From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "They can keep their Bressons and their Cocteaus. The cinematic, modern marvelous is popular, and the best and most exciting films are, beginning with Méliès and Fantômas, the films shown in local fleapits, films which seem to have no place in the history of cinema." --Ado Kyrou
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a story conveyed with moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects. The process of filmmaking has developed into an art form and industry.
Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating — or indoctrinating — citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.
Films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement.
The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photo-play and flick. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while in Europe the term cinema is preferred. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies.
In the history of fiction
In the history of fiction, film became the dominant medium after the arrival of sound film in the late 1920s and early 1930s, displacing the novel and theatre. Until the arrival of home video, film was a community based entertainment medium. In recent years, video games have displaced films as the top grossing entertainment medium.
Motion pictures developed gradually from a carnival novelty to one of the most important tools of communication, entertainment, and mass media in the 20th century. Films have had a substantial impact on the arts, technology, and politics.
- Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies 1956-1984
- Le Surréalisme au cinéma by Ado Kyrou
- Film as a Subversive Art by Amos Vogel
- Midnight Movies (1983)
- Incredibly Strange Films (1986)
- Cult Movie Stars
- 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (2004)