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Fall 2011 the emergence of cinema as an institution
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Fall 2011 the emergence of cinema as an institution

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  • Created by Professor Lauren Martilli
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Emergence of Cinema as an Institution Chapter 1 John Belton, American Cinema, American Culture Clip: [Brief] History of the Motion Picture
    • 2. • From 1929 to 1949: 80 to 90 million Americans viewed movies weekly• Movies resembled a religious institution, but primarily a social institution“THE CATHEDRAL OF THE MOTIONPICTURE”
    • 3. Developing Systems: Society & Technology• Film as an institution • Q: What is an institution? • A: An established, custom, practice, or relationship in society (American Heritage Dictionary) Examples: government, military, church, school• Economic: Purpose = make money (e.g., Edisons Kinetoscope only one voyeur at a time, pun intended), but developed into a product marketed and sold the audiences. Star system and genre system are commodities• Social: Promoted social interaction among Americans; Leisurely activity; Examples: church, clubs, bars• Technological: marvel attracted crowds, dependence on products of the Industrial Revolution (celluloid, sound, etc.)• Psychological: Appeals to emotions, makes us want to go to the movies; escapism, enjoyment, contemporary times vary greatly from the past when movie-going was akin to our TV habits today.
    • 4. Edison & the Kinetoscope
    • 5. Edison & the Kinetoscope (cont’d)• Capturing Time: an age of many new inventions, which impacted cultural shifts. First motion picture camera• Introduced new concept of time (along with the photograph & phonograph) • A commodity - reproduced and sold • Objectified, infinitely re- experienced• Viewed by one person at a time• Designed to maximize profit
    • 6. Kinetoscope Parlor
    • 7. • Invention of projection (1895-1896)• Changed viewers relationship to the image was no longer private, but a public experienceMASS PRODUCTION, MASS CONSUMPTION
    • 8. The Nickelodeon: A Collective Experience• Working class attraction• 5¢ movies• “For the first time in American history all races, genders, social and ethnic groups shared a collective experience”• A step toward the creation of a homogeneous middle-class American culture
    • 9. Cleaning Up: The Benefits of Respectability• Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) • Result of mass consumption and need for stabilization • Interested in profit and market expansion• Goal: attract upper class viewers• Objectives • Eliminate ethnic films • Increase price of admission • Produce films based on literary, historical, or biblical sources (Poe, Dickens, Tolstoy, Shakespeare)
    • 10. • The Camera as Recorder• The Camera as Narrator• The Feature FilmSPECTACLE AND STORYTELLING: FROMPORTER TO GRIFFITH
    • 11. The Camera as Recorder• „bourgeoisification of the movies‟• Post-1908, exhibitionist in nature, theatrical• Middle-class demand for more advanced/complex narratives• Focus on perfection of narrative skills• Edwin S. Porters use of showing same action from different perspectives successively • Two versions of The Life of an American Fireman (1903) • http://youtube.com/watch?v=p4C0gJ7BnLc
    • 12. The Camera as Narrator• Active narration used to shape audiences perception• Griffiths use of parallel editing or cross-cutting • Creates suspense • Psychological development of characters
    • 13. The “Feature” Film• More complex narratives• Multiple-reel• Financial success• D.W. Griffiths historical epic, The Birth of a Nation (1915) • 12 reels, 3 hours long • Extreme racism overtly presented and exposes the power of the motion picture as a medium to communicate ideological arguments • http://youtube.com/watch?v=32hMZP0K 2wM
    • 14. “Garden of Dreams” & The Great Showmen• Change from uncomfortable, modest theaters to spacious, luxurious movie palaces• From theater attendants to concierge service• Middle class experience the luxuries of the richPRESENTING…THE MOVIE PALACE
    • 15. AN EVOLVING INSTITUTION• What began as a technological marvel at the turn of the century has changed in countless ways • Stylistic and technological developments • A shifting in American consciousness• Continues to be an efficient system of storytelling• “The cinematic institution of Hollywood past has disappeared…transformed into a new institution designed to serve…contemporary audiences” (19).• Goal: “to recover a sense of the experience that previous generations had when they went to the movies” (20).

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