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Film Final Exam Study Guide Part 3 (reading #1: Understanding Media and Culture)
Terms in this set (37)
What's the problem with the recent "3-D boom?"
-so mind-numbingly amazing that narrative storytelling hasn't caught up with the technology --> filmmakers become so caught up trying to come up with plot devices to highlight new technological techniques that no one is bothering to tell a story
What is the kinetoscope?
-invented in 1891 by Thomas Edison and William Dickson
-device that would become predecessor to motion picture projector
-cabinet with a window through which individual viewers could experience the illusion of a moving image
What is a celluloid film strip?
-film strip with a sequence of images on it that's rapidly spooled between a light bulb and a lens --> creates the illusion of motion
What is the kinetograph?
-camera that produces kinetoscope film sequences
What did the Lumiere Brothers invent? What did they begin doing with this invention?
-lightweight film project that also functions as a camera and printer
-was lightweight enough for outdoor filming
-began using the camera to take over 1,000 short films of everyday life
What did the Lumiere Brothers do in 1895? What did this cause?
-held the first ever commercial film screening including "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory"
-demand for motion pictures grew at a rapid rate
What is the vitascope?
-the improved projector that the Edison Company purchased rights to
Who was Georges Melies?
-filmmaker and former magician
-invented the trick film --> experimented with special effects that produced seemingly magical transformations on screen
-transformed cinema into the narrative medium it is today
-Trip to the Moon --> most widely seen production in cinema's first decade
When was the Nickelodeon Craze?
Who is Edwin S. Porter?
-used editing, camera pans, projections, etc to produce a continuity of action
-"The Great Train Robbery" --> established realistic narrative as a standard in cinema --> first major box-office hit
What were nickelodeons?
-early motion picture theaters --> 5 cent admission charge
-popular among working class who couldn't afford live theater
-popularity established film as a mass entertainment medium
What was the MPPC?
-Motion Picture Patent Company (1908)
-when 10 leading production companies formed a trade group and established an exclusive contract with Eastman Kodak Company (supplier of film stock)
-tried to monopolize the film industry
Why was the MPPC unsuccessful in its attempt to monopolize the film industry?
-the rise of the feature, or multiple reel films
-feature films became more popular --> only independent companies could capitalize on this new trend bc the MPPC was resistant to change
What were the advantages of features over single-reel films?
-audiences saw these longer films as special events and were more willing to pay more for admission
-experienced longer runs in theaters
-gained popularity among middle classes (length was more similar to live theater)
What was the rise of Hollywood?
-producers realized the growing demand for films could only be met if the films were produced on a regular, year-round system
-but Chicago and New York's weather prevented outdoor filming for a significant portion of the year
-eventually found the most successful filming location was a small, industrial suburb of Los Angeles called Hollywood
-by 1915, more than 60% of US film production was centered in Hollywood
What was the three reasons that Hollywood was an ideal location?
-temperate and sunny climate year-round
-land was plentiful and cheap
-location allowed close access to a number of diverse topographies (mountains, lakes, deserts, coasts, forests, etc)
What three editing techniques did D.W. Griffith use?
-parallel editing (when a film alternates between two or more scenes of action to create an illusion of simultaneity)
-panning shots (establish a sense of scene and engage audience more fully in the experience of the film)
-tracking shots (shots that traveled with the movement of a scene --> allow audience to participate in film's action)
What was the MPAA? Why was it necessary?
-Motion Pictures Association of America
-Hollywood began to be seen as a threat to traditional moral/social order --> Arbuckle affair (death of model Virginia Rapp at one of his parties) --> increased public fears about Hollywood's impact --> governments tried to censor content of films
-to protect themselves against censorship, Hollywood studios formed the MPAA
What did the MPAA do? What does it do today?
-instituted a code of self-censorship
-today, it operates by a voluntary rating system so producers can voluntarily submit a film for review to alert viewers to the age-appropriateness of a film while protecting filmmaker's artistic freedom)
What was the demise of Silent Film?
