaters. In 1913 Paul Davidson and Hermann Fellner, who had been exhibiting films since 1905, established their own production company and made films based on German folklore and legend, as well as comedies (it was for this company that Ernst Lubitsch made his early films). In 1919 Erich Pommer directed the Deutsches Eclair (Decla) film company, which some time later merged with ufa, a company that produced outstanding German films in the 1920s and the early 1930s. Pommer remained at the head of the company and determined the style and quality of the films in this period. He went in for daring artistic experiments and provided ample opportunity for talented film people to prove their mettle. As a result, the German film became the most advanced of its time; this was, in fact, the golden age of the German film industry. Lubitsch began his career with a series of comedies (some of them against a Jewish background) and then turned to the direction of light-hearted historical films. His overwhelming success resulted in his being invited to the United States. Another film produced by Pommer, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which became a prestigious success for the German cinema, was written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. In general, Jews made a great contribution to the German cultural life in the 1920s and participated in the avant-garde artistic experimentation of this period. The painter Hans Richter produced experimental and abstract films and was a pioneer of this genre. The leading German-Jewish film director was Fritz *Lang, whose films are a marvelous portrayal of the social and cultural atmosphere prevailing in Germany at the time. They include Der muede Tod ("The Weary Death"), based on a medieval legend; two films based on the Nibelungen saga; two terror films; Metropolis, sharply critical of various aspects of industrial society; and M, the story of the Duesseldorf child murderer, which was Lang's last German film. When Hitler came to power, the Jews working for the German film industry were forced to flee the country. Most of them found their way to Hollywood, others to London, Paris, and Prague.

In Poland

Before the rise of the Jewish state, Poland was the only country that offered possibilities for the development of a Jewish film industry. Attempts to create a Jewish film tradition began before World War i, when film versions were made of the plays of Jacob *Gordin. Mark Tovbin, a pioneer in the field, filmed Mirele Efros with Esther Rachel *Kaminska in the title role and other members of her family in the cast. Nahum Lipovski filmed Gordin's play Hasa die Yesoeme ("Hasa the Orphan") with Esther Lipovska as the orphan. It was not until the 1920s, however, that attempts at making films were resumed. In 1924 Leah Farber worked with Henrik Baum, as scenario writer, on producing films on Yiddish folk themes. Among them was Tkies-Kaf ("The Hand Contract"), based on a legend similar to that of The Dybbuk, directed by Zygmunt *Turkow, who also played the role of Elijah. Other roles were played by Esther Rachel Kaminska, her daughter Ida, and her granddaughter Ruth Turkow, then a child. In 1927 the same company filmed another legendary story, Der Lamedvovnik ("One of the Thirty-Six"), by H. Baum, starring Jonas *Turkow and directed by Henryk Shara (Shapira). In 1929 a company known as Forbert – after Leo Forbert, the first Jewish film producer after the war – filmed a version of Josef *Opatoshu's novel In the Polish Woods, with H. Baum as screenwriter, Jonas Turkow as director, and Dina Blumenfeld and Silver Rich in the leading roles.

The first Yiddish talking pictures were made in 1932, when Itzhak and Shaul Goskind formed a company known as Sektor and made documentaries of the Jewish communities in Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna, Lvov, Cracow, and Bialystok and then undertook popular productions with S. Dzigan and I. Szumacher. They produced Al Khet, with screenplay by the writer Israel Moshe Neiman, directed by A. Marten, with Rachel Holtzer and A. Morewski in the leading roles; Un'a Heim ("Without a Home," by A. Kacyzne), directed by Alexander Marten, with Ida Kaminska and the Dzigan-Szumacher partnership; and Freylikhe Kabtsonim ("The Merry Beggars"), a story by Moshe *Broderzon, with Zygmunt Turkow, Dzigan-Szumacher and Ruth Turkow in the cast. They also did a documentary called Mir Kumen On ("We're on the Way"), directed by Alexander Ford. Ford also did Sabra (1933).

Films of distinction were Josef Green's productions Yidlmit'n Fidl, lyrics by Itzik *Manger, starring Molly *Picon; Mammele, also starring Molly Picon; Purim Shpiler, with Z. Turkow, Anya Liton, L. Samberg, and Miriam Kressin (screenplays by Konrad Tam) and A Brivele der Mammen, written by M. Osherowitz (screenplay by A. Kacyzne) and directed by L. Tristan. This was the last Yiddish film made in Poland before the outbreak of World War ii. Leo-Film did a talking version of Tkies-Kaf in 1937 with scenario by H. Baum, direction by Henrik Shara, and Z. Turkow as Elijah. *An-Sky's Dybbuk was also filmed in 1937, with a scenario by Katzisne, direction by Michal Vashiasky, and a cast including A. Morewski, Isaac Samberg, Moshe Lipman, Lili Liliana, and L. Leo Libgold. After World War ii a cooperative, "Kinor," for Yiddish-speaking films was organized in Lodz by Shaul Goskind and Joseph Goldberg. From 1946 until 1950 two full-length films and about 12 shorts were produced including Unzere Kinder, which was made with Niusia Gold, Dzigan-Szumacher, and orphans from Alenuwek (Lodz). In 1951 "Kinor" was liquidated and the members left, mostly for Israel. The Polish State Film produced a work on the Warsaw Ghetto, Ulica Graniczna ("Border Street"), directed by A. Ford. Subsequently, several documentaries were made in Yiddish by American producers. Post-World War ii films artists who did not specifically deal with Jewish themes were Alexander Ford (later in Israel) and Roman Polanski (who settled in the U.S. in the 1960s).

In the U.S.S.R.

Jews also took a large part in the motion picture industry in the U.S.S.R. Foremost among them was Sergei *Eisenstein, the great genius of the Soviet cinema, whose contribution to the progress made by motion pictures probably exceeds that of any other single film artist. His films, including Battleship, Strike, Alexander, Old and New, October, Potemkin, Ivan the Terrible (1 and 2), and Alexander Nevski, are still regarded as high achievements of the motion picture art and are studied by scholars and artists alike. His theories on the cinematic art, published in several volumes, remain an outstanding expression of motion picture aesthetics. The formalist experiments made by Eisentein in the 1920s provoked the ire of the Soviet authorities and caused him great hardship throughout the 1930s and 1940s; the controversy over Ivan the Terrible shortly preceded his death. Other Jews who entered the Soviet motion picture industry in the 1920s were Friedrich Ermler, Abraham Room, Mikhail Romm, Juli Raizman, Leonid Trauberg, Esther Schub, and L.O. Arnshtam. They sought formal solutions to the artistic problems encountered, and when socialist realism became the prescribed doctrine, they were forced to compromise with the new conditions. A noted Jewish director was Dziga Vertov, a native of Poland, whose real name was Denis Kaufman and whose brother, Boris Kaufman, was a well-known American cameraman. In 1924 Vertov propounded the theory of Kino-Glas ("Cinema-Eye"): Kino-Glas films were made outside the studio without actors, set, or a script. "They are written by the camera in the purest scine-language, and are completely visual." Vertov became the father of the documentary film, and his newsreels, "kino pravda," were the forerunners of cinéma-verité.

A number of Jewish directors were also active in the 1930s, including Yosif Heifitz and Alexander Zarkhy (who worked as a team for some time), Yosef Olshanski (also a scriptwriter), Samson Samsonov, and Yakov Segal. Yiddish motion pictures flourished in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, centering on the great Yiddish actor Shlomo *Mikhoels (who was later murdered during the Stalin purges), whose outstanding films were King Lear and Menahem Mendel.

Other European Countries

In other countries of Eastern Europe Jewish motion picture directors came to the fore after World War ii, when film production first entered a serious phase of development. In Czechoslovakia Jan Kádar directed Shop on Main Street, and Milos Forman earned his reputation with such comedies as Peter and Pavla, Firemen's Ball, and Loves of a Blonde. A Swedish director named Mauritz Stiller became famous in the 1910s and 1920s for the style, humor, and aesthetic feeling of his films. His claim to fame now rests on his discovery of Greta Garbo, whom he accompanied to the United States where he died soon after his arrival.

[Nahman Ingber]

For Israel, see *Israel, State of: Cultural Life (Film).

bibliography:

T. Ramsaye, A Million and One Nights, A History of the Motion Picture (1964); E. Goodman, The Fifty-Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood (1961); R. Griffith and A. Mayer, The Movies: The Sixty-Year Story of the World Hollywood and its Effects on America, from the pre-Nickelodeon Days to the Present (1957); B.B. Hampton, History of the Movies (1930); Y. Harel, Ha-Kolno'a me-Reshito ve-ad Ha-Yom (1956), 216–40; N. Ingber, in: Ha-Ummah, 5 (1966), 246–61; Omanut ha-Kolno'a, 28 (1963), 5–15. add. bibliography: J. Hoberman and J. Shandler, Entertaining America: Jews, Movies and Broadcasting (2003); A. Insdorf, Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust (20033); T. Teicholz, "Dreaming of a Blue and White Christmas," in: Jewish Journal of Los Angeles and www.tommywood.com (Dec 26, 2003).

