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ART - ARCHITECTURE - CULTURE > FILM HISTORY - PART ONE

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
This is a thread that has been requested by Bea - a group member.

The history of film is an account of the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies. [1]
The history of film spans over 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 and entertainment, and mass media in the 20th century and into the 21st century. Most films before 1930 were silent. Motion picture films have substantially affected the arts, technology, and politics.[

The cinema was invented during the 1890s, during the industrial revolution. It was considered a cheaper, simpler way to provide entertainment to the masses. Movies would become the most popular visual art form of the late Victorian age. It was simpler because of the fact that before the cinema people would have to travel long distances to see major dioramas or amusement parks. With the advent of the cinema this changed. During the first decade of the cinema's existence, inventors worked to improve the machines for making and showing films. The cinema is a complicated medium, and before it could be invented, several technological requirements had to be met.


Source: Wikipedia

Remainder of article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_...


message 2: by Bea (last edited May 03, 2012 01:02PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Oh, Bentley, my cup runneth over. Thank you.

I know I'm not the only one who likes old movies and I look forward to talking about them here.

If we go back to the very beginning we can watch lots of our old movies on line. The earliest motion picture is considered to be "Sallie Gardner at a Gallop". It had a running time of three seconds.

Sallie Gardner at a Gallop was an early production experiment by the photographer Eadweard Muybridge on June 19, 1878. The motion picture consists of 24 photographs in a fast-motion series that were shown on a zoopraxiscope. Muybridge was commissioned by Leland Stanford, the industrialist and horseman, who was interested in gait analysis. The purpose of the shoot was to determine whether a galloping horse ever lifts all four feet completely off the ground during the gait; at this pace, the human eye cannot break down the action.


Eadweard Muybridge


"Sallie Gardner", stills



You can watch the movie within the Wikipedia article here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_G...

You can also see an awesome simulation of the zoopraxiscope, invented by Muybridge and considered to be the first motion picture projector, here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoopraxi...




message 3: by Bea (last edited May 03, 2012 09:43AM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments This Muybridge is one interesting fellow!
Eadweard Muybridge ( 9 April 1830 – 8 May 1904) was born Edward Muggeridge in Surrey, England. As an adult in the United States, Muggeridge changed his name several times, starting with "Muggridge". In the 1850s in the United States, he used the surname "Muygridge". After an 1882 trip to England, he changed the spelling of his first name to "Eadweard," the Old English form of his name. He used "Eadweard Muybridge" for the rest of his career, but his gravestone carries his name as "Eadweard Maybridge".

He is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-action photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography. He went on to make many studies of animals and humans in motion, capturing what the human eye could not distinguish as separate movements. Art students still use these photographs as references.

In his earlier years in San Francisco, he had become known for his landscape photography, particularly of the Yosemite Valley. He also photographed the Tlingit people in Alaska, and was commissioned by the United States Army to photograph the Modoc War in 1873. In 1874 he shot and killed Major Harry Larkyns, his wife's lover, and, although his attorney entered an insanity plea, was acquitted in a jury trial on the grounds of justifiable homicide. He traveled for more than a year in Central America on a photographic expedition in 1875.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard...
http://www.eadweardmuybridge.co.uk/
http://www.biography.com/people/eadwe...
http://americanhistory.si.edu/muybridge/

River of Shadows Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West by Rebecca Solnit by Rebecca SolnitRebecca Solnit

The Man Who Stopped Time The Illuminating Story of Eadweard Muybridge Father of the Motion Picture, Pioneer of Photography, and Murderer by Brian Clegg by Brian CleggBrian Clegg


"Mirror Lake, Yosemite", 1867


message 4: by Jill (last edited May 02, 2012 04:29PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Right up my alley too, Bea. Since we are going waaaay back, there is The Kiss (also known as The May Irwin Kiss, The Rice-Irwin Kiss and The Widow Jones). It was made in 1896 and was one of the first films ever shown commercially to the public. The film is around 47 seconds long, and depicts a re-enactment of the kiss between May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of the stage musical, The Widow Jones. The film caused a scandalized uproar and occasioned disapproving newspaper editorials and calls for police action in many places where it was shown. One contemporary critic wrote: "The spectacle of the prolonged pasturing on each other's lips was beastly enough in life size on the stage but magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over it is absolutely disgusting."
The Edison catalogue advertised it thus: "They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time."

