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Fundamentals of Film History
Transcript of Fundamentals of Film History
"All stories are told to someone, by someone, for some purpose." -Barbara Herrnstein Smith
To someone: you, reading your textbooks, watching films, and attending lectures
By someone: your instructors, Mast & Kawin, numerous other authors and historians we have consulted, and ....
Some helpful narrators who are passionate about film history
Text: from the Latin texere, to weave
The weave of our film history text has four major threads:
1. Aesthetic or artistic history
2. Cultural history
3. Business or industry history
For some purpose--why?
4. Technological history
Buster Keaton in The Cameraman
A film in which Keaton's interaction with the
of the movie camera provides much of the humor
A film in which Keaton's
is very much in evidence, but he loses artistic control after this film
It was the first film Buster Keaton made for MGM, after which the
broke up his ensemble
In his desire to stage a good shot, we have satirical commentary on the
as well as a tie to
William Randloph Hearst
, whose own story is entangled in film history . . .
Reflexivity in "The Cameraman" can alert us to an essential tension between American and European cinemas
Documenting reality, vs....
one more thing about "The Cameraman"...
It was nearly lost.
Half of all American films made before 1950 and over 90% of films made before 1929 are lost forever.
Buster Keaton in "The Cameraman" (1928)