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Download American Cinema 1890-1909: Themes and Variations (The Screen by Andre Gaudreault PDF

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By Andre Gaudreault

On the flip of the 20th century, cinema used to be fast developing itself as a valid kind of well known entertainment.The essays in American Cinema 1890-1909 discover and outline how the making of movies flowered into an that may eventually turn into the primary leisure establishment of the realm. starting with all of the early sorts of photos that moved, this quantity tells the tale of the discovery and consolidation of many of the strategies that gave upward thrust to what we now name cinema. through analyzing the battles over patents, construction, exhibition, and the reception of movie, readers find out how going to the films grew to become a social culture in American society. during those twenty years, cinema succeeded either in developing itself between different leisure and tutorial media and in updating numerous different types of spectacle.

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Extra info for American Cinema 1890-1909: Themes and Variations (The Screen Decades Series)

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As Matthew Solomon details in his 1908 chapter, after newspaper and clergy led campaigns claiming film shows were vicious and obscene, various attempts were made to clean up films. Chicago and Ohio were prominent among city and state governments that, unlike the federal government, instituted censorship. In 1909 the film industry itself introduced the National Board of Censorship, which reviewed films and suggested changes, similar to self-regulating boards that would later appear during the Hollywood era.

Electrification, accomplished a few decades before in urban areas and still being extended to smaller towns, allowed film exhibition to expand, while the film industry itself especially toward the end of this period used the economic strategies that other industries had used to control profits and minimize competition—for example, Edison’s use of patent 12 ANDRÉ GAUDREAULT AND TOM GUNNING law to intimidate and ultimately dominate his rivals. Cinema stands as an emblem of modernizing America, a form of entertainment possible only because of the confluence of transformations already mentioned, but it is also the most modern form of representation, founded on technological innovation, presented as a new mass phenomenon: for the first time audiences across the nation could see the exact same performance more or less at the same time in a variety of locales.

We might thus say that the technological advance represented by the invention of cinema was the result of a group effort to which many people contributed. ” with a single name. The cinema cannot be reduced at its base to the mere “picturetaking machine,” to the technological apparatus alone. Isn’t it true that cinema is not simply the projection on a screen of photographic images that give the illusion of movement? Above all, cinema is a complex sociocultural phenomenon rather than something one “invents” (since it cannot be patented).

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