The film was directed by William Heise for Thomas Edison. At the time Edison was working at the Black Maria studios in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1999 the short was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

See it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zURTEs...




message 5: by Bea (last edited May 02, 2012 04:41PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Here's another good early "The Kiss" from the Edison studios that I found while looking at your wonderful youtube video. I guess these were scandalous at the time but they would easily have passed the Hayes Code 30 years later. I love how much action the catalog description manages to pack into a 48 second film!

It's catalogued as follows:

OTHER TITLES
Variant title in C. Musser: New kiss

CREATED/PUBLISHED
United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1900.

SUMMARY
From Edison films catalog: Nothing new, but an old thing done over again and done well. Some one has attempted to describe a kiss as "something made of nothing," but this is not one of that kind, but one of those old fashioned "home made" kind that sets the whole audience into merriment and motion, and has always proven a popular subject. It is very fine photographically and an exhibit is not complete without it. 60 feet. $9.00.

NOTES
Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 9Mar1900; D5532.

Duration: 0:44 at 16 fps.

Based on the earlier Edison film, May Irwin kiss (1896).

Filmed ca. February to early March 1900.

Source: Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8lExg...


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
See things do get up sooner or later.


message 7: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments You made my day Bentley!


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Well I do try to please.


message 9: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I've never seen that one, Bea. I must say that the subjects are a bit more attractive than the originals! Can you imagine being scandalized by these films?.....but then again, I guess we can when you think of the societal restrictions of the time when these were made. They certainly threw away those inhibitions during the 20s and early 30s before the Code came into force..... but we can get to that later as we move the thread forward in time.


message 10: by Jill (last edited May 03, 2012 09:07AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Les Vampires

I must mention this 10 part French serial, Les Vampires since I love it to distraction and it is a landmark in early popular film!! Made in 1915-1916 and directed by Louis Feuillade, it tells of the exploits of a gang of master criminals who call themselves Les Vampires and run riot in Paris, robbing and causing general mayhem. They jump through secret doors, out of hidden closets and down chimneys to do their dirty work and it is simply charming as much of it is done tongue-in-cheek. One of the main strategists and femme fatale of the gang and a continuing character is the wonderfully named Irma Vep (note the anagram for vampire). Each entry is a separate story tied together by the characters and the continuing search for the gang.
It is the beginning of the serial craze that reached its heyday in the 1930s. Of course, it is an acquired taste but I find it intriguing, eccentric, and totally fascinating.

Part 1 segment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTM_4X...

The entire series is available for viewing on Youtube.

Musidora as Irma Vep




message 11: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Somehow I've managed to miss Les Vampires, Jill. I loved Part I! Now I know I have to watch the whole thing.

The film is distributed in the United States in the DVD format by Image Entertainment on two discs. In France, Gaumont has released a special restored edition in 4 discs. Artificial Eye in the UK has used this restoration for their release on three discs, which includes several Feuillade shorts.

It can also be viewed or downloaded here: http://archive.org/details/LesVampire...

The above website allows viewing of each Part of the 7-hour 10 part series as a single unit. Part I runs for 31 minutes. It looks very good, with tinting and a nice score.


message 12: by G (new)

G Hodges (GLH1) | 901 comments This is fabulous!!! Thank you!


message 13: by Jill (last edited May 03, 2012 09:15AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Not only is it a part of film history, but it is just plain fun. I have to admit that I once named one of my black cats, Irma Vep.
I have the DVDs but thanks for that website which I just bookmarked.....I can now go there to get a quick fix of Irma and her buddies.


message 14: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Early Cinema
For our purposes, we might consider "early cinema" as the period starting 1893, when Muybridge used his zoopraxiscope to show films to a paying public at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, until 1903, when Edwin S. Porter made "The Great Train Robbery."