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Motion Pictures

Motion Pictures

The invention of motion pictures

Sound joins the image

Color comes to film

Later film history

Equipment

Producing a motion picture

What happens when the filming is finished

Special effects

Resources

Motion pictures, also called film, cinema or movies, are a series of images, recorded on strips of film, that create the illusion of continuous motion. A series of rapidly shown images appear to move because of a phenomena called the persistence of vision. The eye does not react instantly to changes in its field of vision. In fact, the eye continues to see (visualize) an image for one-tenth to one-twentieth of a second after it changes. So if a sequence of images can be shown at a rate of approximately 20 per second, it will appear as continuous motion to the eye. That is just what happens in a motion picture.

The invention of motion pictures

Many of the principles behind motion pictures were understood well before the invention of movies. In 1832, Simon Ritter von Stampfer (17921790) of Vienna, Austria, created the stroboscope. Images spinning on a disc were viewed through slits in a second disc. This displayed the images sequentially at a fast enough rate to simulate a couple seconds worth of motion. A primitive kind of slide projector called a magic lantern had been invented around 1640 in Rome, Italy, by German scholar Athanasius Kircher (c. 16151680). In 1853, these two inventions were combined by Austrian inventor and solider Franz von Uchatius (18111881), who used the magic lantern to cast stroboscopic images onto a wall. These were essentially cartoons, since they were animated drawings.

The invention of photography and improvement over the next several decades was another crucial ingredient. In 1877 photographer Eadweard Muybridge (18301904), working with an engineer, created a sequence of 24 images of a running horse, taken by 24 cameras. Soon these photographs were being projected by a device like the stroboscope. With French scientist and chronophotographer Etienne Jules Mareys (18301904) creation in 1882 of a camera that took bursts of sequential photographs, the basic building blocks for the creation of motion pictures had been invented. American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (18471931), aware of these innovations, decided to create the visual equivalent of the phonograph: a camera and projection system that reproduced vision the way the phonograph he was working on reproduced sound.

Edisons assistant, Scottish inventor William Kennedy Dickson (18601935), succeeded in 1889. Dickson used a type of celluloid roll film developed for cameras, adding a series of perforations along the sides that held the film steady and moved it through a special camera. Once shot, the film was made into an endlessly running loop, and viewed through a magnifying glass. The device, called the kinetoscope, could only be viewed by one person at a time. It was not shown publicly until its patent came through in 1893.

Edison built a small motion picture studio in New Jersey, where his company created 50 ft (15 m) film loops. They were viewed at kinetoscope parlors at individual projectors. The first motion picture was of one of Edisons assistants sneezing. Soon they were filming acts from variety shows. Not realizing the potential of his invention, Edison had not taken out foreign patents on it. Soon it was being copiedand improved uponin England, Germany, and France. Robert W. Paul (18691943) in England built a projector that made the film pause as each frame was shown. This made the frames show for longer than the space between them, lessening the flicker of earlier projectors.

In France, Auguste Lumière (18621954) and Louis Lumière (18641948), brothers who manufactured photographic equipment, created their own projector and camera. They reduced Edisons 48 frames-per-second to 16, and called their projector the cinématographe, from the Greek word for movement (kinema ) and drawing (grapheca ). Paul and the Lumière brothers projected their motion pictures onto a screen. This meant many people at once could watch a large image, and do so while seated. Not surprisingly, this motion picture experience proved more popular than Edisons kinetoscope. Edison unveiled his competing projector in April 1896, creating a tremendous stir. Photography itself was still relatively new; motion pictures were an experience no one had a comparison for. Short films of dancers and breaking waves were enough to fill audiences with amazement.

Though the basic machinery for motion pictures had been invented, the inventors realized that people would not be satisfied for long with the sheer novelty of the experience. Motion picture equipment was like a computer without any software. To make the invention useful, its softwarenamely interesting motion picturesneeded to be created.

French theater director and magician Georges Méliès (18611939) became the first true master of cinematic techniques during the 1890s. He filmed theater acts, but changed them to fit the motion picture format, arranging objects and backgrounds for the camera. He invented special effects, doing things like stopping the camera, changing the scenery and turning the camera back on. He discovered the fade in and fade out, wherein the scene gradually goes dark or comes up from darkness, and used them as a transition between scenes. Méliès used painted cut-outs and backdrops in his studio to enhance the fantasy effect created by his trick photography.

His film A Trip to the Moon (1902) became the first internationally successful motion picture, and the first science fiction film. In such work, M´liès showed how much the new medium could do beyond showing real events passing in front of a camera. Following his example, others turned to telling stories with motion pictures, and they quickly became more sophisticated. The first Western, Edwin S. Porters The Great Train Robbery, (1903) used a camera that moved with the action, rather than being fixed. It even included shots using a camera on a moving train. The popularity of these motion pictures spurred others to use similar techniques. Gradually the motion picture evolved its own visual language.

As the public began spending money to see films, motion picture distribution networks sprang up. Middlemen bought films and rented them to theaters that did not want to buy them outright. In 1907, over 100 distributors did business in the United States alone. A Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) firm created the nickelodeon when it began charging patrons five cents to watch a series of short motion pictures. The formula proved so successful that nickelodeons spread throughout the country. By 1908, motion pictures were becoming a large and rapidly changing business. A group of filmmaking studios and distributors, along with Edison, formed the Motion Pictures Patent Company to regulate copyrights, patents, and royalties. The group tried to take over the motion picture industry, but by 1910 of about 9,000 U.S. theaters, only half were licensed. These theaters used films by independent filmmakers and distributors.

The Motion Pictures Patent Company kept its actors anonymous to prevent them from becoming personally important and therefore able to command higher salaries. But an independent studio, the Independent Moving Picture Company, lured away a star, revealed that her name was Florence Lawrence, and gave her publicity. This action started what became known as the star system, in which the primary actors were as, or more, important than whatever story was being told. Other stars followed, including Charlie Chaplin in the late 1910s. The importance of stars continues to this day. Some, such as Marilyn Monroe, have become mythic figures in modern culture.

By 1914. the Motion Pictures Patent Company collapsed as the more innovative independents grew. Motion pictures became longer and more ambitious. Film companies like Fox, Universal, Paramount, and MGM sprang up. Nickelodeons proved too small for the vast popularity of motion pictures, and were replaced by new theaters, some with thousands of seats and elaborate decor.

Sound joins the image

The ability to reproduce sound already existed in phonographs. Many tried unsuccessfully to link them to films. A workable system to join sound and motion pictures proved complex, and required a great deal of research money. American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), the largest corporation in the United States at the time, worked on the problem through its Western Electric branch. A 1924 sound-on-a-disc system was at first rejected by the motion picture studios as too expensive. However, Warner Brothers, looking for an advantage over its rivals, finally accepted it anyway, investing millions of dollars in theaters and sound equipment.

The first motion picture with sound, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, became a huge hit. Warner Brothers instantly became one of the biggest forces in the motion picture industry. Its success forced rival studios to adapt sound. The cost of doing this, coming at the beginning of the Great Depression (1929early 1940s), left banks with a great deal of power in the film industry.

A rival sound system, developed by General Electric (GE) and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), put the soundtrack on the film itself, running it in a track next to the images. Since the pictures and their soundtrack were linked on the film, they could never get out of synchronization. This system was also easier to set up. After intense competition and many lawsuits over patent rights, this system beat the sound-on-a-disc system.

Sound remained difficult to record during filming because the recording equipment was large and noisy. In the late 1940s, new magnetic recording techniques allowed sound to be recorded onto tape. This smaller, quieter system allowed sound to be recorded right on the film set.

Color comes to film

In the earliest days of motion pictures, color film had not yet been invented. Some films were colorized by hand, but that soon proved impractical. Color film first came out in the mid-1930s. It used three layers of colored film to reproduce the visual spectrum. Because color film was expensive and required precise control of lighting, black and white film remained the standard until the mid-1950s. Color and black-and-white were both used until the late 1960s, when color became the standard. This was partly because many films were sold for television broadcast after appearing in theaters, and black-and-white films were much harder to sell for television.

Later film history

In the 1920s and 1930s, motion pictures became a big business in the United States, and most were produced like products on an assembly line. Often, Hollywood films did not have distinct personalities. They instead fit into genre types: western, musical, horror, gangster, and comedy. Exceptions, like Orson Welles Citizen Kane (1941), were rare. In Europe, motion pictures remained a smaller scale business that was also seen as an art. In 1925, the London Film Society (England) was founded to promote motion pictures as an art form.

