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Year 11 - Hollywood and Mainstream Cinema: Hollywood Film History
Transcript of Year 11 - Hollywood and Mainstream Cinema: Hollywood Film History
YOU ARE HERE
Now let's journey back
The history of film spans over more than 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day. Motion pictures developed gradually from a carnival novelty, to one of the most important tools of communication, entertainment and mass media in the 20th and 21st century. Motion picture films have substantially effected the arts, technology and politics.
people would travel long
distances to see major dioramas, theater and dance performances, or to visit amusement parks
this is an example of a diorama -
a model representing a scene with 3D figures
The Camera Obscura:
An optical device that projects an image of its surroundings onto a screen
The Zoetrope, Stroboscope or Phenakistoscope (named differently because different people invented them around the same time)
'Roundhay Garden Scene'
is known to be the earliest surviving motion picture. It was recorded at 12 frames per second, and runs for 2.11 seconds.
As a result of the developments taking place,
many researchers in the 19th century knew
that the world was on the verge of being able
to record motion pictures, and so inventors scrambled to develop a successful recording apparatus
A fully developed camera called the
patented by Thomas Edison and W.K.L Dickson. It took a series of
recorded onto a
transparent celluloid strip
. The camera was a success, however the recordings had to be viewed one at a time, looking through a peep hole into a large wooden box.
: with the invention of the projector, called a
images could now be viewed by larger audiences. The films of the time were seen mostly via temporary storefront spaces and traveling exhibitors or as acts in vaudeville programs. A film could be under a minute long and would usually present a single scene, authentic or staged, of everyday life, a public event, a sporting event or slapstick. There was little to no cinematic technique: no editing and usually no camera movement, and flat, stagey compositions.
Louis and Auguste Lumiere
(known as the lumiere brothers) perfected a device known as the
, an apparatus that took, printed and projected film. In 1895 they screened their first show of projected pictures.
THE SILENT ERA
For the first 30 years of their history, films were silent because no practical method of combining images with synchronised sound had been devised.
was the largest producer of fiction films in France, and his output was almost entirely films featuring trick effects, which were very successful in all markets. The special popularity of his longer films, which were several minutes long, led other makers to start producing longer films.
'A Trip To The Moon'
paved the way for many popular
THE EXECUTION OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (1895)
This showed a person dressed as the queen placing her head on the execution block in front of a small group of bystanders in Elizabethan dress. The executioner brings his axe down, and the queen's severed head drops onto the ground. This trick was worked by stopping the camera and replacing the actor with a dummy, then restarting the camera before the axe falls. The two pieces of film were then trimmed and cemented together so that the action appeared continuous when the film was shown.
After watching Edison's tricks with a camera,
began to make films of his own, experimenting with special effects. This film shows a woman being made to vanish by using the same stop motion technique as the earlier Edison film.
Another basic technique for trick cinematography involves
of the film in the camera.
'The Four Troublesome Heads'
by Georges Méliès is an example of multiple
are used in the one shot.
Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895),
Train Arriving at the Station (1895), Lumière Brothers
Mary Queen of Scots (1895), Edison Company
The Vanishing Lady (1896), Georges Méliès
, Albert Edward Smith and James Stuart Blackton at took the next step in stop motion, in their
'Humorous Phases of Funny Faces'
, what appear to be cartoon drawings of people move from one pose to another. This is done for most of the length of this film by moving jointed cut-outs of the figures frame by frame and altering drawings.
In 1906 AUSTRALIA was the first to produce a feature film. It was titled
'The Story of The Kelly Gang'
and was four reels long (at this point all other films were only one reel - around 30min in length.
Troublesome Heads (1898) Georges Méliès
introduced to the public the
practical moving picture camera
, and the
- a cabinet in which a continuous loop of celluloid film was back lit by a lamp and seen through a magnifying lens. The spectator viewed the image through an eye piece. The films were mostly mundane incidents, such as Fred Ott's Sneeze, and entertainment acts, such as acrobats, music hall performers and boxing demonstrations.