Some of the cinematic pioneers of this era were W.K.L. Dickson (head of the Edison studio), the Lumière brothers, Maries Georges Jean Méliès, Cecil Hepworth, and Edwin S. Porter.

The U.S. National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has inducted the following American films made during this period: Blacksmith Scene (1893); Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894–1895); The Kiss, (1896); Rip Van Winkle (1896); President McKinley Inauguration Footage (1901); Star Theatre (1901); and The Great Train Robbery (1903).

http://www.earlycinema.com/timeline/
http://www.filmreference.com/encyclop...
http://www.loc.gov/film/filmnfr.html

Some books about the period:

From Peepshow to Palace The Birth of American Film by David Robinson by David Robinson

The Beginnings of the Cinema In England, 1894-1901 Volume 1 1894-1896 by John Barnes by John Barnes (Volume 1 of a multi-volume set)

Early Cinema Space, Frame, Narrative by Thomas Elsaesser by Thomas Elsaesser

Encyclopedia of Early Cinema by Richard Abel by Richard Abel


message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Frankenstein - 1910

The first filming of the classic novel by Mary Shelley, it is nothing like her story. Filmed at Edison Studios it was directed by J. Searle Dawley.

For many years, this film was believed to be a lost film. In 1963, a plot description and stills were discovered published in the March 15, 1910 issue of an old Edison film catalog, The Edison Kinetogram.

In the early 1950s, print of this film was purchased by a Wisconsin film collector, Alois F. Dettlaff, from his mother-in-law, who also collected films. He did not realize its rarity until many years later. Its existence was first revealed in the mid-1970s. Although somewhat deteriorated, the film was in viewable condition, complete with titles and tints as seen in 1910. Dettlaff had a 35 mm preservation copy made in the late 1970s. He also issued a DVD release of 1,000 copies.

BearManor Media released the public domain film in a restored edition on March 18, 2010, alongside the novel Edison's Frankenstein, which was written by Frederick C. Wiebel, Jr.

On 14th October 2010, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the film, English writer and director Dave Mitchell released an online re-boot of the original film called "Frankenstein 1910 2010", with new title-cards based more on Mary Shelley's original novel, as well as re-tinting of the frames, and the use of Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" as the new soundtrack. The new version title cards focus on the concept of the rejected creation's words to his creator, who he perceives as his friend.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley by Mary ShelleyMary Shelley

The most well known image of the film:

[image error]


message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Ooopa, I think we were supposed to stay with film up to 1903 but I couldn't resist.
It is obvious that I am not going to get anything done today but post about film. I must get under control!!!!


message 17: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Here's a nice presentation of the McKinley Inauguration footage with added music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO_aOe...

Here's the actual footage preserved by the Library of Congress (no music):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO5AzG...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presiden...




message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Fantastic!!!! Is is amazing that we can actually view history through these old films.
And another one......Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901 by British Pathe. It is part of a documentary with narration. Look carefully at the very beginning and you can see the new King Edward VII ("Bertie") on horseback.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzzAhd...




message 19: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments I'm not running this show, Jill. I think we can post about whatever we want as long as it is in the context of film history, with an emphasis on the history of film.


message 20: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I liked your idea of specific periods tracing the development of technique, etc. Makes sense to me. I also like seeing international film since France and Germany were doing some amazing things back in the day............so we are on our way to a great topic.


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
G wrote: "This is fabulous!!! Thank you!"