After World War II ended in 1945, the power of the Hollywood (California) studios declined. Partly, this came from a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the studios had an illegal monopoly because they controlled the production, distribution, and showing of motion pictures. As a result, the studios were forced to sell their theaters. Foreign motion picture industries grew stronger, and started their own distribution systems, such as Frances annual Cannes Film Festival. France, Italy, Sweden, and Japan all produced important and successful motion pictures.

Perhaps more than anything else, the rise of television (TV) changed the motion picture industry. People who could view visual entertainment at home for free were less likely to travel to a theater and pay money to see a film. The motion picture studios initially resisted the showing of their films on TV. By the mid-1950s, however, many studios were selling and renting their films to TV networks. To lure consumers to theaters, filmmakers began using technology to make seeing a film in a theater a more exciting experience.

One technology was Cinerama, popular in 1952, in which three separate projectors showed their images on a large, nearly semicircular screen. Six speakers provided stereo sound. Though initially popular, this medium required large theaters and expensive equipment. It proved economically unfeasible. CinemaScope, invented in the 1920s but not exploited until the 1950s, used special lenses to squeeze a wide-screen image onto normal 35 mm film. Another lens, put onto the projector, unsqueezed the image. The result was a wide-screen image that required theaters to invest less than $20,000. CinemaScope proved popular, and films like A Star is Born were made using it. The compression and decompression resulted in a blurry, grainy image, however. A better solution for wide screen was to use 70 mm film, as in MGMs Oklahoma. After the success of this film, most major studios created a version of the 70 mm process. Wide screen processes are still being developed, such as the OMNIMAX, which uses a special screen in the shape of a dome.

Equipment

Camera

In photography the exposure of film can be controlled by changing the amount of light entering the lens, or the amount of time the shutter remains open. The shutter speed in a motion picture camera is controlled by the fact that 24 frames must be shot per second. No exposure can be longer than 1/24th of a second. Motion picture cameras use a shutter that looks like a rotating propeller with two blades. The propeller can be made wider to decrease the percentage of time the lens is open, and thereby shorten exposures.

The pull-down mechanism, invented at the end of the nineteenth century, moves the film through the camera, holds it still in position for 1/24th of a second while the exposure is made, then moves the film to the next frame. It does this in perfect synchronization with the revolving shutter that exposes the film.

Early motion picture cameras were large and heavy. But, by the mid-1950s, technology developed during World War II lead to smaller, lighter cameras that even allowed cinematographers to hold the smallest cameras. This freed the cameras from a tripod, allowing for more innovative camera work. For moving camera effects, cameras can be put on platforms that are attached to rubber wheels or steel rails like railroad tracks. They can also be raised and lowered on cranes.

Projector

At the end of the process, every motion picture goes through a projector. From the advent of sound until the mid-1970s projectors changed little. The system a projector uses for moving the film is similar to that used by a motion picture camera. A pull-down mechanism moves the film through the projector, while a rotating shutter only emits light while a frame is in position. The primary problem in making a projector was to provide a light source bright enough to enlarge a film frame enough to fill a theater screen as much as 300,000 timesyet small enough to fit inside a projector.

The solution found to this problem, the carbonarc lamp, was used until the 1970s. These lamps used two carbon rods with a small gap between them. A strong electric current jumped the gap, creating a strong white light. These lamps needed constant adjustment, however, as well as a ventilation system. Most were replaced in the 1970s and 1980s by lamps using the inert gas xenon.

The projector also reads the soundtrack through a separate reader placed immediately after the lens. The soundtrack can be a magnetic strip or light pattern that runs along the side of the film. This light pattern, called optical sound, was the only system of sound reproduction until advances in magnetic tape recording in the 1950s. While soundtracks are now recorded and edited with magnetic tape or digitally, optical sound is often used on motion pictures because it can be printed right along with the images, and because so many theaters only have optical-sound equipment.

To record optical sound, sound waves are translated into electrical impulses, which in turn control a light beam that creates a photograph on a piece of film. When the optical soundtrack is played back, it passes before a lamp that projects its patterns onto a photoelectric cell. These intensities of light are converted into electrical impulses, then sound, which is amplified and sent to the speakers.

Producing a motion picture

Motion picture production has three primary stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production gets underway when financing is secured. It involves finishing a script, finalizing the cast and crew, deciding on how various shots will tell the story of the film, and figuring out locations. A detailed budget is created. Good pre-production work saves a great deal of time and money. It lays the groundwork for a smooth and efficient production.

In production, sets are built, locations are prepared and lit, and the actual filming takes place. Each aspect of film production can get intensely specialized. For example, there are many kinds of microphones, each with advantages and disadvantages. The sounds they pick up can be recorded onto many kinds of magnetic tape using a variety of tape recorders.

During filming, after optimal lighting has been determined, and other variables worked out, many shots are taken of each scene. To help quickly judge if shots were successful, a video image is often made simultaneously. It can be reviewed immediately, and decisions about how to change the next take of the scene can be made.

What happens when the filming is finished

The final phase of making a motion picture, post-production, begins after the film footage has been shot, and results in the finished product. Post-production consists of editing, sound mixing, and special effects.

Editing is the process of putting camera shots together in a way that tells the story in an interesting manner. A camera shot is a piece of continuously shot film without a break in the action. Most motion-pictures consist of hundreds or thousands of such shots. Each shot may be filmed many times. The editor compares these shots and chooses one. Shots and soundtracks are compared and combined on editing tables that allow the comparison of as many as six film and sound tracks. Digital editing systems first came out in the 1980s. Their use accelerated in the 1990s as computer technology rapidly improved. In digital editing a digital copy is made of all the shots for a motion picture. Using computers, editors can then try out various combinations of shots and edits. When a final version is selected, the editor can cut the actual pieces of film to create a motion picture that is put together just like the digital version.

Sound editing benefited from the explosion of recording technology associated with the music business. The advent of the multiple track magnetic recorder gave sound editors the ability to mix sounds together with a great deal of control and creativity. They could fade in a background sound like a rain storm in the same way that their counterpart in the music business might fade in a guitar solo. By the late 1970s, sound editors could use up to 16 separate tracks of sound, and each could have electronic effects added to it. In the 1980s, digital sound offered even more control.

Because the sound is initially recorded on a separate tape, it has to be synchronized with the film. An electronic timing pulse is used which controls the speed of the motors for the soundtrack and film mechanisms. Recording and editing the soundtrack can be almost as complex as filming the visuals. It has many components including dialogue, music, ambient sounds, and sound effects. The sound of a door slamming, for instance, is usually recorded separately in a sound studio, and may actually be the sound of a hammer striking a piece of metal.

Special effects

Special effects have always been one of the chief attractions of motion pictures. Special effects are generally created through animation, miniatures, or matte shots. Animation is any process whereby frames are shot individually. This can range from cartoons to sequences in which objects appear to move because the camera was stopped, the object was moved a little, and then another frame was taken. Computer-based special effects in which an object or face changes into another are also rendered one frame at a time.

Illusions of reality are created by paintings, miniatures, and false backgrounds. Miniatures are small models used for everything from the cities stepped on in Godzilla films to the space ships and buildings used in science fiction films. One of the most common special effects is a false background. In many motion pictures, the scenes of characters in a moving car are shot in a studio, using another film being projected onto a screen behind the action as a background. In older films, this projector was set behind a translucent screen and projected its images onto it from behind the action. This is called rear projection. The motion picture camera and the projector were synchronized so that a frame was projected just as the camera recorded a frame.

This system did not work well with color film. It proved difficult to keep the amount of light on the subject and the background the same, and to give them the same color. So a new system, called front projection, was invented. In front projection, the false background is projected at the same angle from which the camera is shooting. A one-way mirror is placed in front of the camera. The projected image reflects off the mirror onto the action. The camera sees through the clear side of the mirror. Because the camera sees from the same angle as the projected image, the actors shadows, cast onto the background, are blocked from view by their bodies.

Slow and fast motion are accomplished by changing the rate at which frames are shot. Because film is projected at 24 frames per second, anything shot at a greater rate appears slowed down when projected at 24 frames per second. Anything shot at a slower rate seems to move faster than normal when projected. These special effects have applications to motion pictures and to science. They make it possible to watch a flower growing and opening in 20 seconds, or to watch an explosion that takes 10 seconds instead of one. Watching actions slowed down is often an advantage to those studying the behavior of people or animals.

The combination of computer technology with motion picture technology has given filmmakers the ability to create increasingly elaborate special effects. Animation and graphics can be created entirely by computer. These computer-generated images can then be combined with live-action footage through a process called analog image synthesis. Using a video camera, images on film are scanned into a computer. Once in the computer, the images can be easily manipulated, and then converted back into film. Films such as Steven Spielbergs Jurassic Park made extensive use of this technology to create the illusion of dinosaurs interacting with people onscreen.

