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History of Film

History of Film

The Birth of Film

Throughout our history the man has always had a deep interest in capturing and representing movement, different civilizations or people have looked for the way to achieve this fact. Several inventors and geniuses have built machines that produce the illusion of movement, for example the Phenakistiscope, the Praxinoscope, the Thaumatrope and the Zoetrope are clear representations of these inventions.

When those machines were invented, three fundamental elements that constituted cinema were achieved, the persistence of vision, photography and projection. The two other elements, the perforated movie and the mechanism that permits its advance were invented in 1890 by Edison and Dickson.

The Silent Era

arrival of the train at La Ciotat The cinema was born in December of 1895 when Lumière brothers showed their film "The arrival of the train at La Ciotat" in the Indien salon of Paris with a projector called Cinematographe. Since that moment the movies were made about daily moments such as the labor or family life, but thanks to Georges Méliès, the inventor of the first fictions, people recovered their interest for this art.

At the beginning of the XX century, the films were already an industry extended around the world, the movies were mute and it appeared texts amid the scenes in order to explain the action of the film, sometimes a pianist played music to make happier the show. The barracks of the beginnings of cinema became elegant and roomy rooms where they began to assist the high social classes and not only the popular ones.

Once the movies becomes a great popular show that overcame the social and idiomatic barriers, Edison sends his lawyers against the exploiters of film projectors with the purpose of monopolizing the film market, and after several processes, closings film theaters, confiscation of projectors and moments of violence, the victory was given to Edison.

This situation affected negatively to independent filmmakers, which moved to the other side of the country, to California. There Hollywood was founded and the big film production companies started to make the history of the North American films.

The Sound Era

Alan Crosland On October 6, 1927 happens a revolutionary fact for the films, when Alan Crosland left to listen the voice of the actor Al Jolson singing. With the arrival of this new era of the films also disappeared various actors upon bringing to light to the public its true voice, unpleasant or ridiculous, that did not correspond to its physical appearance. The technicians and filmmakers changed of form to do and to think about the films and the actors and actresses had to learn to vocalize correctly.

The installation of the sound in the films coincided with the economic crack of 1929 that caused a Great Depression in EEUU. The citizens found in the films a way to escape from daily problems, for this reason Hollywood started to produce movies based on fantasy, comedy, music, etc. The color films arrived in 1935 with the movie "Becky Sharp" the sixth screen adaptation of Thackeray’s classic novel Vanity Fair by Rouben Mamoulian, although artistically its fullness was reached with the Victor Fleming's film "Gone with the Wind" (1939).

By these years it also was originated the animation films, which was especially made for children, being Walt Disney their favorite creator. Opposite to directors with mainly commercial positions, they appear others with new aesthetic restlessness such as Von Stroheim, Hitchcock or Orson Welles; Meanwhile in Europe the filmmakers of countries with totalitarian governments were guided toward a politically propagandistic cinema, frequently failed artistically as the case of the Fascists.


Marilyn Monroe When finishing the war it appeared in Italy the cinema called neo-realistic, which was a testimonial cinema about the reality of that moment, it also showed a lot of humanity, it was worried about the problems of individuals living on streets and it supposed a deep look on the problems of subsistence of the poorest. By the 1950 the EEUU was passing a time of well-being that changed the lifestyle. The acquisition of televisions made the number of spectators smaller and they were invented new ways for recover it, so the big screen appealed to its best argument, its spectacular nature, the screen grown and was projected in color and the sound becomes stereo.

It appeared the myths of cinema such as Marlon Brando, James Dean or Marilyn Monroe which break the conventional schemes of social behavior. The youths become an important potential public in this time of rock and roll.

At the end of 1950, and following the steps of innovative directors such as Rossellini, a new generation of filmmakers contributed to improve the films, under the denomination nouvelle wanders, it was a cinema equally made with a few tools but with the force of aesthetic innovations.

By the years 1960 appeared new film types, in Sweden, Ingmar Bergman made films focused in the introspection that were interested on the psychology of people, their anguishes and their existential doubts. In Italy, Antonioni, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Visconti and Fellini opt for the poetic films.

Cinema at the present time

Harry Potter Due to the apparition and introduction of videotapes as well as the massive increase of television channels, the public watch much more movies than ever before and everything without leaving home. Nowadays the films look for a spectacular show because the movies with lots of special effects are able to attract several spectators to the dark room. In the present films it is imposed quality and profitability.

In the decade of the 1990 many film directors decided to be inspired by comic’s heroes or in some historical television shows to produce their movies. Nowadays, the process based on the photochemical is ally of new electronic technologies, the film studios produce movies in which computers have worked on the obtaining process and manipulation of images. Even more productions and directors include visual effects in their films, maybe it will become in the new characteristic of this new generation and the best example in this category is the saga of Harry Potter with seven films in its history.