Motion Pictures cultural reflections
Early History of Film Silent Films • created a suspension of disbelief • Used as narratives Examples • Luminere Brothers in Europe 1895 (elite) • Thomas Edison 1896 (masses)
Classic Films • A Trip to the Moon (1902) Special effects • The Great Train Robbery (1903) Storytelling • Birth of a Nation (1915) Most expensive film produced to date ($110,000)
The strong impact of movies • Creates a dreamlike image or idea • Atmosphere is dark with minimal distractions • Emotional ties to real life situations • Our cultural stories are created/influenced
Early research questions the power of film In 1920s the Payne Fund studies the affect of motion pictures on society • How do motion picture morals compare to U.S. moral standards? • Do films cause delinquency in youth? • How do films affect the behavior of children? • What were the findings?
As a result… The industry responded by strengthening the production codes (self-censorship) The Hayes Office • No immoral behavior • No nudity • No profanity • No skimpy dress • Only married people in the bedroom ( but in separate beds) • Some words out (God, hell, sex, guts, nuts, louse) • Timed kisses
Psychological Effects How movies work psychologically Persistence of Vision • The eye retains an image on the retina for a fraction of a second after the image disappears • Fast changing still photos create an illusion of motion
Phi Phenomenon Max Wertheimer 1912 • This perceptual illusion is described as one light source goes out… another next to it goes on • Looks to us like the light is moving
International Issues “Cultural Imperialism” Many nations outside the U.S. are increasingly concerned about the proliferation of U.S. films As a result: Quotas on how much U.S. films can be shown Consider your most memorable image of a foreigner in a Hollywood movie.
Welcome to Bollywood… “Bollywood” is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai based Hindi language film industry. • Combine music, action, romance, suspense • No sex or kissing but symbolic fountain bursts • Usually over three hours long • it produces 1000 films a year (twice as U.S.)