Fred Ott's Sneeze (1893), Thomas Edison
Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)
Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) - Louis Le Prince
Guinness World Records!
means showing action moving from one shot into another joined to it. In
continuity of action across successive shots was definitively established by George Albert Smith and James Williamson in
'As Seen Through the Telescope'
Initially films were mostly shown as a novelty in special venues like local variety theatres and traveling tent theatres, which they took around the fairs in country towns. The first successful permanent theatre showing nothing but films was
, which was opened in
Pittsburgh in 1905
. Within a couple of years there were thousands of these
in operation. The American situation led to a worldwide boom in the production and exhibition of films from 1906 onwards.
there were about
4,000 small “nickelodeon” cinemas in the United States
The films were shown with the accompaniment of music provided by a pianist, though there could be more musicians. There were also a very few larger cinemas in some of the biggest cities. D.W. Griffiths was a director at the time who made hundreds of films for screening in the nickelodeon
The Story of The Kelly Gang (1906)
With the increase of Nickelodeons, the demand for new films was great, and so films began to be produced on mass.
was developed during this time so that film studios did not have to depend on sunlight. This increased the number of hours in a day that a film could be made.
Low key lighting
(lighting in which most of the frame is dark) slowly began to be used for sinister scenes.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
made pioneering use of advanced camera and narrative techniques, and its immense popularity set the stage for the dominance of the feature-length film. It also proved extremely controversial at the time and ever since for its negative depiction of Black Americans and their supporters, and its positive portrayal of slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. Griffith responded to his critics with his next film,
, intended to show the dangers of prejudiced thought and behavior.
The Birth of a Nation (1915) - D.W. Griffith
we see the first use of a
Point of View shot (POV)
- This is where a shot of someone looking at something is followed by a cut to a shot taken from their position.
brought with it
'reverse angle shots'
; that is, continuing a scene with a cut to a shot of the action taken from the opposite direction. The next step,
'reverse angle cutting'
; in which two actors facing each other are shown in successive close shots from taken opposite directions towards each of them, is seen in
containing lines of dialogue began to be used Film-makers slowly progressed from putting these dialogue titles before the scene in which they were spoken, to cutting them into the middle of the shot at the point at which they were understood to be actually spoken by the characters.
During World War 1, the bulk of American production film production was carried out on America's west cost, around Los Angeles.
When World War 1 broke out, in 1914, film production in many countries was disrupted as many artists, or technicians joined the armed forces. However America didn’t enter the war until 1917 and Hollywood took advantage of the lack of competition to dominate the cinema scene worldwide.
To complete pictures on time and on budget, studios began to
follow a pattern and operated as
using detailed scripts and tight schedules.
1920’s five studios dominated Hollywood; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Paramount, Fox, Universal and Warners
THE STUDIO ERA
'The Jazz Singer'
, which was mostly silent but contained what is generally regarded as the first synchronized dialogue (and singing) in a feature film.
This led to swift changes in the industry, and by
almost all hollywood films included sound. These pictures were known as
The big studios in
wanted to produce films of the highest quality entertainment. However on the other hand they only wanted to produce films that would make money.
To minimise the risk of making a film that wouldn’t be financially successful, they began to concentrate on groups of films called genres.
These genres reused the most popular plots, characters, locations and themes to guarantee box office success. Among the most successful genres were;
Crime, Horror, Comedy, Melodrama, Action-Adventure and the Western
One of the most creative and influential personalities of the
Charlie Chaplin - English comic actor and film director
. He became one of the best-known film stars in the world before the end of the First World War. Chaplin used mime, slapstick and other visual comedy routines.
The transition to sound was a difficult one, but was sorted out fairly quickly. In
were produced. Alfred Hitchcock, with his film
was among the directors to bring greater fluidity to talkies and experiment with the expressive use of sound.
