Write a word paper that examines global historical changes in film.
Discussion: Historical Changes In Film
Resource: Ch. 12 of Film Art: An Introduction.
Write a 550- to 750-word paper that examines global historical changes in film. As part of your examination, select one of the following alternative movements to American cinema:
French Impressionism and Surrealism
The French New Wave
Hong Kong Cinema
Discuss how the alternative cinema was affected by photography, film, form, style, special effects, and fictional narrative historically.
Describe how your selected alternative movement affected the film industry. Be sure to discuss how it differed from American cinema during the same period.
Although the start of the history of film is not clearly defined, the commercial, public screening of ten of Lumière brothers‘ short films in Paris on 28 December 1895 can be regarded as the breakthrough of projected cinematographic motion pictures. There had been earlier cinematographic results and screenings but these lacked either the quality or the momentum that propelled the cinématographe Lumière into a worldwide success.
Soon film production companies and studios were established all over the world. The first decade of motion picture saw film moving from a novelty to an established mass entertainment industry.
The earliest films were in black and white, under a minute long, without recorded sound and consisted of a single shot from a steady camera.
Conventions towards a general cinematic language developed over the years with the use of several shots (mostly through editing), continuity between shots, camera movements (panning, tracking, tilt), camera angle, field size (long shot to extreme close-up) and other cinematic techniques all contributing specific roles in the narrative of films.
Special effects became a feature in movies since the late 1890s, popularized by Georges Méliès‘ fantasy films. Many effects were impossible or impractical to perform in theater plays and thus added more magic to the experience of movies.
Technical improvements added length (reaching 60 minutes for a feature film in 1906), synchronized sound recording (mainstream since the end of the 1920s), color (mainstream since the 1930s) and 3D (mainstream in theaters since the first decade of the 21st century). Sound ended the necessity of interruptions of title cards, revolutionized the narrative possibilities for filmmakers, and became an integral part of moviemaking.
Different film genres emerged and enjoyed variable degrees of success over time, with huge differences between for instance horror films (mainstream since the 1890s), newsreels (prevalent in U.S. cinemas between the 1910s and the late 1960s), musicals (mainstream since the late 1920s) and pornographic films (experiencing a Golden Age during the 1970s).
The popularity of television seemed to form a threat to cinemas in the 1950s (at least in the U.S. and other western countries), which resulted in attempts to make theatrical films more attractive with technological innovations. New widescreen formats enticed filmmakers to create more epic films and spectacles that looked better on a big screen than on television. 3D films experienced a short golden age from 1952 to 1954. Television also opened up a new market for filmmakers, introducing new possibilities that led to new genres, especially in serialized form.
Since the 1950s video became a viable, cheaper alternative to film, with direct results, forming a more accessible moving image medium for many more artists and amateurs to experiment with. This led to the emergence of video art in the late 1960s and to much more home movies being made.
By the 1980s home video had opened a big market for films that already had their theatrical run, giving people easier access to titles of their choice in video rental shops. Direct-to-video (niche) markets usually offered lower quality, cheap productions that were not deemed very suitable for the general audiences of television and theatrical releases.
Improving over time, digital production methods became more and more popular during the 1990s, resulting in increasingly realistic visual effects and popular feature-length computer animations.
Since the late 2000s streaming media platforms like YouTube provided means for anyone with access to internet and cameras (a standard feature of smartphones) to publish videos to the world. Also competing with the increasing popularity of video games and other forms of home entertainment[disambiguation needed], the industry once again started to make theatrical releases more attractive with new 3D technologies and epic (fantasy and superhero) films became a mainstay in cinemas.