Glad you like it G.


message 22: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I particularly like the early German films which were so beautifully lit. The Bible of German expressionism is the book cited below. The Golden Age of German cinema began at the end of the First World War and ended shortly after the coming of sound. From "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" onwards the principal films of this period were characterized by two influences: literary Expressionism, and the innovations of the theatre directors of this period, in particular Max Reinhardt. It discusses the influence of the theatre: the handling of crowds; the use of different levels, and of selective lighting on a predominately dark stage; the reliance on formalized gesture; the innovation of the intimate theatre. Against this background the principal films of the period are examined in detail. The author explains the key critical concepts of the time, and surveys not only the work of the great directors, such as Fritz Lang and F. W. Murnau, but also the contribution of their writers, cameramen, and designers. If you love German expressionism and films such as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", "Metropolis" and "Nosferatu", this is the book for you. The glory of black and white photography is on display during this time in German cinema.

The Haunted Screen Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt by Lotte H. Eisner by Lotte H. Eisner


message 23: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11684 comments Mod
I have this in my library and it looks good:

The Genius of the System Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era by Thomas SchatzThomas Schatz

Info:
In The Genius of the System, Thomas Schatz recalls Hollywood’s Golden Age from the 1920s until the dawn of television in the late 1940s, when quality films were produced swiftly and cost efficiently thanks to the intricate design of the system. Schatz takes us through the rise and fall of individual careers and the making—and unmaking—of movies such as Frankenstein, Casablanca, and Hitchcock’s Notorious. Through detailed analysis of major Hollywood moviemakers including Universal, Warner Bros., and MGM, he reminds us of a time when studios had distinct personalities and the relationship between contracts and creativity was not mutually exclusive.


message 24: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Oooh, Bryan......I have not seen that book before. It goes on the TBR immediately. Thanks.


message 25: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments I just bought these books for my Kindle. I hope they are good!

World On Film An Introduction by Martha P. Nochimson by Martha P. Nochimson (lousy rating on Goodreads but good rating on Amazon)

The Oxford History of World Cinema by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

and

Silent Movies The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture by Peter Kobel by Peter Kobel


message 26: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Just what I need.....more books for my TBR list!!!!! I am particularly interested in the last one you mentioned.

Silent Movies The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture by Peter Kobel by Peter Kobel


message 27: by Bea (last edited May 03, 2012 07:06PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments

The Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, were among the earliest filmmakers in history. (Appropriately, "lumière" translates as "light" in English.)

Their father ran a photographic firm in Lyon, France and both brothers worked for him. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.

It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The cinématographe itself was patented on 13 February 1895 and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895.

The Lumières held their first public screening of films at which admission was charged on December 28, 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.

The brothers began to open theatres to show their films (which became known as cinemas). In the first four months of 1896 they had opened Cinématographe theatres in London, Brussels, Belgium and New York.In 1900 the brothers projected a film on a huge 99 x 79 foot screen at the Paris Exposition, after which they decided to curtail their film exhibitions and devote their time to the manufacture and sale of their inventions. In 1907 they produced the first practical colour photography process, the Autochrome Plate.


Cinematographe in Filming Mode

[image error]
Cinematographe in Projection Mode

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_...
http://www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/l...

Before Hollywood From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen by Paul Cleeby Paul Clee


message 28: by Bea (last edited May 03, 2012 07:35PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments

Films Shown at the Lumiére Public Debut at the Grand Café

1. La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon (literally, "the exit from the Lumière factory in Lyon", or, under its more common English title, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory), 46 seconds
2. La Voltige ("Horse Trick Riders"), 46 seconds
3. La Pêche aux poissons rouges ("fishing for goldfish"), 42 seconds
4. Le Débarquement du Congrès de Photographie à Lyon ("the disembarkment of the Congress of Photographers in Lyon"), 48 seconds
5. Les Forgerons ("Blacksmiths"), 49 seconds
6. Le Jardinier (l'Arroseur Arrosé) ("The Gardener," or "The Sprinkler Sprinkled"), 49 seconds
7. Repas de bébé ("Baby's Breakfast" (lit. "baby's meal")), 41 seconds
8. Le Saut à la couverture ("Jumping Onto the Blanket"), 41 seconds
9. La Places des Cordeliers à Lyon ("Cordeliers Square in Lyon"--a street scene), 44 seconds
10. La Mer (Baignade en mer) ("the sea [bathing in the sea]"), 38 seconds

View the films shown at the premiere:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LubYjG...

