History Of Films.

Question 8.

Using no more than three films as examples assess the importance of technological developments for the movie industries.

In this broad context of films we may understand why we go to see them but are we aware of what goes on behind the scenes and how tricky it may have been to originally get the film on big screen.

how the big screen came to be so big and why this industry still today continues to create revenue for it’s Director’s, writers with there space brokering reviews.

Actors and bloopers, make up artists applying the new cosmetics quicker or how they’d had to adjust to changing pixels.

The cameramen and stunt men’s training and pushing boundaries through time and space as the diverse public demanded more.

The three films are two from the film noir era from Universal in 1925 The Phantom of the Opera.

To a personal favourite The Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart under the wing of Jack Warner.

Then the colour movie from British low budget cinematographer  My Little Eye – 2002, 95 minutes long another Thriller, that incorporated the big brother plot, so its 20’s, 40’s then into the 21st century.

The synopsis of each individual film in detail will have not enough relevance to the technological change but selected extracts may by example refer to the requirements.

Before all this cinematography and prestige through Mike Chopra Grant’s lecture a brief synopsis of how it used to be up to the cinema we know and love today.

‘In 1834 the Zeotrope was released by William Horner manufactured and patented for it’s moving pictures in a cylindrical container. 1888 the invention of the flexible film by  Eastman Kodak. 1891 Edison patented the Kinetograph a camera that projected in Kinetescope and two years later Edison  set up a film studio called Kinetoscope films then a year later the open and closing camera was invented my Thomas. By 1896 he’d also became famous for his vitascope projector. Mutoscope 1894 the spinning cards create a very short movie.

Early Black and white films were screened at a ratio of 133(1.37):1 (Academy).

Then colour came and described this as high fidelity 185:1 (Vista vision).

In Cinema scope the screen lengthened in size to 2.35:1 (Cinemascope).’                                                                        

Researched  by  Mike Chopra Gant(2006) The Phantom of the Opera has been remade since the early release back in the twenties not just in the cinema’s but also in the West End by the late Ken Hill who also wrote Crossroads a British soap in the late seventies and early 80’s.

But the original 1926 version was released by or at the Paris Opera it has been running for 17 years now.

Warner Bros re-released the film recently applying Andrew Lloyd Webbers version to cinema this film is a perfect example of the genre and following of what could only be classed as an original thriller that possibly influenced Tony Robbins comic cartoon and cinema rehash of V for Vendetta.

This Arty concept of the disfigured musician haunting the theatre began in 1910 in a French authors book called ‘Le Fantome de l’opera’ by Gaston Leroux.

The Universal Studio’s team had remarked whilst filming the original starring Lon Chaney that mysterious occurrences on set happened and also at that time the public were hideously shocked by the make up used to portray his disfigurement.

All these factors created a coherent message upon cultural and ideological concepts of the public that still progressed even now, you could I presume call this an institution.

Created by Hollywood’s stamp and a great novel with room to incorporate music all major factors of today’s media but remember this film was around the silent period, the music may have been played live upon an organ or gramophone.

At this time also the frames were less per second as well as the obvious invention of colour missing. The vocals supplemented with speech cards that bullet pointed the story and scene.

The French have always had interest in the cinema although America has had 80-85% of the revenue market and French by some as cited by Anne Jάckel as avant-garde surrealism and blockbusters such as these that come away from the EU’s branding of ‘auteur cinema’ and synonymy’s world-wide in this case. In 1993 a campaign called cultural exception in France revealed American films exported generated revenues of more than £2.5 billion so again it’s this revenue that created the Phantoms prestige today. This explains the horror value challenged assumptions about childhood innocence early said about penny dreadful and how the provincial audience are victims of the Medias effects more inclined towards middle brow radio listeners and ‘its The B movie was a direct response by Hollywood to the falling cinema audiences of the early Depression years.’(modern Times).

The big five in Hollywood in the 1930’s was Warner Brothers, Loews-MGM, Paramount, RKO and twentieth Century Fox. The little three were Universal, Columbia and finally United Artists. The first movie in New York had 5490 seating capacity and was classed as an A movie. (top quality film) this was set up in the radio musical Hall. 1948 the paramount decree stated a divorce between studios and there production from distribution and exhibition.

Moving on to the forties the infamous Humphrey Bogart (Sam Spade). Los Angeles again in Black and White with normal sound and dialect as we know today but in mono by RCA Sound Systems. Utilising the locations that merely added to Warner Bros theatrical illusion.

Casablanca journey and musical quotes of Play it again Sam that has been displaced humorously for television adverts selling Holstein Pils or the display of the importance of smoking at that time.