A similar process called digital compositing uses the computer-scanning technique to manipulate live-action footage as well as animation. With it, a film-maker can make it appear that an object or face changes into another. These effects are rendered one frame at a time. Computer technology has also advanced the area of puppetry, models, and miniatures. Miniature replicas are made of larger-than-life models. The two are then connected to a computer that plots their movements so that when the miniature

KEY TERMS

Editing The process of putting various shots together to create the narrative structure of a motion picture.

False background A background either created by projecting an image onto a screen behind the foreground action, or by using a matte.

Matte shot A shot that uses masks to combine different images onto one piece of film.

Persistence of vision A phenomena of the eye, which continues to register an image for a short time after it disappears. This makes motion pictures possible.

Pull-down mechanism A device that pulls each frame of film into position, holds it steady while it is exposed, then quickly moves the film into position for the next exposure.

Shot A single, uncut piece of film with continuous action.

is moved in a particular way, the full-size model moves in the same way. Innovations such as these ensure the continued development of motion picture technology.

In the last quarter of the twentieth century and now into the twenty-first century, independent film-makers, along with large corporate movie production companies, have used different production styles to make motion pictures. Digital technology has made it possible to make less costly and simply-made motion pictures. On the other hand, advanced technologies have made it possible to make very elaborate and complicated films that were impossible to make in the past. Modern digital projectors and video cameras are increasingly being used in the 2000s, especially with regards to ease of editing. However, in the mid-2000s, most motion pictures are still made on film.

Resources

BOOKS

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 7th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Chapman, James. Cinemas of the World: Film and Society from 1895 to the Present. London, UK: Reaktion, 2003.

Cleve, Bastian. Film Production Management. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier/Focal Press, 2006.

Dick, Bernard F. Anatomy of Film. Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martins, 2005.

Popple, Simon. Early Cinema: From Factory Gate to Dream Factory. London, UK: Wallflower, 2004.

Rausch, Andrew J. Turning Points in Film History. New York: Citadel Press, 2004.

Thompson, Kristin. Film History: An Introduction. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Wexman, Virginia Wright. A History of Film. Boston, MA: Pearson/A & B, 2006.

Scott M. Lewis

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Motion Pictures

Motion pictures

Motion pictures, also called film, cinema or movies, are a series of images, recorded on strips of film, that create the illusion of continuous motion. A series of rapidly shown images appear to move because of a phenomena called the persistence of vision. The eye does not react instantly to changes in its field of vision . In fact, the eye continues to "see" an image for 1/10-1/20 of a second after it changes. So if a sequence of images can be shown at a rate of approximately 20 per second, it will appear as continuous motion to the eye. That is just what happens in a motion picture.


The invention of motion pictures

Many of the principles behind motion pictures were understood well before the invention of "the movies." In 1832, Simon Ritter von Stampfer of Vienna created the stroboscope. Images spinning on a disc were viewed through slits in a second disc. This displayed the images sequentially at a fast enough rate to simulate a couple seconds worth of motion. A primitive kind of slide projector called a magic lantern had been invented around 1640 in Rome by Athanasius Kircher. In 1853, these two inventions were combined by Austrian inventor and solider Franz von Uchatius (1811-1881), who used a magic lantern to cast stroboscopic images onto a wall. These were essentially cartoons, since they were animated drawings.

The invention of photography and improvement over the next several decades was another crucial ingredient. In 1877 photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), working with an engineer, created a sequence of 24 images of a running horse, taken by 24 cameras. Soon these photographs were being projected by a device like the stroboscope. With Etienne Jules Marey's creation in 1882 of a camera that took bursts of sequential photographs, the basic building blocks for the creation of motion pictures had been invented. Inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931), aware of these innovations, decided to create the visual equivalent of the phonograph : a camera and projection system that reproduced vision the way the phonograph he was working on reproduced sound.

Edison's assistant William Kennedy Dickson succeeded in 1889. He used a type of celluloid roll film developed for cameras, adding a series of perforations along the sides that held the film steady and moved it through a special camera. Once shot, the film was made into an endlessly running loop, and viewed through a magnifying glass . The device, called the kinetoscope, could only be viewed by one person at a time. It was not shown publicly until its patent came through in 1893.

Edison built a small motion picture studio in New Jersey, where his company created 50 ft (15 m) film loops. They were viewed at kinetoscope parlors at individual projectors. The first motion picture was of one of Edison's assistants sneezing. Soon they were filming acts from variety shows. Not realizing the potential of his invention, Edison had not taken out foreign patents on it. Soon it was being copied—and improved upon—in England, Germany, and France. Robert W. Paul (1869-1943) in England built a projector that made the film pause as each frame was shown. This made the frames show for longer than the space between them, lessening the flicker of earlier projectors.

In France, Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis Lumière (1864-1948), who manufactured photographic equipment, created their own projector and camera. They reduced Edison's 48 frames-per-second to 16, and called their projector the cinématographe, from the Greek word for movement (kinema) and drawing (grapheca). Paul and the Lumières projected their motion pictures onto a screen. This meant many people at once could watch a large image, and do so while seated. Not surprisingly, this motion picture experience proved more popular than Edison's kinetoscope. Edison unveiled his competing projector in April 1896, creating a tremendous stir. Photography itself was still relatively new; motion pictures were an experience no one had a comparison for. Short films of dancers and breaking waves were enough to fill audiences with amazement.

Though the basic machinery for motion pictures had been invented, the inventors realized that people would not be satisfied for long with the sheer novelty of the experience. Motion picture equipment was like a computer without any software. To make the invention useful, its software—namely interesting motion pictures—needed to be created.

French theater director and magician Georges Méliès (1861-1939) became the first true master of cinematic techniques during the 1890s. He filmed theater acts, but changed them to fit the motion picture format, arranging objects and backgrounds for the camera. He invented special effects, doing things like stopping the camera, changing the scenery and turning the camera back on. He discovered the fade in and fade out, wherein the scene gradually goes dark or comes up from darkness, and used them as a transition between scenes. Méliès used painted cut-outs and backdrops in his studio to enhance the fantasy effect created by his trick photography.

His A Trip to the Moon, (1902) became the first internationally successful motion picture, and the first science fiction film. In such work, Méliès showed how much the new medium could do beyond showing real events passing in front of a camera. Following his example, others turned to telling stories with motion pictures, and they quickly became more sophisticated. The first Western, Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery, (1903) used a camera that moved with the action, rather than being fixed. It even included shots using a camera on a moving train. The popularity of these motion pictures spurred others to use similar techniques. Gradually the motion picture evolved its own visual language.

As the public began spending money to see films, motion picture distribution networks sprang up. Middlemen bought films and rented them to theaters that did not want to buy them outright. In 1907, over 100 distributors did business in the United States alone. A Pittsburgh firm created the nickelodeon when it began charging patrons five cents to watch a series of short motion pictures. The formula proved so successful that nickelodeons spread throughout the country. By 1908, motion pictures were becoming a large and rapidly changing business. A group of filmmaking studios and distributors, along with Edison, formed the Motion Pictures Patent Company to regulate copyrights, patents, and royalties. The group tried to take over the motion picture industry, but by 1910 of about 9,000 U.S. theaters, only half were licensed. These theaters used films by independent filmmakers and distributors.

The Patent Co. kept its actors anonymous to prevent them from becoming personally important and therefore able to command higher salaries. But an independent studio, the Independent Moving Picture Company, lured away a star, revealed that her name was Florence Lawrence, and gave her publicity. This started what became known as the star system, in which the primary actors were as, or more, important than whatever story was being told. Other stars followed, including Charlie Chaplin in the late 1910s. The importance of stars continues to this day. Some, such as Marilyn Monroe, have become mythic figures in modern culture.

By 1914 the Patent Co. collapsed as the more innovative independents grew. Motion pictures became longer and more ambitious. Film companies like Fox, Universal, Paramount, and MGM sprang up. Nickelodeons proved too small for the vast popularity of motion pictures, and were replaced by new theaters, some with thousands of seats and elaborate decor.


Sound joins the image

The ability to reproduce sound already existed in phonographs. Many tried unsuccessfully to link them to films. A workable system to join sound and motion pictures proved complex, and required a great deal of research money. American Telephone and Telegraph, the largest corporation in the U.S., worked on the problem through its Western Electric branch. A 1924 sound-on-a-disc system was at first rejected by the motion picture studios as too expensive. However, Warner Brothers, looking for an advantage over its rivals, finally accepted it anyway, investing millions of dollars in theaters and sound equipment.

The first motion picture with sound, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, became a huge hit. Warner Brothers instantly became one of the biggest forces in the motion picture industry. Its success forced rival studios to adapt sound. The cost of doing this, coming at the beginning of the Great Depression, left banks with a great deal of power in the film industry.

