Outline of film  

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This page Outline of film is part of the film series.Illustration: screen shot from L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat
This page Outline of film is part of the film series.
Illustration: screen shot from L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Film can refer to motion pictures as individual projects and to the field in general. The name came from the fact that photographic film (also called filmstock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist — motion pictures (or just pictures or "picture"), the silver screen, photoplays, the cinema, picture shows, flicks — and commonly movies.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to film:


Essence of film

Main article: Film

Cinematic genres

By setting

  • Biography - portrays a real-life character in his or her real life story.
  • Crime - places its character within realm of criminal activity
  • Film noir - portrays its principal characters in a nihilistic and existentialist realm or manner
  • Historical - taking place in the past
  • Science fiction - placement of characters in an alternative reality, typically in the future or in space
  • Sports - sporting events and locations pertaining to a given sport
  • War - battlefields and locations pertaining to a time of war
  • Westerns - colonial period to modern era of the western United States

By genre

  • Action - generally involves a moral interplay between "good" and "bad" played out through violence or physical force
  • Adventure - involving danger, risk, and/or chance, often with a high degree of fantasy.
  • Comedy - intended to provoke laughter
  • Drama - mainly focuses on character development
  • Fantasy - speculative fiction outside reality (i.e. myth, legend)
  • Horror - intended to provoke fear in audience
  • Mystery - the progression from the unknown to the known by discovering and solving a series of clues
  • Romance - dwelling on the elements of romantic love
  • Thrillers - intended to provoke excitement and/or nervous tension into audience

By format

  • Animation - illusion of motion by consecutive display of static images which have been created by hand or on a computer
  • Biographical - a biopic is a film that dramatizes the life of an actual person, with varying degrees of basis in fact
  • Documentary - a factual following of an event or person to gain an understanding of a particular point or issue
  • Experimental (avant-garde) - created to test audience reaction or to expand the boundaries of film production/story exposition then generally at play
  • Musical - a film interspersed with singing by all or some of the characters
  • Short - may strive to contain many of the elements of a "full-length" feature, in a shorter time-frame

By age

  • Children's film - films for young children - as opposed to a family film, no special effort is made to make the film attractive for other audiences.
  • Family - intended to be attractive for people of all ages and suitable for viewing by a young audience. Examples of this are Disney films.
  • Teen film - intended and aimed towards teens although some teen films such as the High School Musical series may also be a family film. Not all of these films are suitable for all teens in which some are rated-R.
  • Adult film - intended to be viewed only by an adult audience, content may include violence, disturbing themes, obscene language, or explicit sexual behaviour. Adult film may also be used as a synonym for pornographic film.

Cinema by region

History of film

Camera obscura - Intertitle - Magic lantern - Motion Picture Patents Company - Phantasmagoria - Silent film - Thomas Edison - Zoetrope

Major film studios



General film concepts

Academy awards - Actor - American Film Institute - Film director - Film studio - Movie projector - Photography - Set construction - Sound stage

Notable people from the film industry

Film theorists

Rudolf Arnheim - André Bazin - Sergei Eisenstein - Siegfried Kracauer - Lev Kuleshov - Vsevolod Pudovkin

Famous film producers

Famous directors

Alfred Hitchcock - Stanley Kubrick - Steven Spielberg - Ram Gopal Varma - Kathryn Bigelow - Quentin Tarantino - Joel and Ethan Coen - Vishu - Christopher Nolan

Famous actors

Humphrey Bogart - Marlon Brando - James Cagney - Bette Davis - Alec Guinness - Audrey Hepburn - Katharine Hepburn - Jack Lemmon - Walter Matthau - Edward G. Robinson - David Tennant

Film lists

Main article: List of film topics

Film genres and plots

Awards and festivals

Cast and crew

Film companies

Film details

Film success

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Outline of film" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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