In this Eric Rohmer documentary, Jean Renoir and Henri Langlois watch and discuss some short films shot by pioneer Louis Lumière around the turn of the century. (subtitled for your viewing enjoyment!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VQ97W...

Beautiful hand-tinted rainbow-colored Serpentine Dance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkT54B...


message 29: by Joanne (last edited May 04, 2012 10:07AM) (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bentley wrote: "This is a thread that has been requested by Bea - a group member.

The history of film is an account of the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, ..."


Thank you Bea and Bentley! I look forward to this discussion. It will not only be informative, but also have lots of images, saving us 1,000s of words!


message 30: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Satire being a favorite genre of mine, I just learned about a fun and fascinating collaboration between The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the BFI: "The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has collaborated with the BFI (British Film Institute) National Archive to find a host of unusual and little seen gems from the early days of silent film. The Orchestra has sculpted them into a delightfully eclectic evening of music, film, comedy and pathos. This mixed bill combines short films and clips including adverts, singing pictures, ‘actualities’, dramas, science and nature, hints and hobbies and documentary footage to amaze, amuse and baffle. All of this, of course, presented in the Ukulele Orchestra’s own inimitable style, and set to a programme of original music, as well as carefully chosen old favourites from musical history." http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com/main/...


message 31: by Bea (last edited May 04, 2012 01:18PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments So nice to see your smiling face here Joanne! And thanks for the suggestion. Hilarious! I'd love to see these guys live.

Here's a great clip from the Ukulelescope premiere in Berlin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF5sZc...

And, off-topic, their rendition of Pinball Wizard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvdpjZ...


message 32: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "So nice to see your smiling face here Joanne! And thanks for the suggestion. Hilarious! I'd love to see these guys live.

Here's a great clip from the Ukulelescope premiere in Berlin.

http://ww..."


Bea ~ I saw them last weekend at Queen Hall, Edinburgh. Great show! Terrific audience! But no movies, just great Uke music. The Germans, apparently, love the UOGB. I think I understand why...


message 33: by Bea (last edited May 04, 2012 09:57AM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Cecil Hepworth



A producer, director, writer and scenic photographer, Cecil Hepworth survived in the film business longer than any other British pioneer film-maker. His film-making career began in 1899 when he converted a small house in Walton-on-Thames into a studio. Twenty-five years later it would be the over-ambitious expansion of the studio that would drive him out of business. In the course of his career, Hepworth became one of the most respected, if not the most dynamic, figures in British cinema.

Cecil Hepworth was born on 19 March 1874 in Lambeth, South London, the son of celebrated magic lantern showman T.C. Hepworth. In the early days of cinema, he worked on the periphery of the industry, assisting Birt Acres in a royal command cinematograph performance, and writing the first British book on cinema, Animated Photography, The ABC of the Cinematograph in 1897. After being sacked by Charles Urban from Maguire and Baucus, Hepworth and his cousin Monty Wicks set up their own company, Hepworth and Co, with their trade logo Hepwix.

Over the next few years Hepworth and Co made a steady stream of scenic films and actualities, with Hepworth as cameraman/director. Their first popular success came with the filming of the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901. In 1904 the company was renamed the Hepworth Manufacturing Company, and Hepworth stopped directing, handing the reigns over to others such as Lewin Fitzhamon. The company began to develop a house style, based on simple stories told with high photographic quality. Hepworth produced on average three films a week, ranging from melodramas and slapstick comedies to scenics and travel films.

