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Critical Viewing

presentation teaching film criticism

Hollie Woodad

on 15 February 2011

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Transcript of Critical Viewing

Critical Viewing
Early History
1839-creation of still photography
first motion picture
were called "moving pictures"
later they became known as"movies"
- 1st movie that told a story
1915- D. W. Griffith's - THE BIRTH OF A NATION
- first movie that showed film as art
Movies and Film change the way people see the world
1878- The Mystery of Horses
When a horse runs, do all four feet ever leave the ground at the same time?

- through movies the aged old mystery regarding horses and thier feet was finally answered.
Using film to solve questions of science
Photography changes Art
Depth of Field
Before the introduction of film, artists were not aware of the true nature in which we see the world.

When painting pictures they would paint all objects in complete focus because that's how they thought our eyes truly saw an image.
After the introduction of film, artists realized that the eye sees images with a depth of field, meaning only that object which is being looked at is in focus and all areas surrounding the object is out of focus.

Artists began changing their painting style once they learned this.
-1st Color movie
- very popular and familiar color film
- utilizes both black and white filming
TECHNICOLOR - system of development that allowed for color film
1939-1966 - The Academy Awards were split into two
separate categories of color and black and white film
Talkies- movies that were shot with sound
-1st feature length movie with sound
Talkies ended the careers of many actors who had become famous in silent films
-foreign accents
-unpleasant speaking voice
-inability to express emotions in words
Movies and World War II
Propoganda- any information, ideas, doctrines or special appeals which were created to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of a group in order to benefit the sponsor either directly or indirectly
World War II - America, Britain, Germany, and Japan used propaganda to gain support for their cause
-they used film, radio announcements, and leaflets
aimed at their enemy
Warner Brothers- Jack Warner was a Jewish executive that was aware of the anti-Jewish sentiment in Germany and made films to educate Americans about the ongoing conern

-America was neutral in the beginning of the war, but films like these helped to gain American support to enter the war
United States Military
-realized the power of films and created the First Motion Picture unit in California where Hollywood professionals joined the military unit with the sole purpose of creating propoganda
(Ronald Reagan)
-FMP Unit produced training films (weapons usage and survival tactics)
-FMP Unit produced films to encourage Americans to enlist

-encouraged 150,000 men to join
-also encouraged citizens to support the war by buying war bonds to finance the war and to conserve gasoline
The American Movie Industry was at its peak during the war
1. there was no television to compete with
2. people went to the movies to relax from the stresses associated with life during the war
3. people went to the movies to see what was happening in the war because news footage and important news about the war would be shown at the beginning of the movie
Famous World War II Directors

-Alfred Hitchcock- made several movies that supported Britain's efforts during the war

- Leni Riefenstahl- German female director who made TRIUMPH OF THE WILL in 1934 which glorified the German people and Hitler's Nazi people
Who makes propoganda?

-government agencies
-private companies
-whether it was a government agency or private company, all propaganda was in support of the war, as it was believed to be unpatriotic to be critical of the government during a time of war

-this attitude changes during the Vietnam
Forms of propaganda
- cartoons - Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck were used to gain public support by negatively characterizing the leaders of Italy, Japan, and Germany
-posters -Rosie the Riveter encouraged woment ot help with the American cause by going to work in factories to help with weapons manufacturing
-radio programs
-newspaper articles
-presidential press conferences

They are all propoganda because they are trying to use their influence to persuade the American people to think a certain way.
The United States Government recognizes the deep power of propoganda, as they continue to have special federally programs taht research the best ways to influence America.
The Red Scare and The Blacklist
During World War II, Russia and America had been allies helping to defeat Germany, Japan, and Italy
-resentment began building between the two countries because both countries did not trust the intention of the other country
-both countries also had very different governments