Two of Hollywood's most famous films of the 1930's are
"The Wizard of Oz"
"Gone With The Wind"
. Both films were considered spectacular because of their use of new technologies that allowed for colour productions.
Dialogue now took precedence over
in Hollywood comedies. This can be seen in the often subversively anarchic nonsense talk of the Marx Brothers in
American drama film, directed by and starring
. Many critics consider it the greatest American film of all time, especially for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure. Some say that the most innovative technical aspect of Citizen Kane is the extended use of deep focus. In nearly every scene in the film, the foreground, background and everything in between are all in sharp focus.
The onset of US involvement in World War 2 brought a proliferation of films as both patriotism and propaganda. One of the most popular films in this period was
. Its characters, dialogue, and music have become iconic, and the film has grown in popularity to the point that it now consistently ranks near the top of lists of the greatest films of all time.
, a new group of American filmmakers emerged, such as
Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Brian De Palma
. This coincided with the increasing popularity of the
in film literature and the media, which posited that a
film director's films express their personal vision and creative insights
. The development of the auteur style of filmmaking helped to give these directors far
over their projects than would have been possible in earlier eras. This led to some great critical and commercial successes, like
Scorsese's Taxi Driver
Coppola's The Godfather
Spielberg's Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
George Lucas's Star Wars.
By the late
, Hollywood filmmakers were beginning to
create more innovative and groundbreaking films
taken over much of the western world such as
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The Graduate (1967),
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
. Although the
had its roots in earlier films such as 'Psycho' and 'Rebel Without a Cause, Bonnie and Clyde is often considered the beginning of the so-called New Hollywood.
Singin' in the Rain
is a 1952 American comedy musical film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds and directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography. It offers a comic depiction of Hollywood, and its transition from silent films to "talkies."
Although it was not a big hit when first released, it was accorded its legendary status by contemporary critics.
It's a Wonderful Life
is an American Christmas drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra, that was based on the short story "The Greatest Gift", written by Philip Van Doren Stern. Despite initially being considered a box office flop due to high production costs and stiff competition at the time of its release, the film has come to be regarded as a classic and a staple of Christmas television around the world.
Two things happened that caused the end of the studio system and
the golden age of hollywood.
1. A government decision was made to
stop studios owing their own theatres
exclusivity rights on which theatres
would show their films.
2. With the
advent of television
, cinema was no longer the only means of seeing moving pictures.
classical Hollywood cinema
was still dominant, some films began to stretch boundaries. As early as 1960 we can see evidence of Hollywood changing.
is a term used to describe the changing methods of storytelling in the
. It has been argued that new approaches to drama and characterisation played upon audience expectations acquired in the classical period:
chronology may be scrambled
storylines may feature "twist endings
lines between the antagonist/protagonist and good/evil may be blurred.
The roots of post-classical storytelling may be seen in
Rebel Without a Cause
, and in Hitchcock's storyline-shattering
During the depression of the 40s and 50s, a visual style of film became popular. It was known as
. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hard
boiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression.
(1944) is classified as a Film Noir.
, who had previously been in the short cartoon business, stepped into feature films with the
first English-speaking animated feature "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937)
, the studio system in
because many films were now being made on location in other countries, or using studio facilities abroad.
were still largely
aimed at family audiences
, and it was often the more old-fashioned films that produced the studios' biggest successes. Productions like
Mary Poppins (1964)
My Fair Lady (1964)
The Sound of Music (1965)
were among the
of the decade. The growth in independent producers and production companies, and the increase in the power of individual actors also contributed to the decline of traditional Hollywood studio production
Sound films benefited some genres more than others. Most obviously, the musical film was born. The first classic-style Hollywood musical was
'The Broadway Melody' (1929)
Universal pictures was influenced by the Germans and began releasing gothic horror films such as Dracula and Frankenstein
, Germans made a variety of horror films. This was known as the
German Expressionist style
. Two of the most influential films of this style were;
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
- famous for its stylised sets and twist ending, - and,
, an adaptation of the novel 'Dracula'.
