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 In 1881, Thomas Edison patented his invention, the Kinetoscope, a peep-show device in which a 50-foot loop of film gave a continuous viewing.  In Paris,

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Presentation on theme: " In 1881, Thomas Edison patented his invention, the Kinetoscope, a peep-show device in which a 50-foot loop of film gave a continuous viewing.  In Paris,"— Presentation transcript:


2  In 1881, Thomas Edison patented his invention, the Kinetoscope, a peep-show device in which a 50-foot loop of film gave a continuous viewing.  In Paris, 1895, the Lumeier Brothers, August and Louis, introduced the first single shot moving image sequences. One of these films is called: Arrival of a Train at the Station Film Clip

3  George Melies, a cartoonist, magician, and inventor was so impressed that he improved upon the invention to create magical effects, stop motion, and superimposition.  He soon opened up a studio and created the first fictional films---many of which were fantasy stories. A Trip to the Moon (1902) Film Clip

4  America’s first filmmakers initially worked out of New York. The most prominent was D.W. Griffith. Between 1908-13 he directed 450 films.  Griffith developed film grammar, camera placement and “naturalist acting.” His first masterpiece was: The Birth of a Nation (1915)

5  The film chronicles the relationship of two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction-era America. The assassination of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Boothe is dramatized.  The film was a commercial success, but was highly controversial owing to its portrayal of African American men (played by white actors in blackface) as unintelligent and sexually aggressive towards white women, and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as a heroic force.  The film was banned in several cities. *This would be the first of many, many controversial films over the decades to incite social upheaval.

6  Just before WWI, many film producers and directors, including Griffith, moved to a small suburb of Los Angeles (Hollywood) because of the vast working space.  In 1915, an entirely new movie industry system was suddenly established, called the Studio System --- and it lasted until the 1960s.

7  Universal (1912)  Paramount (1914)  Fox/20 th Century Fox (1915)  United Artists (1919)  Columbia (1922)  Warner Brothers (1923)  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M) (1924)  Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) (1928)

8  Streamlined movie production for highest profit.  Forced “stable of talent” under contract (to work for that sole studio only.) Directors, actors, producers, screenwriters, cinematographers, costume designers, and technical staff.  Distributed movies through their own theaters, or through manipulative control of independent theaters.

9  The studios began to turn out stories that repeated themes and structures, forming what would later be called “genres.”  Westerns  Comedies  Action-Adventures  Historical Biography (Cleopatra)  Romance  Risque “Sin and Sophistication”  Horror

10  The studios also recognized the value of “typecasting” actors so that audiences quickly identified the persona (types of characters) specific actors played on-screen.  As a result, the 1920s became the decade that the first great movie stars lit up the screen.

11 Starred in 52 features. In 1916, she signed a contract that granted her full authority over production of the films in which she starred, and a record-breaking salary of $500 a week. In 1920, Pollyanna grossed around $1,100,000. The following year, Little Lord Fauntleroy would also be a success and in 1923, Rosita, grossed over $1,000,000.

12 One of the highest paid actors of the silent era. Athletic and handsome, he is best known for swashbuckling roles: The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro. Film ClipFilm Clip Married Mary Pickford; hosted the first Oscars ceremony; career declined once “talkies” came and his health weakened.

13 In 1915, he burst onto a war-torn world bringing it the gift of comedy, laughter and relief while it was tearing itself apart through World War I. One of the most famous and film stars in the world. Used mine, slapstick, and other visual comedy routines.

14  Rudolph Valentino (Romantic Playboy)  Greta Garbo (Exotic Lover)  Clara Bow (“It Girl”)  Tom Mix (Cowboy)  Lon Chaney (“Man of a 1000 Faces”/Horror)  Lillian Gish (“The First Lady of American Cinema”)

15  As these stars became more powerful, they became frustrated with the way the studios were tightening control over actor salaries and creative decisions. *This is the beginning of a conflict that continues to this day.  In 1919, Pickford, Fairbanks, Chaplin, Griffith, among other stars, formed their own studio: United Artists.

16  In 1927, Warner Brothers launched the first successful film which featured the talking dialogue of actors being heard by the audience: The Jazz Singer film clip

17  By 1928, almost all of the studios adopted the new technique of adding sound to their films.  And by 1929, thousands of theaters were equipped with sound projection.

18  With the sudden change to “talkies,” many of the silent film stars found their careers come to a sudden and tragic end, as movie-goers felt the voices of the favorite silent film stars sounded odd.  Chaplin was one of the few stars who remained popular, as his physical style of silent film acting carried popularity until 1940.

19  With the coming of sound, the decade of the 1930s brought new stars and a new genre: The Musical  With its brazen blending of fantasy and reality, the musical provided audiences with an immediate escape from life in the Great Depression, and then beyond.

20 The biggest stars rising out of the Musical Era were Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, who made 10 films together. The Fleet (1936) film clip

21  Berkeley was a musical director famous for his elaborate production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns.  His works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on- screen performances. By the Waterfall (1933) film clip

22  Though the Silent Film is not completely dead, (The Artist – 2011), the rise of sound became too popular, and the production of silent films fell into obscurity by the mid- 1930s.  Today, we can only look back at these great films and imagine what it must have been like to see them as new works of art, created by some of the best artists in history.

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