-Warner Bros studio paired sound with motion pictures
-released major breakthrough film, "The Jazz Singer"
-this was the birth of the "talkie" --> audiences once again returned to cinema in large numbers
-by 1930, the silent film was a thing of the past
What is technicolor? Why were movies still black and white until the end of the 1940s?
-technicolor designed a three-color system --> for the next 25 years, all color films were produced with this new system
-but with the Great Depression, it wasn't until the end of the 1940s that technicolor would largely displace the black-and-white film
When was the Golden Age of Film? What caused Hollywood's downfall?
-1930s and 1940s
-time of unparalleled success for movie industry
-postwar inflation, temporary loss of key foreign markets, advent of the television, and more combined to bring it to an end
What happened in the 1948 case of the United States v. Paramount Pictures?
-mandated competition and forced studios to relinquish control over theater chains
-control of major studios reverted to Wall Street where studios were absorbed by corporations
What was the most important factor in the decline of studio systems? How did movies attempt to win back diminishing audiences? Did it work?
-advent of the television
-film had some advantages over television, such as color and the size of the cinema experience
-movie attendance never reached the record numbers of 1946 (peak of Golden Age of Hollywood)
What did Hollywood come under fire for in 1947 with the Cold War? What happened as a result?
-accusations of supporting communism
-fear that communist messages were being embedded in films
-more than 100 people in the movie business were called to testify before the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) --> 10 refused to cooperate and were later known as the Hollywood Ten and were fired
What movies were popular during the 1960s and 1970s? Why? What was changing?
-The Wild Bunch, 2001, Space Odyssey, Bonnie and Clyde, and Easy Rider
-movies began attracting a younger demographic --> especially films that were revolutionary in their genre and displayed a sentiment of unrest toward conventional social orders
-new liberal attitudes toward depictions of sex and violence
What new changes in the film industry came in the 1970s?
-new breed of directors --> Coppola, Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese
-young and film-educated --> sense of professionalism, sophistication, technical mastery
-also new marketing techniques like TV and radio advertisements --> ownership of VCRs, cable TV, and film merchandise allowed companies to increase profits
What did the 1990s see the rise of in film?
-technically spectacular blockbuster with special, computer-generated effects (Jurassic Park, Titanic, Toy Story)
-independent, low-budget films
How do movies mirror culture?
-reflection and source of concerns, attitudes, and beliefs
-mainstream films of the late 1940s reflected the conservatism that dominated the sociopolitical arena while the 1960s film reflected the reactionary youth culture with antiestablishment views
What was the controversial yet highest-grossing movie of its era directed by D.W. Griffith?
-Birth of a Nation
What is "Casablanca" an example of?
-a film that was used to be patriotic and inspire feelings of pride and confidence in being American (when US was drawn into war in Europe --> films switched from reflecting the neutral, isolationist film)
-portrays America as a place for refugees to find democracy and freedom
What do films like The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde represent?
-the attitudes of many members of a younger generation growing dissatisfied with what they perceived to be the repressive social codes established by their more conservative elders
-more liberal attitude toward formally taboo subjects like sexuality and drugs
What is the Production Code or Hays Code?
-the MPAA instituted it after calls for censorship from conservative groups made it clear that loose system of self-regulation was not enough protection
-after a series of Supreme Court cases in the 50s regarding the code's restriction to freedom of speech, the Production Code grew weaker until it was replaced in 1967 with the MPAA rating system
What is the MPAA rating system? Is it still in place today?
-G (suitable for general audience)
-R (restricted to adults over age 16)
-still in place today
What films came out about US involvement in Vietnam and reflect strong antiwar sentiments (unlike the patriotic films of the WWII era)?
-The Deer Hunter
-popularity of horror films reflected fears of possibly nuclear war (Halloween, Friday the 13th, ET)
What do American films tend to emphasize that reflects commonly held beliefs of admirable people? What movie reflect this?
-It's a Wonderful Life --> individual triumphs by standing up to injustice
What power do films have to influence public opinion? What are examples of this?
-have enormous power as a medium to influence public opinion
-The Kite Runner, documentaries such as Super Size Me and Farenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore's films often present a liberal stance on social/political issues)
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