NEW HOLLYWOOD / POST CLASSICAL
THE MODERN BLOCKBUSTERS
THE DECLINE OF THE STUDIO SYSTEM
During the late 1950s and 1960s, there was an increasing awareness of foreign language cinema.
The French New Wave
directors such as François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard produced films such as
Les quatre cents coups, Breathless and Jules et Jim
which broke the rules of Hollywood cinema's narrative structure.
As well, audiences were becoming aware of Italian films like Federico Fellini's
La Dolce Vita
and the stark dramas of Sweden's Ingmar Bergman.
"Post Classical Cinema"
are terms used to describe the decline of the studio system and the end of the production code, which was replaced by the
film rating system
. Because the production code no longer existed, filmmakers in the 70s increasingly depicted explicit sexual content and showed gunfight and battle scenes that included graphic images of bloody deaths.
The phenomenal success in the 1970s of
in particular, led to the rise of the modern
". Hollywood studios increasingly focused on producing a smaller number of very large budget films with massive marketing and promotional campaigns.
The Lucas-Spielberg combine would dominate
cinema for much of the 1980s, and lead to much imitation. Two follow-ups to Star Wars, three to Jaws, and three
films helped to make sequels of successful films more of an expectation than ever before
Against some expectations, the rise of the multiplex cinema did not allow less mainstream films to be shown, but simply allowed the major blockbusters to be given an even greater number of screenings. However, films that had been overlooked in cinemas were increasingly being given a second chance on the burgeoning
home video market
The early 1990s saw the development of a commercially successful
in the United States. Although cinema was increasingly dominated by special-effects films such as
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Jurassic Park (1993)
, independent films like
Steven Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (1989)
Quentin Tarantino's "Resevoir Dogs" (1992)
"Pulp Fiction" (1994)
The Coen Bros
had significant commercial success both at the cinema and on home video.
In the early 90's animated films aimed at family audiences also regained their popularity with Disney's
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
The Lion King (1994)
first feature length computer-animated feature, Toy Story
, was produced by
Pixar Animation Studios
. After the success of Toy Story, computer animation would grow to become the dominant technique for feature length animation, which would allow competing film companies such as
20th Century Fox
to effectively compete with Disney with successful films of their own.
During the late
1990's - early 2000's,
another cinematic transition began, from
physical film stock
digital cinema technology
(and eventually Blu-Ray) became the new standard for consumer video, replacing
to grow as the staple of summer entertainment in the
. With the rise of new film technologies and the increasing demands from audiences, film budgets soared to to new heights over the past 15 years - up to
Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (2007)
The Summer and Christmas Blockbuster Seasons have also paved the way for increased Studio/Box Office competition. Studios strategically place their films on particular dates to ensure maximum audience attendance and to avoid losing business to other bigger films.
also saw the return of epic cinema and a renewed interest in musicals with the success of
There has been an increasing globalization of cinema during this decade, with foreign-language films gaining popularity in English-speaking markets. Examples of such films include
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Mandarin)
Amelie (French), Spirited Away (Japanese), City of God (Portuguese), Pan's Labyrinth (Mexican).
James Cameron's 3D film "Avatar"
became the highest-grossing film of all time, 3D films have gained increasing popularity with many other films being released in 3D, with the best critical and financial successes being in the field of feature film animation such as DreamWorks Animation's
"How To Train Your Dragon"
and Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar's "
Toy Story 3".
Upon its release on December 19, 1997,
achieved critical and commercial success. It equaled records with
fourteen Academy Award nominations and eleven Oscar wins, receiving the prizes for Best Picture and Best Director
. With a worldwide gross of over
, it was the first film to reach the billion dollar mark, remaining the highest-grossing film of all time for twelve years, until Cameron's next directorial effort,
surpassed it in
rose as a commercial genre for perhaps the first time, with the success of films such as
March of the Penguins, Super Size Me, Grizzly Man, Man on a Wire, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
and Michael Moore's
Bowling for Columbine
was the method of creating, promoting and exploiting movie stars in
Classical Hollywood cinema
. Studios would select promising young actors and
and create personas for them, often inventing new names and even new backgrounds. Examples of stars who went through the star system include
(born Archie Leach),
(born Lucille Fay LeSueur), and
(born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.)