In 1905 he presented the first British movie star, a collie with the stage name of Rover. Rescued by Rover (co-d. Lewin Fitzhamon, 1905) was an enormous popular success. The following year he presented a new star - a horse - in Black Beauty (1906), which was then teamed with Rover in Dumb Sagacity (1907).

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_He...
http://www.hepworthfilm.org/the_man.htm
http://www.filmreference.com/Director...

Animated Photography: The Abc Of The Cinematograph (no cover art) by Cecil Hepworth

Waving the Flag Constructing a National Cinema in Britain by Andrew Higson by Andrew Higson


message 34: by Bea (last edited May 04, 2012 04:19PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments [image error]
Publicity Image for "Rescued by Rover", the most successful British film of 1905

Early Films of Cecil Hepworth

To access videos from the British Film Institute, one must be on a computer at a registered organization. The information about the film, however, is freely available at the link given.

1896: The Egg-Laying Man
1900: The Beggar's Deceit
BFI Write-up: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/i...

1900: How It Feels to Be Run Over
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6F1VA...
BFI Write-up: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/i...

1900: Explosion of a Motor Car
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNllVz...
BFI Write-up: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/i...

1903: Alice in Wonderland (first film adaptation of Lewis Carroll's novel)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-ks40... (restored version with modern soundtrack)
http://archive.org/details/AliceInWon... (silent)
BFI Write-up: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/i...

1905: Rescued by Rover (I love this movie!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlhNxH...
BFI write-up: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/i...

If you enjoyed these pre-WWI British comedies, there is an interactive documentary called "How They Laughed" that is available to all on-line here:
http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tours/...

(Note: I had trouble viewing the interactive documentary using the provided broadband link, although I am on broadband. It may be a browser glitch. If you have the same problem, I fixed it by clicking on the dial-up link.)

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll by Lewis CarrollLewis Carroll


message 35: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "
Publicity Image for "Rescued by Rover", the most successful British film of 1905

Early Films of Cecil Hepworth

To access videos from the British Film Institute, one must be on a computer at a re..."


Rover is great! Which reminds me, I'm adding "Rin Tin Tin" to my TBR pile. Rin Tin Tin The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean by Susan OrleanSusan Orlean


message 36: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Good stuff on Hepworth....he is practically unknown to the American film buff but he certainly had an influence on film generally. Early British film has not gotten much attention as it was overshadowed by films coming out of France, Germany, and Italy. Even Hitchcock's very early films look Germanic since he was learning his trade at UFA. But Hepworth deserves recognition......plus, who couldn't love Rover?


message 37: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Jill wrote: "Good stuff on Hepworth....he is practically unknown to the American film buff but he certainly had an influence on film generally. Early British film has not gotten much attention as it was oversha..."

Yes, Hepworth was a pioneer. As noted in the BFI write-up, by the time of "Rover", Hepworth was at the forefront of film technique, panning and cutting to create a film narrative that was truly cinematic well before his contemporaries. D.W. Griffith's innovation of cross-cutting between events happening at the same time in different places later completed the basic building blocks of cinema as we know it today.


message 38: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I always get a chuckle out of the notion that the audience would not understand cross-cutting but of course, the only visual frame of reference the public had was the stage play.......so maybe there was a grain of truth in that notion. Thank heavens, some of the film pioneers knew better. Can you imagine Birth of a Nation without the camera work of Billy Bitzer?


message 39: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Funny, you mention that. I've been watching a lot of the pre-Birth narrative films today and some of the longer dramas drag because of the lack of editing, including cross-cutting. It turns out even a 15-minute film can drag to my modern mind if the camera lingers on a static shot for too long.

By the way, I can recommend that Silents book I just bought. I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm only up to about the turn of the 20th century. It's engagingly written and there is so much to learn about the development of the technology and all the different personalities.

Silent Movies The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture by Peter Kobel by Peter Kobel


message 40: by Bea (last edited May 04, 2012 08:47PM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments While I'm thinking about it, here are a few links to "best film" lists online.