A rival sound system, developed by General Electric and the Radio Corporation of America, put the soundtrack on the film itself, running it in a track next to the images. Since the pictures and their soundtrack were linked on the film, they could never get out of synchronization. This system was also easier to set up. After intense competition and many lawsuits over patent rights, this system beat the sound-on-a-disc system.

Sound remained difficult to record during filming because the recording equipment was large and noisy. In the late 1940s, new magnetic recording techniques allowed sound to be recorded onto tape. This smaller, quieter system allowed sound to be recorded right on the film set.

Color comes to film

In the earliest days of motion pictures, color film had not yet been invented. Some films were colorized by hand, but that soon proved impractical. Color film first came out in the mid-1930s. It used three layers of colored film to reproduce the visual spectrum . Because color film was expensive and required precise control of lighting, black and white film remained the standard until the mid-1950s. Color and black-and-white were both used until the late 1960s, when color became the standard. This was partly because many films were sold for television broadcast after appearing in theaters, and black-and-white films were much harder to sell for television.


Later film history

In the 1920s and 1930s, motion pictures became a big business in the U.S., and most were produced like products on an assembly line . Often, Hollywood films did not have distinct personalities. They instead fit into genre types: western, musical, horror, gangster, and comedy. Exceptions, like Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941), were rare. In Europe , motion pictures remained a smaller scale business that was also seen as an art. In 1925, the London Film Society was founded to promote motion pictures as an art form.

After World War II ended in 1945, the power of the Hollywood studios declined. Partly this came from a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the studios had an illegal monopoly because they controlled the production, distribution, and showing of motion pictures. As a result, the studios were forced to sell their theaters. Foreign motion picture industries grew stronger, and started their own distribution systems, such as France's annual Cannes Film Festival. France, Italy, Sweden, and Japan all produced important and successful motion pictures.

Perhaps more than anything else, the rise of television changed the motion picture industry. People who could view visual entertainment at home for free were less likely to travel to a theater and pay money to see a film. The motion picture studios initially resisted the showing of their films on TV. By the mid-1950s, however, many studios were selling and renting their films to TV networks. To lure consumers to theaters, filmmakers began using technology to make seeing a film in a theater a more exciting experience.

One technology was Cinerama, popular in 1952, in which three separate projectors showed their images on a large, nearly semicircular screen. Six speakers provided stereo sound. Though initially popular, this medium required large theaters and expensive equipment. It proved economically unfeasible. CinemaScope, invented in the 1920s but not exploited until the 1950s, used special lenses to squeeze a wide-screen image onto normal 35 mm film. Another lens , put onto the projector, unsqueezed the image. The result was a wide-screen image that required theaters to invest less than $20,000. CinemaScope proved popular, and films like A Star is Born were made using it. The compression and decompression resulted in a blurry, grainy image, however. A better solution for wide screen was to use 70 mm film, as in MGM's "Oklahoma." After the success of this film, most major studios created a version of the 70 mm process. Wide screen processes are still being developed, such as the OMNIMAX, which uses a special screen in the shape of a dome.


Equipment

Camera

In photography the exposure of film can be controlled by changing the amount of light entering the lens, or the amount of time the shutter remains open. The shutter speed in a motion picture camera is controlled by the fact that 24 frames must be shot per second. No exposure can be longer than 1/24th of a second. Motion picture cameras use a shutter that looks like a rotating propeller with two blades. The propeller can be made wider to decrease the percentage of time the lens is open, and thereby shorten exposures.

The pull-down mechanism, invented at the end of the nineteenth century, moves the film through the camera, holds it still in position for 1/24th of a second while the exposure is made, then moves the film to the next frame. It does this in perfect synchronization with the revolving shutter that exposes the film.

Early motion picture cameras were large and heavy. But by the mid-1950s, technology developed during World War II lead to smaller, lighter cameras that even allowed cinematographers to hold the smallest cameras. This freed the cameras from a tripod, allowing for more innovative camera work. For moving camera effects, cameras can be put on platforms that are attached to rubber wheels or steel rails like railroad tracks. They can also be raised and lowered on cranes.


Projector

At the end of the process, every motion picture goes through a projector. From the advent of sound until the mid-1970s projectors changed little. The system a projector uses for moving the film is similar to that used by a motion picture camera. A pull-down mechanism moves the film through the projector, while a rotating shutter only emits light while a frame is in position. The primary problem in making a projector was to provide a light source bright enough to enlarge a film frame enough to fill a theater screen—as much as 300,000 times—yet small enough to fit inside a projector.

The solution found to this problem, the carbon arc lamp , was used until the 1970s. These lamps used two carbon rods with a small gap between them. A strong electric current jumped the gap, creating a strong white light. These lamps needed constant adjustment, however, as well as a ventilation system. Most were replaced in the 1970s and 1980s by lamps using the inert gas xenon.

The projector also reads the soundtrack through a separate reader placed immediately after the lens. The soundtrack can be a magnetic strip or light pattern that runs along the side of the film. This light pattern, called optical sound, was the only system of sound reproduction until advances in magnetic tape recording in the 1950s. While soundtracks are now recorded and edited with magnetic tape or digitally, optical sound is often used on motion pictures because it can be printed right along with the images, and because so many theaters only have optical-sound equipment.

To record optical sound, sound waves are translated into electrical impulses, which in turn control a light beam that creates a photograph on a piece of film. When the optical soundtrack is played back, it passes before a lamp that projects its patterns onto a photoelectric cell . These intensities of light are converted into electrical impulses, then sound, which is amplified and sent to the speakers.


Producing a motion picture

Motion picture production has three primary stages: pre-production, production, and post-production. Preproduction gets underway when financing is secured. It involves finishing a script, finalizing the cast and crew, deciding on how various shots will tell the story of the film, and figuring out locations. A detailed budget is created. Good pre-production work saves a great deal of time and money. It lays the groundwork for a smooth and efficient production.

In production, sets are built, locations are prepared and lit, and the actual filming takes place. Each aspect of film production can get intensely specialized. For example, there are many kinds of microphones, each with advantages and disadvantages. The sounds they pick up can be recorded onto many kinds of magnetic tape using a variety of tape recorders.

During filming, after optimal lighting has been determined, and other variables worked out, many shots are taken of each scene. To help quickly judge if shots were successful, a video image is often made simultaneously. It can be reviewed immediately, and decisions about how to change the next take of the scene can be made.


What happens when the filming is finished

The final phase of making a motion picture, post-production, begins after the film footage has been shot, and results in the finished product. Post-production consists of editing, sound mixing, and special effects.

Editing is the process of putting camera shots together in a way that tells the story in an interesting manner. A camera shot is a piece of continuously shot film without a break in the action. Most motion-pictures consist of hundreds or thousands of such shots. Each shot may be filmed many times. The editor compares these shots and chooses one. Shots and soundtracks are compared and combined on editing tables that allow the comparison of as many as six film and sound tracks. Digital editing systems first came out in the 1980s. Their use accelerated in the 1990s as computer technology rapidly improved. In digital editing a digital copy is made of all the shots for a motion picture. Using computers, editors can then try out various combinations of shots and edits. When a final version is selected, the editor can cut the actual pieces of film to create a motion picture that is put together just like the digital version.

Sound editing benefited from the explosion of recording technology associated with the music business. The advent of the multiple track magnetic recorder gave sound editors the ability to mix sounds together with a great deal of control and creativity. They could fade in a background sound like a rain storm in the same way that their counterpart in the music business might fade in a guitar solo. By the late 1970s, sound editors could use up to 16 separate tracks of sound, and each could have electronic effects added to it. In the 1980s, digital sound offered even more control.

Because the sound is initially recorded on a separate tape, it has to be synchronized with the film. An electronic timing pulse is used which controls the speed of the motors for the soundtrack and film mechanisms. Recording and editing the soundtrack can be almost as complex as filming the visuals. It has many components including dialogue, music, ambient sounds, and sound effects. The sound of a door slamming, for instance, is usually recorded separately in a sound studio, and may actually be the sound of a hammer striking a piece of metal .


Special effects

Special effects have always been one of the chief attractions of motion pictures. Special effects are generally created through animation, miniatures, or matte shots. Animation is any process whereby frames are shot individually. This can range from cartoons to sequences in which objects appear to move because the camera was stopped, the object was moved a little, and then another frame was taken. Computer-based special effects in which an object or face changes into another are also rendered one frame at a time.

Illusions of reality are created by paintings, miniatures, and false backgrounds. Miniatures are small models used for everything from the cities stepped on in Godzilla films to the space ships and buildings used in science fiction films. One of the most common special effects is a false background. In many motion pictures, the scenes of characters in a moving car are shot in a studio, using another film being projected onto a screen behind the action as a background. In older films, this projector was set behind a translucent screen and projected its images onto it from behind the action. This is called rear projection. The motion picture camera and the projector were synchronized so that a frame was projected just as the camera recorded a frame.

