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The invention of cinema

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Emmanuelle Delanoë-Brun

on 18 January 2019

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Transcript of The invention of cinema

The invention of cinema
The emergence of a cultural industry

A scientific pursuit
Eadweard Muybridge
1830 (GB) -1904 (US)
Automatizing film shooting
Etienne Jules Marey
1830-1904 (Fr)
1882 - the chronophotographic gun
Auguste and Louis Lumière
Introducing film perforations to make filming and projection easier
pioneering film shooting techniques
The first sequence of images to be arranged into a film?
a) 1912 b) 1903 c) 1895 d) 1878

The first film to be shown in a public place?
a) 1903 b) 1895 c) 1880 d) 1912

The arrival of sound?
a) 1936 b) 1915 c) 1927 d) 1912
The first western?
a) 1945 b) 1903 c) 1915 d) 1929
"The Tramp" is :
a) Stan Laurel b) Buster Keaton c) Charles Chaplin

The poem quoted in the opening sequence of
Citizen Kane
a) Kubla Kahn b) Ozymiandas c) Leaves of Grass
He was "The Duke"
a) Gary Cooper b) Cary Grant c) John Wayne

She was "The Look"
a) Lauren Bacall b) Audrey Hepburn c) Katherine Hepburn

Cinema Quizz
L'arroseur arrosé,
49 seconds, 1st public screening 1895
The Great Train Robbery
, Edwin S. Potter, 1903 (12 mns)
The explosion of cinema
Thomas Edison, 1847-1931
The Kinetoscope,
first public demonstration 1893
Kinetoscope parlor, San Francisco, 1894-95
The Black Maria, operative 1894-1903
1905 - opening 1st Nickelodeon, Philadelphia
By 1920 :
40 million people every week (total population about 120 million)
10000 people a month invading Hollywood to find work in movie business
20 movie studios
1912-1920 : more than 10000 movies produced
1928 : an estimated 20,500 movie theaters
across US

Source : Hollywood Fictions (Springer, 2010)
& Movie-Made America (Sklar, 1975)
 Attendance 450 on 1st day
  1500 prospective viewers lining up on 2nd day
 1908 :  8000  Nickelodeons operating nationwide
Art, or industry?
Art, or entertainment?
Implementing cultural control: censorship and the Hays code
A process of cultural legitimation
Technological developments
Mechanical reproduction
From singular to team creation
1927 - "You ain' heard nothing yet!"
-> introduction of sound
-> "Talkies" take over silent films
1939 - the age of Technicolor
-> expensive technology
-> 1950: Eastmancolor film cutting costs, B/W gradually losing ground
1950s - 3D, cinemascope (wide screen movies)
-> a new competition : television
An industrial organisation

1970s - Development of digital effects and computer generated imagery
Film making : a technological, technical process
1960s - Introduction of the Steadicam
The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939
How to Marry a Millionaire, Jean Negulesco, 1953
George Lukas, 1977
2001, A Space Odyssey,
Stanley Kubrick, 1968
Walter Benjamin,
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
, 1936
Mona Lisa :
unique, authentic --> "aura"
lost in reproduction
Yet : accessibility, democratization, collective experience
--> loss of art's "aura", and reproductibility = possibility art as political experience
William Fox
1879 Hungary - 1952 NY
newsboy -> fur garment industry
-> nickleodeon owner
1915 : founder Fox Film Corporation
Carl Laemmle
1867 Germany, 1939
bookkeeper, office manager
-> nickelodeon owner
-> 1912 : founder Universal Studios
Shrewd businessmen
Cheap land, plenty of sunshine, away from ruling cinematographic companies
Hollywood and the birth of a cultural industry
1873 Hungary - 1959
upholstery shop, furrier
-> theater owner
-> Famour Players Film Company
-> Paramount Pictures 1936
And artists
Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pirckford, founding United Artists, 1919
"the dream factory"
“Artistically, the pictures have developed somewhat.
Artistically, the moving picture men do not know where they are going but they’re on their way.
The picture drama is still in a raw, crude state.
When they first began taking pictures, they were nearly all of dancers, military parades and the like. The first attempts of plays were those technically known as “chase films.” They were without plot. The villain committed some offense and a comic hue-and-cry with women and children and dogs and men and things, strung out along the road after him. The drama mainly consisted in falling over things.
The picture play then developed to the short crude melodrama. In France, they were not crude. The little playlets put forth by the Pathe Brothers were charming and of the most subtle art. It must be confessed that those put out by the American companies were something fierce.”

« Films Thrive Here on Quintuple Lines », Los Angeles Times, October 16th, 1910
Keystone comedies, a sample
Mack Sennett
Slapstick comedy
Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, ...
D. W. Griffith
Judith of Bethulia
, 1914
Birth of a Nation (The Clansman)
, 1915
, 1916
Broken Blossoms
, 1919
King John
, 1899
Real burlesque is criticism, my boy; sometimes the very high-browest sort. It demands sophistication, a pretty high intelligence in the man that gets it. […] Now take your picture public. Twenty million people every day; not the same ones every day, but with the same average cranial index, which is low for all but about seven out of every hundred. That’s natural because there aren’t twenty million people in the world with real taste or intelligence—probably not five million.
Harry Leon Willson, Merton of the Movies, 1919
1921 - Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle indicted on rape charges
William Desmond Taylor
murdered 1922
William Hays (1879-1954)
Post-master general
Pdt MPPDA 1922-45 (Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America)
In charge of cleaning the pictures. Instrumental in the drafting of a "Code of conduct" known as the Hays Code - a list of do's and don'ts, plus a reformative philosophy considering the moral and educative role of the pictures

1930 adoption Production code
1934 implementation PC under John Breen, head of the PCA (Production Code Administration)
Late 1950s, under attack numerous filmmakers, and success films not receiving seal of approval, Code's authority undermined
1968 Rating system adopted to replace outdated Code
Hollywood scandals
+ fear of the film's
moral influence on
popular audiences
Martin Scorsese, 1988
Milos Forman, 1996
Billy Wilder, 1959
Elia Kazan, 1956
North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, 1959
1915 -
The Birth of a Nation
projected at the White House
1926 - Opening of the Grauman's Chinese Theater (LA)
1927 - Creation of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts
1928 - Creation of the Academy Awards
1929 - Opening of the 1st Film School, in a joint venture with the University of South Californa
1958 - The Walk of Fame

Cultural legitimation : a process by which a cultural practice or practitioner becomes integrated and recognized as a part of higher culture
-> cultural promotion, development of a critical discourse (Awards, prizes, process of selection and singularization)
-> institutionalization (entering mueums, libraries, collections, academia)
-> development of a scientific discourse and tools of intellectual and artistic analysis - development of a canon and "science", critical material (cinephilia)

--> being recognized as a valid, socially promoted cultural medium / cultural institution / artist
1933 - Foundation of the British FIlm Institute
1935 - Henry Langlois, Georges Franju opening the Cinémathèque
1946 - The Cannes festival launched

Emmanuelle Delanoë-Brun
Université Paris Diderot
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