It was sold as good for you and advertised as a relaxant unlike today’s medical experiences and of course smoking in the auditoriums would have had sections for smokers that has often also been depicted in film clippings of say the soldiers watching projections the light silhouetting the smog.

Today television would be used or if you were lucky to see this film in the IMAX in 3D not the Creature of The Black Lagoon 3D of red and green goggles but some other pixel adjusted Jaws 3 version.

The film’s at this time shown would have been surrounded by political messages about the War the contingency of ‘Man’s ego and pride’ is levied in this American stars character. Even today we don’t see Russian characters fighting for us.

Ever since the cold war prior to the filming of this period but Kasper Gutman played by Sydney Greenstreet and Spades Yiddish comment to Alisha Cook Jr. who plays a woman with her own surname called Willmar Cook a ‘Gunsel’. The English interpretation of this being goose I use this only as a hint of the funding of Warner Bros Jewish influence.

Film financing was taxed on cinema tickets that increases the prices and it’s this key factor that contributed to the film companies introducing the class of movie, today I personally would class the Maltese Falcon [1941]  as a B movie.

Repeated on T.V year after year by BBC2 a (PG) film released at an expensive budget due to some of this film actually being filmed on location that merely adds to the tax exchange that would increase a revenue market for application before filming, the producers and director John Huston would have also lived this jet set lifestyle although his profile would not have been celebrity status as today with the improvement of new synergy around films and DVD’s of today’s home entertainment.

Incidentally internationalisation and it’s expansion since 1989 compared to 1999 figures in Spain (nearest the Madagascar) of the country’s investment in films has become threefold. 

By the 1960’s due to technology peoples lifestyle changed the locations seen on the big screen as a kid was now possible to be seen. For much more people they could relive the fantasy they derived from watching the movie, this universalisation and homogenisation was a consequence of these factors.

Unlike BBC’s early motto of education, inform and entertain the cinema has been more interested in action, visual drama no cliff hangers and incite happiness or rather feelings by showing locations, certain actors and great cars.

Today’s negative influence of reality TV influences many a conversation world wide.

Orson Wells notion of Big brother is watching us I chose an English funded film My Little Eye (2001)(95 mins) shot in Nova Scotia directed by Mark Evans idea of any Joe Bloggs being a star that adds to the five minutes of fame.

In 2001 WT Venture LLC when this production was released on DVD in this country two years later the synergy behind it’s double CD package (CD being a big part of the Silicone revolution) was equal I personally feel to the film, with directors explaining the filming, characters analysed through a computer interactive type affect that increase the analyse of film even though lacking any amazing plot the suspense as in all these films builds it up a merit that deserves mention.

Paul Du Gay: The circuit of culture intertwine between representation, identity,   production, consumption, regulation and representation and all contribute to the final film that which we see in the cinema remembering that technology does have a certain part to play but more so now than the majority of the 20th century. 

The Medias registers revolved around these movies, and how they conformed to the social attitudes at that time and suggest how values may have also been influenced be it the powers of the Warner Brothers.

Explained also the modes and conventions at the time of each movie and the conventions they were governed by at that particular time to how the film rose to almost and how dynamic cult status arrived remembering that America was an early player but striving to look globally of the movie industry’s effect on man and the Media.

l have analysed the dialogue of each film and my own dialogic. Briefly mentioned the synergy around the films then and now. The importance of amplification in the cinemas and the big screen and described each licence for the appropriate time of the film released to the re-runs today the B movies.


http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0033870/ Briggs, A & Burke, P(2002) A Social History of the Media. Polity Press

Briggs, A and Cobley, P eds.(2002) The Media:An Introduction. 2nd Edition: Chapter 11. Cinema(Anne Jackel). Harlow Essex: Pearson Education Limited

Course Handbook. London North.(2006) BSc(Hons) Media Studies. Londonmet.pdf
BRITISH FILMS http://www.britmovie.co.uk/genres/horror/filmography/033.html

Neil Youngs Film Lounge http://www.jigsawlounge.co.uk/film/mylittleeye.html

HUMPHREY BOGART:http://bogart-tribute.net/bio.shtml

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA:http://www.eurekavideo.co.uk/classics/the-phantom-of-the-opera/

Web CT by Mike Chopra-Gant.

Lectures by Dr Anna Gough-Yates, Dr. Chopra-Gant, Gholam Khiabany, June Porter, James Bennett, and finally Dr. Bill.
Work was done between Ladbroke House and the tower building in Holloway’s London Metropolitan

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