The "1,000 Greatest Films" list put together by the folks at "They Shoot Pictures Don't They?" is international and revised annually. They synthesize a number of other lists to come up with their own. Obviously, there is heated disagreement every year when they change the list. This website is so much more than the list, though. Very worthwhile.

http://www.theyshootpictures.com/gf10...

A sortable version of the TSPDT list can also be found here:

http://www.imdb.com/list/7Nfa8JSayJI/...

The National Film Registry is restricted to American films that are at least 10 years old. They need not be made for commercial distribution (i.e., this list includes some home movies, educational and industrial movies, etc.)

http://www.loc.gov/film/registry_titl...

The American Film Institute has several top 100 film lists general and by genre. These lists are also restricted to American films.

http://www.afi.com/100years/

I no longer believe in listing things I must do before I die but here's a book that tells everybody what it thinks they should see. This list is also international in scope. (The face on the cover below alone guarantees that the book's wishes will be frustrated in my case.)

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Jay Schneider by Steven Jay Schneider


message 41: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Jill wrote: "I always get a chuckle out of the notion that the audience would not understand cross-cutting but of course, the only visual frame of reference the public had was the stage play.......so maybe ther..."

Jill ~ Ah, Billy Bitzer. The unsung hero of early cinema. The original insane cameraman. Many, many years ago, I saw Lillian Gish tour with her book "The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me." Now I'm inspired to get it down from the shelf. Miss Gish was just as charming as you would expect and, as I recall, the book fully captured her starry-eyed view of Mr. Griffith. The Movies, Mr. Griffith, And Me by Lillian Gish by Lillian GishLillian Gish


message 42: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments I'm jealous, Joanne. I love Lillian Gish.

Another actress autobiography I enjoyed was Mary Astor's.

A Life On Film  by Mary Astor by Mary Astor


message 43: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 647 comments Bea wrote: "I'm jealous, Joanne. I love Lillian Gish.

Another actress autobiography I enjoyed was Mary Astor's.

A Life On Film  by Mary Astor by Mary Astor"


Bea ~ You'd have loved her off camera too. She and Dorothy, as I'm sure you know, lived in Springfield, Ohio, quite near where I was born in Dayton. A few years ago, Springfield hosted a Gish Festival, they played THE WIND, with orchestra, to a full house of eager fans. It was a blow away. (Pun intended.) Just discovered this silent movie blog, with clips. http://thebioscope.net/2007/07/28/lil...

Love Mary Astor and her famous diary!


message 44: by G (new)

G Hodges (GLH1) | 901 comments Bea wrote: "So nice to see your smiling face here Joanne! And thanks for the suggestion. Hilarious! I'd love to see these guys live.

Here's a great clip from the Ukulelescope premiere in Berlin.

http://ww..."


Bea, thank you for the second clip. You just made my day.


message 45: by G (new)

G Hodges (GLH1) | 901 comments Jill wrote: "I particularly like the early German films which were so beautifully lit. The Bible of German expressionism is the book cited below. The Golden Age of German cinema began at the end of the First Wo..."

Jill, the entire Murnau Nosferatu (1922) is on YouTube:
http://youtu.be/rcyzubFvBsA
Now if they'd just put Werner Herzogs remake, Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079641/ on YouTube, I'd be really happy.


message 46: by Bea (last edited May 05, 2012 07:19AM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Joanne wrote: "Bea wrote: "I'm jealous, Joanne. I love Lillian Gish.

Another actress autobiography I enjoyed was Mary Astor's.

A Life On Film  by Mary Astor by Mary Astor"

Bea ~ You'd have loved her off camera..."


Oh, I'd love to see THE WIND on the big screen. The problem with this thread is I want to talk about every movie at once and watch them all too! And then I get caught back up in my very early shorts and I want to find out everything about them, too. What is a girl to do?