This system did not work well with color film. It proved difficult to keep the amount of light on the subject and the background the same, and to give them the same color. So a new system, called front projection, was invented. In front projection, the false background is projected at the same angle from which the camera is shooting. A one-way mirror is placed in front of the camera. The projected image reflects off the mirror onto the action. The camera "sees" through the clear side of the mirror. Because the camera sees from the same angle as the projected image, the actors' shadows, cast onto the background, are blocked from view by their bodies.

Slow and fast motion are accomplished by changing the rate at which frames are shot. Because film is projected at 24 frames per second, anything shot at a greater rate appears slowed down when projected at 24 frames per second. Anything shot at a slower rate seems to move faster than normal when projected. These 'special effects' have applications to motion pictures and to science. They make it possible to watch a flower growing and opening in 20 seconds, or to watch an explosion that takes 10 seconds instead of one. Watching actions slowed down is often an advantage to those studying the behavior of people or animals.

The combination of computer technology with motion picture technology has given filmmakers the ability to create increasingly elaborate special effects. Animation and graphics can be created entirely by computer. These computer-generated images can then be combined with live-action footage through a process called analog image synthesis. Using a video camera, images on film are scanned into a computer. Once in the computer, the images can be easily manipulated, and then converted back into film. Films such as Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park made extensive use of this technology to create the illusion of dinosaurs interacting with people onscreen.

A similar process called digital compositing uses the computer-scanning technique to manipulate live-action footage as well as animation. With it, a filmmaker can make it appear that an object or face changes into another. These effects are rendered one frame at a time. Computer technology has also advanced the area of puppetry, models, and miniatures. Miniature replicas are made of larger-than-life models. The two are then connected to a computer that plots their movements so that when the miniature is moved in a particular way, the full-size model moves in the same way. Innovations such as these ensure the continued development of motion picture technology.


Resources

books

Bernstein, Steven. Film Production. 2nd ed. Oxford, England: Focal Press, 1994.

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.

Stanley, Robert H. The Celluloid Empire. New York: Hastings House, Publishers, 1978.


Scott M. Lewis

KEY TERMS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Editing

—The process of putting various shots together to create the narrative structure of a motion picture.

False background

—A background either created by projecting an image onto a screen behind the foreground action, or by using a matte.

Matte shot

—A shot that uses masks to combine different images onto one piece of film.

Persistence of vision

—A phenomena of the eye, which continues to register an image for a short time after it disappears. This makes motion pictures possible.

Pull-down mechanism

—A device that pulls each frame of film into position, holds it steady while it is exposed, then quickly moves the film into position for the next exposure.

Shot

—A single, uncut piece of film with continuous action.

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Motion Pictures

MOTION PICTURES

By 1920, although color and synchronized sound technology were not yet in use, filmmaking and moviegoing in the United States already closely resembled twenty-first century practices. But nothing about the early history of the medium made these practices inevitable. To paraphrase Charles Musser in his The Emergence of Cinema (1990), the cinema was not so much invented as it emerged, at the end of the nineteenth century, from a convergence of multiple fields of image production and spectatorship—photography, vaudeville theater, and so forth—due to the efforts of a diverse group of American and European entrepreneurs.

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE MEDIUM

Still photography was not successfully tested in France until 1839, but audiences had been viewing demonstrations of large images reflected by mirrors, under the aegis of magic or science, at least since the seventeenth century and probably for centuries prior. As the Enlightenment and the industrial age brought new technologies into general public use, shadow and projector displays like the magic lantern, a lamp that used flame and lenses to project images drawn onto glass slides, became popular entertainments. Many middle-class children owned optical toys such as flip-books and zoetropes, which produced the illusion of movement by use of incremental drawings flashed rapidly one at a time, as in a hand-drawn animated cartoon. By the end of the nineteenth century, "slip slides" (magic lantern slides with moving parts), slide series that showed scenes changing over time, and other devices to suggest movement and change entertained thousands in America's urban vaudeville houses. Though not projected, other public entertainments like panoramas and dioramas nevertheless anticipated the cinema's ability to bring faraway places closer by re-creating cities and exotic locales in meticulous detail and even simulating motion within these virtual spaces. During the same period, curious crowds were willing to pay small fees to see demonstrations of new inventions like the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, and even electric lighting.

Motion pictures began life as one more invention that people bought tickets to see. The principle of motion pictures was developed for more or less scientific purposes by Eadweard Muybridge in 1878 and Étienne-Jules Marey in 1879, English and French respectively, who used serial photographs and long exposures to study the motion of animals and people. In the United States, Thomas A. Edison (1847–1931) remarked, in 1888, that he was developing an invention that "does for the Eye what the phonograph"—which Edison had also invented—"does for the Ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion." Edison, who owned an "invention factory" in Menlo Park, New Jersey, was practiced in marketing his inventions as amusements. After meeting both Muybridge and Marey to discuss the practical problems of capturing and representing movement and after taking notes on Muybridge's primitive Zoopraxiscope projector, Edison began work on his own moving picture camera in earnest.

The first camera concocted by Edison's lab was the Kinetograph, overseen by W. K. Laurie Dickson in 1892. After considering other storage options, Dickson recorded images on the strips of photosensitive celluloid developed by the Eastman Company for their hundred-exposure Kodak cameras, invented in 1890. The resulting films, less than a minute long and featuring both performances (women dancing) and mundane activities (a sneeze), were viewed on a Kinetoscope, a peephole viewer marketed for use in penny arcades in 1894. At the same time, Louis and Auguste Lumière were exploiting their own moving picture camera, the Cinématographe, which doubled as a projector. They screened their fifty-second films before an audience for the first time in Paris on 28 December 1895. The Kinetograph and Cinématographe cameras worked on the same principle: each exposed photographic stock to light by intermittently advancing the film through a "gate," which held it still for approximately one-eighteenth of a second (subject to wide variability, as most cameras were hand-cranked) as a shutter exposed a single frame. Other companies and individuals invented variations of cameras and viewing devices at the same time, igniting the litigious wrath of the Edison Company. A rival arcade viewer called the Mutoscope—which Dickson secretly codeveloped in 1894—avoided infringing on Edison's Kinetoscope patent by using individual flip-cards rather than a filmstrip.

While peephole viewers were popular at first, they were not very lucrative and quickly exhausted their market. Edison and his rivals soon developed projectors like the Lumières' that could display films for large audiences. On 23 April 1896, Edison's Vitascope projector (invented by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat and handled by a Kinetoscope marketing company, Raff and Gammon) premiered at Koster and Bial's vaudeville theater in New York City to rave reviews. By that time so many moving picture machines had appeared—including the Cinématographe, Robert Paul's Theatrograph in England, and numerous American rivals—that the public had trouble keeping the names straight. A famous scene from chapter 7 of Frank Norris's novel McTeague (1896, published 1899) inaccurately refers to the projector that entertains McTeague and his fiancée as the "Kinetograph"; whether this mistake may be attributed to the theater in the novel or to Norris himself may never be known. But Norris does give an excellent sense of what watching the first projected films was like: after brief vaudeville acts that include acrobats, comedians, and singers, Norris's characters watch a program of short films with subjects as varied as those of the live show, and they comment loudly to one another on the astonishingly lifelike effect.

THE FIRST FILMS

What did the first spectators see? As McTeague attests, they did not see feature-length films. The Vitascope's sprocket system pulled the film so taut that reels much longer than fifty feet—around a minute of running time—would snap. (A system that reduced projection stress by allowing slack to the film, the Latham Loop, was developed independently in 1895 but was not immediately incorporated into the Kinetograph or the Vitascope.) Thus the earliest shows consisted of multiple short films sold in "programs." Stylistically, the films seem merely crude in the early twenty-first century. Due to the length limitation, editing was rarely considered, and even after 1897, when this limitation was overcome, filmmakers tended to minimize the number of discrete shots per film. Action was filmed from a single camera position, usually far enough from the performers to display them from head to toe, and performers were not shy about acknowledging the camera's presence. If close-ups were used, they picked out objects, people, and body parts (such as scandalously revealed female ankles) not to emphasize their significance within a story as they do in the early twenty-first century but simply to offer audiences the pleasure of looking at things and people—often performing such private activities as kissing, getting drunk, or arguing—in the strange new context of flickering images displayed before a large public. Though color cinematography was not possible, filmmakers occasionally had prints individually hand tinted, frame by frame, in multiple colors, but this practice required so much time and labor that it was limited to special subjects or particularly spectacular scenes. In 1904 Sigmund Lubin began chemically dyeing his films in solid colors that changed with each shot, and this tinting process soon caught on across the industry as a means of distinguishing daytime from nighttime scenes, establishing mood, and creating other expressive effects.