The star system put an emphasis on the image rather than the acting, although discreet acting, voice, and dancing lessons were a common part of the regimen. Women were expected to behave like ladies, and were never to leave the house without makeup and stylish clothes. Men were expected to be seen in public as gentlemen. Morality clauses were a common part of actors' studio contracts.
The 1930's - 1960's marked the
of Hollywood and the studio system.
Films were produced in factory-like production lines. These 5 large motion picture studios would make movies on their own filmmaking lots, using their own with creative personnel including camera crew and actors. Studios had enormous control over stars, and also attempted to control the distribution of the films produced.
The Production Code
lasted from 1930 - 1968. It spelled out what was
and what was
for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States. The production code sought not only to determine what could be portrayed on screen, but also to promote traditional values.
outside of marriage could not be portrayed as attractive and beautiful, presented in a way that might arouse passion, nor be made to seem right and permissible.
had to be punished, and neither the crime nor the criminal could elicit sympathy from the audience.
had to be treated with respect, A recurring theme was
"That throughout, the audience feels sure that evil is wrong and good is right."
A Trip to The Moon (1902) - Georges Melies
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene
Nosferatu (1922) - F. W. Murnau
The Jazz Singer (1927)- Alan Crossland
Broadway Melody (1929) Harry Beaumont
Blackmail (1929) - Alfred Hitchcock
Frankenstein (1931) James Whale
Duck Soup (1933) - Leo McCarey
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) William Cottrell
The Wizard of OZ (1939) Victor Flemming
Gone With The Wind (1939) Victor Flemming
Casablanca (1942) - Michael Curtiz
Double Indemnity (1944) - Billy Wilder
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - Frank Capra
Singin' In The Rain (1952) - Stanley Doonen
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) - Nicholas Ray
Psycho (1960) - Alfred Hitchcock
Jules et Jim (1962) - François Truffaut
Mary Poppins (1965) - Robert Stevenson
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - Arthur Penn
The Godfather (1972) - Francis Ford Coppola
WARNING: GRAPHIC SCENE - BLOOD
Jaws (1975) - Steven Speilberg
WARNING: SCARY SHARK
Taxi Driver (1976) - Martin Scorsese
Star Wars (1977) George Lucas
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Steven Speilberg
Aladdin (1992) - Ron Clemments, John Musker
The Lion King (1994) - Roger Allers, Ron Minkoff
Pulp Fiction (1994) - Quentin Tarantino
Jurassic Park (1993) - Steven Speilberg
Toy Story (1995) - John Lasseter
Titanic (1997) - James Cameron
Gladiator (2000) - Ridley Scott
gun was made in 1882, this instrument was capable of taking 12 consecutive frames a second, and the most interesting fact is that all the frames were recorded on the same picture.
The Graduate (1967) - Mike Nichols
saw the continued rise of the
with an increased amount of nudity, violence, sex and coarse language in film. Blockbusters would focus on the science fiction, horror, and action genres.
Much of the reliance on these effect-driven blockbusters was due in part to the
films at the advent of this decade and the new cinematic effects it helped to pioneer.
teen comedy sub-genre
saw its popularity rise during this decade.
In the US, the
was introduced in 1984, to accommodate films that straddled the line between PG and R.
Some of the biggest blockbusters of the 80's are still
considered to be among the very best of their
Speilberg's "ET" (1982), Brest's "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), Reitman's "Ghostbusters" (1984), Zemeckis' "Back to the Future" (1985), Scott's "Top Gun" (1986) McTiernan's "Die Hard" (1988), Burton's "Batman" (1989)