-Russia was communist
-all aspects of social and economic life are controlled by the government
-America is a democracy
-less government control allowing its people
to have social and economic freedoms
As a result of their mistrust and differences in government, after WWII, Russia and the US entered the Cold War
-this was not a real war
-as not onoe single shot was ever fired between the two nations
-This was a grudge match between the two countries battling to be considered the world's number one power
-both countries stock-piled nuclear weapons
-both countries worked hard to get other
countries to be their ally
In America, the poeple of the US supported this Cold War and were fearful of the spread of communism
1947 - The HUAC, lead by Senator Joseph McCarthy, began persecuting American citizens who may have had connection to a communist organization forcing them to testify and name the names of others who may be connected
The Hollywood Ten- was a group of entertainers who were brought to trial before the HUAC and refused to name any other members
-they served jail time for not cooperating
Mc Carthy created a black-list of celebrities that were thought to be involved with communicsm and anyone who was on the list was immediately fired and was not allowed to be hired by another organization
Many of the accusations made during this time were not founded in fact and they had very little evidence to support their claims, however due to the increasing fear of communism, the American people allowed these trials to continue which resulted in the wrongful persecution of many American citizens as well as ruining the careers of many Americans, specifically in the entertainment industry
1950's Movies vs. Television
1. Television -
-was invented just before American involvement in WWII
-due to the war, manufacturing of commerical television was delayed
-factories focused their attention on wartime production instead of
commerical production
WWII ends in 1945
-electronic companies begin mass-production of the television
-the motion picture industry had hoped it would be a passing phase
-by 1955, half the homes in america had televisions
The movie industry has to change the way it makes movies
-fewer adults and children were going to the movies
because it was easier for them to stay at home and be
-teenagers continued to go tot he movies because they like
to get our of the house and do things with their friends
-motion picture industry began producing films that
cappealed to the teen demograph instead of all demographs
2. Family Life
After WWII, many soldiers came home from the war
and wanted to start a family
-this lead to the expansion of the suburbs
-movie theaters were built in cities and were losing
money because suburban families did not want to
travel to the city to see a movie
-movie companies began building theaters in
suburban neighborhood, essentially going to their
audience instead of making their audience come to
As a result of the Cold War, the growing fear of communism invading the United States led us to a war in Vietnam
After WWII, Vietnam was split into Northern and Southern Vietnam
North Vietnam was communist
South Vienam was controlled by France
-America was fearful that South Vietnam would become communist, so they assisted France to prevent this
-France quickly loses interest in this fight and leaves the United States alone in its fight
-From 1959-1975, the United States was fighting in South Vientam, and surrounding countries, against the Northern Viatnamese to prevent South Vietnam from becoming communist
-Because of the long time frame of the war, the US had a draft to enlist American soldeirs to fight in Vietnam
-In 1975, the US pulls of our Vietnam, over 57,000 American troops die during this time and North Vietnam ends up winning and the South become communist
Effects of the Vietnam War on Americans
-This was the first war that is broadcast over television
-For the first time, American families were able to view the horrors of war from their living room television
-The evening news was spent reading the names of those who had died that day in Vientma and showing US soldiers loading body bags onto planes to be sent home for buriel
-This had a tremendous effect on American society
-upset by what they saw, more and more Americans began questioning the role of the US in Vientm and as a result, a cultural movement to end the war began
-it was no longer taboo to question the authority of the US government during a time of war and television was broadcasting the large rallies of people who were against the war
-some of these rallies ended in violence as the national guard were called in and had to use violence to break up the rallies
-these violent acts were caught on television and broadcast for the entire country to see
Post Vietnam Films
American Innocence is Lost
-during Vientam, people grew more
accustomed to seeing violence on
television and their tastes in
entertainment began changing
-viewers became more mature and demanded more mature stories for their entertainment
-movie industry saw this opportunity and rose to the challenge
A Decade of Change
1961 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture
1967 - Film changes forever
BONNIE AND CLYDE - directed by Arthur Penn
-shocks audiences with its extreme glorification of violence
-it was a film that dramatized teh activities of the 1930's outlaws and spoke to a 1960's sense of social alienation
-it's final scene is historical because it is an incredibly violent shooting scene where both of the main characters are mutilated in a surprise attack by police
-it's violence is horrific, but it is also artistically beautiful
-the film was criticized for its violence stating
that it was unethical to depict death in such a
-audiences disagreed and the film became very
-nominated for Best Picture at the Academy
1969- MIDNIGHT COWBOY- directed by John Schlesinger
-wins Academy Award for best picture
-the film is about a male prostitute in New York
-the first and only X-Rated film to win an Academy Award
-stars Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight
1960's Changes Film Production
Cultural Changes
-more mature audiences
-importance of directors change
-directors began to understand and value artistic cinema
-Stanley Kubric - 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
(science fiction)
Educated Directors
-due to the Vietnam War, more people were going to college to avoid the draft
-a new major emerged: Film Production
-1970's directors were graduating from film colleges which allowed them to come into the industry with a strong knowledge of the artistic and business aspects of film production
Francis Ford Coppola - THE GODFATHER (1972)
-movie about the development of the American mafia
George Lucas - AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
-popular film about teenagers
Martin Scorsese- MEAN STREETS (1973)
-film about the troubles New York City's Little Italy section
Steven Spielberg - JAWS (1975)
-film about a shark that kills innocent people
Woody Allen - ANNIE HALL (1977)
-a comedy about urban life
Michael Cimino - THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
-an examination of the Vietnam War
1970's saw changes in marketing
-put a single motion picture on thousands of screens at the
same time
-advertising and merchandising campaigns that utilized
television, radio, and print ads
1975 - The first Blockbuster - film that earns more than 100 million dollars for its studio
Steven Spielburg's JAWS
-revolutionized the trend of film making

-proved that films with educated directors and
strong marketing campaigns will make big profits
-more important to have big special effects than big
name stars
George Lucas modeled this formula in 1977 when he created STAR WARS (science fiction film that had an educated director, no-name stars, and awesome special effects )
-it reached blockbuster status
Formula of educated directors, marketing, and special affects continues
-George Lucas follows the successful formula by creating the Star Wars series
-Star Wars (1977)
-The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
-Return of the Jedi (1983)
Spielberg and Lucas team up to create the Indiana Jones series
(director) (producer)
-Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
-Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Spielberg does it again with ET The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
-Follows the same trend
-Jurassic Park (1993)
-Titantic (1997)
-Phantom Menace (1999)
Continues to follow the trend

-educated director
-special effects
-advertising and marketing
However, they add two extra component
Big Name Actors
-Planet of the Apes
-Mission Impossible
-Rush Hour
-Men in Black
-Attack of the Clones
-Harry Potter
-Lord of the Rings
It was proven that at one point in their stride, a horse will become air-born by having all four feet off the ground at the same time
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