The subject matter of the first films also depended in part on the state of the technology. While the small, light Cinématographe was well suited to "documentary" films shot in the streets and homes of Paris, Edison's Kinetograph was heavy and bulky, and so the company invited performers—boxers, vaudeville players, cockfight handlers, and the like—to be filmed in a shed at Menlo Park dubbed the Black Maria. Genres developed that mirrored contemporary mass cultural forms: "actualities," which were views of places and people of interest (in keeping with the illustrated travelogues popular with social clubs); slapstick comedy scenes; bits from plays; "bad boy" films; chase films; and trick films. Though technically silent (Edison had quickly abandoned as impractical his plan to synchronize sound to the moving image), films were rarely projected without musical accompaniment or spoken commentary. The more fastidious projectionists also offered interpretive frameworks to their audiences by arranging unconnected short films into themed programs (political humor, railroad subjects, and so forth).

Crude as they may seem now, these huge projected images of diverse activities, as vibrant as life but uncannily distant and devoid of color, impressed the press and public tremendously. It is doubtful that spectators dove for cover as they watched railroad engines rush toward the camera, as Parisians supposedly did when the Lumières screened Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station in 1895. The film historian Tom Gunning has argued that, in this era of rapid and well-publicized technological change, viewers were unlikely to have been fooled into mistaking films for reality, but they did love to be astonished by the new machines that seemed to multiply daily. The first audiences consisted of a mélange of city dwellers: factory and sweatshop laborers, recent immigrants with no knowledge of English, and middle- and upper-class seekers of novel forms of amusement. The early cinema, which Gunning has called "the cinema of attractions," satisfied an increasing need for stimulus in the urban population, instilled in them by their fast-paced and often dangerous lives. As they watched these programs, viewers behaved as if they were at a fairground or a street corner. They talked loudly about the films and allowed their eyes and ears to wander from the screen to other patrons, other events taking place in the exhibition space, the lecturer, and the projector itself, which was initially the central attraction of any film show. Indeed, the brevity and diversity of the films themselves did not support the sustained attention that characterizes film spectatorship in the early twenty-first century; within a few years, the film industry would begin to see spectators' inattentive and boisterous behavior as a threat to the future of their enterprise.

STRUGGLES OVER FILMS AND THEIR EXHIBITION

During their "novelty" phase (1894–1898), moving pictures faced an uncertain future. Producers scrambled for content, trying everything from boxing matches like the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight of 1897 to films about the Spanish-American War of 1898—a conflict that Musser speculates might have saved the film industry from running out of filmable material. The two major producers of films in the United States during this time were Edison and the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, which Dickson founded upon quitting Menlo Park. AM&B's Biograph projector (invented in 1896) was superior to the Vitascope and set off a furious patent war between the companies. Producers both domestic (American Vitagraph, Selig Polyscope) and foreign (Georges Méliès's Star Films, Pathé Frères) made steady headway into a market that constantly needed new films. Edison and Biograph eventually gave up competing with each other and their biggest rivals and, with Biograph's reluctant consent, formed the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) on 18 December 1908 to pool patents and protect themselves against competition; the struggling producers not invited to join the MPPC referred to it as "the Trust" with good reason. The ten companies that comprised the MPPC were the best capitalized in the industry, they had the highest production values, and they controlled the distribution of their highly desirable films (as well as they could, at least, in a business overwhelmed by bootlegging and illegal exchanges of licensed for unlicensed films). All the Trust lacked was control over exhibition, and even the exhibitors were largely at the mercy of their production schedules—for the moment.

The film industry as a whole suffered during this period from public relations problems due to both film content and exhibition circumstances. The MPPC producers wanted to court a middle-class audience to expand their market, but this was not easy considering the shocking content of the films: during the medium's first decade a viewer might see trains ramming into one another, "Turks" being decapitated and their heads reattaching themselves, a respectable family blown to bits by a car crash, and burlesque dancers featured in "blue" films, all in a single film program. Religious and political leaders and social reformers worried publicly about both the content of films and the venues that screened them. At first films were shown in urban vaudeville theaters and other multiuse venues. Itinerant exhibitors made a living taking films to towns and rural areas and screening them at fairs, churches, and town halls. But by 1905 a growing number of entertainment entrepreneurs, notably Marcus Loew and Carl Laemmle, had erected highly successful nickel-and-dime theaters or "nickelodeons" dedicated to continuous film shows. These nickelodeons soon popped up in working-class hubs and middle-class neighborhoods and shopping districts all over the United States; their primary patrons included factory and sweatshop laborers, female shoppers, mothers with children to entertain, and children old enough to entertain themselves. How, asked the reformers, would the uneducated, impressionable, and immigrant viewers learn to respect American mores and laws if their favorite form of entertainment supplied little else but shocks and debauchery?

To make matters worse, the nickelodeons themselves seemed dens of iniquity—darkened, anonymous spaces regularly attended by unchaperoned working women. On Christmas Eve in 1908, the mayor of New York ordered the city's theaters closed on grounds of public indecency. The message was clear: producers and exhibitors would have to work harder and faster to make movies a respectable entertainment or cede control of their own business to city legislators and external censors.

TELLING STORIES ON FILM

The story film would prove crucial to the producers' race for respectability. Edwin S. Porter, a New York projectionist, began directing films for the Edison Company in 1901. Porter initially made single-shot slapstick films but learned, from watching the films of the French magician Georges Méliès (A Trip to the Moon, 1902), how to thrill audiences with cinematic tricks, such as double exposures and the "transformation" of objects accomplished by stopping and restarting the camera. Porter's films, like most story films of the time, emphasized broad physical humor and relied on the audience's knowledge of such familiar material as current events, fairy tales, and biblical tales. But Porter learned another trick from Méliès that helped change the way that American producers thought about storytelling: how to overlap discrete shots by beginning an action in one shot (for example, a character leaving a room) and completing it in the next (the same character arriving at another character's house). This trick made it possible to string together shots of different locations into a relatively lengthy story—a full twelve-minute reel or even more—without leaving the audience wondering what the shot changes meant, how much time had elapsed between shots, and so forth. By 1903, with the release of Porter's The Great Train Robbery following the great successes of his Jack and the Beanstalk and Life of an American Fireman (both 1902), it was becoming clear that the story film would be key to the producers' future success. Porter was proving that a well-told story could not only interest an audience but also could give it a dramatic thrill that depended on the story itself and not on the experience of seeing photographs move, which had by then lost its novelty.

The broad pantomime and slapstick plots of many early story films held little attraction for the middle class, which was more interested in literature and plays. Hoping to cultivate this lucrative market, American Vitagraph and several foreign concerns produced "quality" films, beginning with the American release in 1909 of a film by the French producer Film d'Art called La Mort du duc de Guise. These films condensed Shakespeare plays, poetry, opera plots, and biblical or quasi-biblical stories down to a few reels, sported opulent sets, and used restrained acting styles at a time when comedies dominated American film. According to their marketers, these films offered "uplift," education, even the possibility of Americanization to a heterogeneous film audience. The most complex story films, however, seemed incapable of getting their narratives across. Producers had distributed their films with filmed "intertitles"—full-screen cards that provided exposition and dialogue—since 1904, but this innovation did not automatically clarify every story. Critics in the trade press speculated about the reasons for this difficulty, blaming inadequate acting, poor plots, bad camera placement, and a myriad of other infractions, but they could not agree on how producers should proceed.

More than any other individual, D. W. Griffith, a stage actor who began directing for Biograph in 1908, helped the industry to streamline its storytelling tactics. Capitalizing on the methods of Méliès, Porter, the producer-director Alice Guy Blaché, and their imitators, Griffith compiled a number of extant cinematic techniques, such as close-ups and rudimentary cause- and-effect editing, for use in his tales of domestic and ethical crisis. Rather than letting the performers pantomime all the important story information to a camera standing four yards away, Griffith varied his framings and included a much higher number of shots per film than any of his rivals. Together these stratagems implied to the viewer an omniscient narrator, akin to the narrator of a Victorian novel, commenting on the action, revealing characters' thoughts, and focusing on key story elements. Like his hero, Charles Dickens, Griffith used skillful editing to alternate between simultaneous events in different places, as in his popular race-to-the-rescue films The Lonely Villa (1909) and The Lonedale Operator (1911).

Griffith's Biograph films were so popular with the press and with audiences that other directors incorporated Griffith's techniques and focused more of their energies on story films. They also took more risks in hopes of stumbling upon a formula that would overtake the industry. The remarkable success of a few imported films—including the French film Queen Elizabeth (1912), starring the international stage idol Sarah Bernhardt, and two Italian historical epics, Quo Vadis? (1913) and Cabiria (1914)—proved that American audiences would sit through films running one hour, two hours, or even longer. Small-time entrepreneurs like Chicago's Carl Laemmle—who began with a single nickelodeon theater and founded a small distribution company—jumped into production themselves, taking chances on longer films and new forms of publicity that the MPPC companies refused to attempt and soon overtaking the Trust producers in popularity. Perhaps these upstarts' most crucial innovation was to capitalize on the popularity of certain actors. By 1908 viewers tended to choose films based on their brand names. This practice served Biograph well during 1908 to 1913, when Griffith (anonymously) directed nearly all of the more than four hundred films Biograph produced. As Griffith and others focused on character psychology and used close-ups to register actors' facial reactions, viewers became curious about actors and began favoring a few over the rest. The "Biograph Girl," Florence Lawrence, became an attraction in her own right in 1909, and by 1910 Laemmle had lured her to his IMP company and trumpeted her arrival with a massive publicity stunt.

