Топик A Glimpse of World Movie History.
Phonographic motion pictures projected on to a screen became available for the general public from about 1895, and by the end of the century they were well -established in many countries, notably in France, Britain and America.
The earliest pictures, often of astonishingly good quality and steadiness, were intended as popular entertainment in music-hall programmes. They showed comic turns, magic trick pictures, slapstick, little romances and even shirt five-minute dramas. More important were the films recording actual happenings.
In the earliest years of the cinema its power to show contemporary events vividly was recognized and appreciated. More than anything else this unique quality secured popularity for the film as a new form of instruction and entertainment.
The history of the film 1900 to 1911 is the development of it as an international industry. During this period, films grew gradually from ten minute’s length to two hours.
Makers of films began to learn how to tell a story effectively in motion pictures, the pictures taking the place of words. At this period films were making so much money that film-making attracted a different type of people – people who lacked the enthusiasm of the young pupils, whose aim was to coin money rather than to develop this new art.
During the First World War the demand for films continued to grow at a time when European producers were least able to meet it. In consequence America became the foremost film-making country of the world and Hollywood in California, with the advantage of its strong clear light, the chief centre of production.
The USA developed the “star” system and film publicity simultaneously, so that the names of artists such as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Picford and Charlie Chaplin were well-known to the public wherever there were cinemas to show their films. The cinema became the people’s entertainment, lavish, luxurious, often lurid, available almost to everyone at the price of a few pence.
After the war some of the European film industries revived during the short period left to the silent film (1919-1928 approximately).
Germany developed the artificial studio film with remarkable photography, sets, lighting and acting. The Germany school specialized in fantasy, spectacle and melodrama.
Russia, nationalizing her film industry in 1919, made the most remarkable contribution of the period to film art in the work of such directors as Eisenstein and Pudovkin. They used the film to interpret history and the problems of contemporary Russian life and their films are among the most important in the history of cinema.
France was the home of experience, especially in the film movement called the avant-garde, run by a group of young directors who attempted to devise films, to reflect ideas of psychology and art.
The British screen, however, remained almost entirely dominated by the American film which developed its tradition of star display in thousands if shallow but commercially successful films.
The first complete talkie was “Lights of New York” released in 1929. Sound greatly increased the artistic possibilities of the film.
Since 1932 films in color have become more general, and techno-color has been adapted for use in all types of film and in later years has rapidly improved to its present excellent standard.
The cinema has become part of the modern way of life. And all over the world artists have emerged to make the films which confirm the existence of a new art – films such as “Intolerance”, “The Battleship Potemkin”, and others.
(from “Encyclopedia Britannica”, 1978)
Список слов к топику Movie History
comic turns – комические номера
slapstick – грубый юмор, фарс
to secure popularity – обеспечивать популярность
lurid – страшный, мрачный
to emerge – появляться
techno-color (am.) – цветной фильм
set – декорация
avant-garde - передовой
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