P.S. Are you back home?


message 47: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I have both the "1,001 Movies....." and the Lillian Gish book which I read years ago.....and although I have heard so much about Mary Astor and her infamous diary (George S.Kaufman must have been quite the guy!!!), I have not read her autobiography.
One of my favorite Gish films is Broken Blossoms, especially her scene when locked in the closet by Donald Crisp. She was an actress, in the days when actresses were still rolling their eyes and clutching their hearts.........and that film was heartbreaking. It has gotten a lot of criticism for the casting and acting of Richard Barthelmaess in the Chinese role. But Oriental actors were only used in sinister roles and were few and far between.......racial stereotyping that equaled that visited on the African-American artists. But that is for another discussion.

The Movies, Mr. Griffith, And Me by Lillian Gish Lillian GishLillian Gish

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Jay SchneiderSteven Jay Schneider

A Life On Film  by Mary AstorMary Astor


message 48: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) G wrote: "Jill wrote: "I particularly like the early German films which were so beautifully lit. The Bible of German expressionism is the book cited below. The Golden Age of German cinema began at the end of..."

Thanks,G, for those links. I love to be able to go to Youtube for a quick look at some of my favorites.
Klaus Kinski as Nosferatu.......what better casting is that??????


message 49: by Bea (new)

Bea | 1834 comments Jill wrote: "I have both the "1,001 Movies....." and the Lillian Gish book which I read years ago.....and although I have heard so much about Mary Astor and her infamous diary (George S.Kaufman must have been q..."

Another fun part of Mary Astor's book is her relationship with John Barrymore, who was a big influence on her at a young age in...ahem...more ways than one. I've not read the second book I list here.


A Life On Film  by Mary Astor by Mary Astor

My Story An Autobiography by Mary Astor by Mary Astor


message 50: by Bea (last edited May 05, 2012 10:04AM) (new)

Bea | 1834 comments The Kinetoscope


Kinetoscope parlor, San Francisco, ca. 1894-95

The Kinetoscope is an early motion picture exhibition device. Though not a movie projector—it was designed for films to be viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components—the Kinetoscope introduced the basic approach that would become the standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of video: it creates the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter. First described in conceptual terms by U.S. inventor Thomas Edison in 1888, it was largely developed by his employee William Kennedy Laurie Dickson between 1889 and 1892. Dickson and his team at the Edison lab also devised the Kinetograph, an innovative motion picture camera with rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph movies for in-house experiments and, eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations.

On April 14, 1894, the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures in history was given in New York City, using ten Kinetoscopes. Instrumental to the birth of American movie culture, the Kinetoscope also had a major impact in Europe; its influence abroad was magnified by Edison's decision not to seek international patents on the device, facilitating numerous imitations of and improvements on the technology. In 1895, Edison introduced the Kinetophone, which joined the Kinetoscope with a cylinder phonograph. Film projection, which Edison initially disdained as financially nonviable, soon superseded the Kinetoscope's individual exhibition model. Many of the projection systems developed by Edison's firm in later years would use the Kinetoscope name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetoscope
http://inventors.about.com/od/kstarti...
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/ed...
http://www.britishmovieclassics.com/t...

One of the earliest Kinetoscope experiment's, Fred Ott's sneeze, can be viewed directly at the above Wikipedia article.

A selection of Edison Kinetoscope films can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmZ4VP...

These include:

Serpentine Dance
Sandow (The Strong Man)
Comic Boxing
Cockfighting (WARNING: this part of a real cockfight - neither animal dies)
The Barber Shop
Feeding the Doves
Seminary Girls (pillow fight)

Dickson Experimental Sound film (reconstruction - with sound!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6b0wp...

History of the Kinetograph, Kinetoscope and Kinetophonograph by W.K.L. Dickson by W.K.L. Dickson

The Man Who Made Movies W.K.L. Dickson by Paul Spehr by Paul Spehr




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