MOTION PICTURES BECOME BIG BUSINESS

Like the proliferation of story films, the new focus on actors was not an obvious development but a calculated strategy. Initially such actors as Lawrence, Mary Pickford, Maurice Costello, Florence Turner, Francis X. Bushman, and Mabel Normand and comedian John Bunny were what Richard de Cordova calls "picture personalities"—that is, figures known only for their screen personae, which tended to carry over from picture to picture. Theda Bara, one of the screen's first sex symbols (A Fool There Was, 1915), was also one of the first actors for whom a studio fabricated a biography specifically for public consumption. No longer simply a picture personality, she was one of the first movie stars—someone whose private life fascinated the fans as much as her on-screen presence. The British comedian Charlie Chaplin made his star name into a franchise by 1915, proving his economic clout and his skill as a director for Mutual. By 1920 Chaplin, Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, the western director and star William S. Hart, and the comedian-directors Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Buster Keaton were among the richest and most famous people in the world. Their tremendous successes prompted Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks, and Griffith to quit their studio connections and cofound United Artists, through which they would independently produce and distribute their own features.

Star actors and directors also accelerated the development of some of the most popular early feature genres: the adventure film, the western, the domestic melodrama, and the slapstick comedy. One leader in the domestic melodrama genre was Famous Players–Lasky, which later merged with its distributor Paramount. Its chief director, Cecil B. De Mille, directed many films (The Cheat, 1915; Why Change Your Wife? 1920) that irritated social reformers by glamorizing sexual innuendo and "sin." But the sophisticated immorality of De Mille's characters and his "artistic" arrangement of shadows and light—dubbed "Rembrandt" lighting by appreciative critics—appealed to a young middle-class audience that cared little about the reformist agenda; in any event, De Mille always punished iniquity in the final reel. Mack Sennett, a Biograph employee who wrote scripts for Griffith, formed the Keystone Company in 1912 and soon helped transform the least respectable of early genres, slapstick, into an art of satire and parody, free from the era's atmosphere of social repression. Chaplin and Arbuckle both began their careers at Keystone; like Chaplin, Arbuckle became so popular that he founded his own production company and gave Keaton his first film roles.

A mere seven years after the Trust was formed, the upstart companies the Trust had shut out had rebuilt the industry in their own image. Because many of them began as film exhibitors, these "unlicensed" producer-distributors controlled all three of the industry's economic centers, an arrangement known as "vertical integration." Laemmle's IMP company, for example, began with a single theater in Chicago in 1906, grew into a theater chain, joined with a multi-producer combine that was later reorganized as the Universal Film Manufacturing company (1912), and released wildly popular films—such as the sensationalist white-slavery "exposé" Traffic in Souls (1913)—under the Universal trademark; their combined economic strength, as producers, distributors, and exhibitors, helped place Laemmle and Universal in a dominant position in the industry. Unable to acquire theaters of their own in a market dominated by multicity theater chains—controlled by "independents" like William Fox, Lasky, and Loew's (later to become the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)—the Trust companies withered. A 1912 antitrust suit leveled at the MPPC producers sounded their early death knell, and by 1918 they had all but disappeared.

Griffith contributed to the unraveling of the Trust when he left Biograph in 1913 (a move that practically killed the company on the spot) and filmed The Birth of a Nation (1915) independently, distributing it through Mutual. By this time multi-reel features had begun to enter the market but were still resisted, primarily because most theaters seated patrons continuously during shows and late arrivals could more easily catch up with the plot of a two-reel film than one that ran four reels or more. But Birth proved that big American films had a consistent market and could garner "Broadway" ticket prices of a dollar or more. Nearly three hours long, it spanned the Civil War and the Reconstruction era and treated psychological, familial, and historical crises. It did not change the industry all by itself, but it cemented the motion picture's potential for grand success (it grossed $15 million in five years of continuous bookings), social import, sophistication and subtlety of storytelling, and controversy.

The studios—which also included the Fox Film Company and Samuel Goldwyn—grew quickly thanks to their innovations in organizing and overseeing multi-film production. Thomas Ince—a director whose westerns for the Bison "101" company were so popular that he became the subject of a multi-studio bidding war—helped introduce to filmmaking what Janet Staiger calls the "central producer" system. To maximize production, Ince implemented a division of labor—full shooting scripts containing shot breakdowns; directors who managed the photography phase and executed the script's shot-by-shot instructions; and technicians subdivided into crews concerned solely with camera, costumes, staging, lighting, editing, and so on. This system rationalized and streamlined the filmmaking process. In 1910 the industry began to take another big step, this time a geographical one. Biograph and other companies slowly migrated from New York, Chicago, and other eastern cities to southern California in order to capitalize on the three hundred–plus days of sunshine per year and highly varied locales for shooting outdoors; by 1920 the word "Hollywood" was becoming synonymous with the movies and the glamour they represented.

In 1920, with the era of sound film still six years away, Hollywood was the most powerful film industry in the world, a circumstance not entirely due to sheer perseverance or marketing brilliance. World War I had decimated the Italian, French, and German industries—once powerful exporters to the American market (and still major influences on American storytelling and visual style)—and allowed Hollywood producer-distributors to get a toehold in overseas markets that desperately needed new films to distribute. By this time motion pictures were central to the lives of Americans of all classes and ages, and American films and exhibition practices dominated movie houses throughout western Europe as well. As early as 1910 some American exhibitors dressed up their theaters with opulent entryways, velvet interiors, and uniformed ushers. By the end of the decade these "picture palaces" were the norm, giving patrons the opportunity to experience the trappings of Hollywood glamour firsthand while watching its representatives enact it on the screen. But even the glamour had an American twist. Most studio "moguls" and many of the biggest stars began as poor immigrants, many of them Jewish, and their life stories held the rags-to-riches appeal of some of the country's greatest success stories in production and commerce. Many of the most popular films followed characters on a similar path from the gutter to happiness and success and were filled with luxury and decadence and humor that allowed the lion's share of patrons to ignore their own hardships for a few hours and fantasize about partaking of the abundance that eluded them in everyday life.

see alsoThe Birth of a Nation; Photography; Science and Technology; Theater

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Works

The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station. Directed by Louis Lumière. Lumière Frères, 1895.

The Birth of a Nation. Directed by D. W. Griffith. 1915.

Cabiria. Directed by Giovanni Pastrone; performer Letizia Quaranta. Itala Film Company, 1914.

The Cheat. Directed by Cecil B. De Mille; performers Sessue Hayakawa, Fannie Ward, and Jack Dean. Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, 1915.

A Fool There Was. Directed by Frank Powell; performer Theda Bara. William Fox Vaudeville Company, 1915.

The Great Train Robbery. Directed by Edwin S. Porter; performers Justus Barnes and Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson. Edison, 1903.

The Lonedale Operator. Directed by D. W. Griffith; performer Blanche Sweet. Biograph, 1911.

La Mort du duc de Guise, [The death of the duc de Guise]. Directed by Charles Le Bargy and André Calmettes. Film d'Art, 1909.

Queen Elizabeth. Directed by Louis Mercanton and Henri Desfontaines; performer Sarah Bernhardt. L'Histrionic Film, 1912.

The Tramp. Directed by Charles Chaplin; performers Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance. Essenay, 1915.

The Trip to the Moon. Directed by Georges Méliès. Star Film, 1902.

Secondary Works

Balio, Tino, ed. The American Film Industry. Rev. ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Bowser, Eileen. The Transformation of Cinema 1907–1915. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film. 3rd ed. New York and London: Norton, 1996.

De Cordova, Richard. Picture Personalities: The Emergence of the Star System in America. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1990.

Elsaesser, Thomas, and Adam Barker, eds. Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative. London: British Film Institute, 1990.

Gomery, Douglas. Shared Pleasures: A History of Movie Presentation in the United States. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Gunning, Tom. "An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator." In Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film, edited by Linda Williams, pp. 114–133. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

Gunning, Tom. "The Cinema of Attraction[s]: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde." Wide Angle 8, nos. 3–4 (1986): 63–70.

Keil, Charlie. Early American Cinema in Transition: Story, Style, and Filmmaking, 1907–1913. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001.

Koszarski, Richard. An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915–1928. New York: Scribners, 1990.

Musser, Charles. The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

Paul Young

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