Intro to Media and Culture [NOTES - PART 11] -- I got a 90% in the course

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COMM 121
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February 11: Mass Media History II: Visual Media Louis Lumiere: credited with inventing the concept of the cinema (1895) ● Arrival of the express train at Ciotat - first “film” - only 1 min long ● When this film was first shown, people were very nervous ○ They ducked when the train came in the station in the first film ○ No one had seen this before ○ “Motion Pictures” - pictures that are in motion ■ We name things by what they do! ○ It takes a while for “stories” to begin in motion pictures ○ It was basically just families eating a picnic, parents feeding their child, workers leaving the factory at the end of the day ● By 1895 people had the ability to shoot, to process, and to project ○ What does it mean to watch this? ● We do not consider Lumiere the ONLY person who created the cinema ● Often, we do not credit only one person for any one important invention (such as telephone) Film ● For the first 20 years, films were silent, had no “story”, black and white ● Early 20th century saw a change in plot - more complex ● Increased fear and fascination of films ○ Fear that pictures in movement could have negative effect on population ○ Such as an ankle being exposed on a woman - give people bad ideas about sexuality ● Masses could all be exposed to the same images ● We loved the gruesome ● “Silent Films” had live orchestras in the theater ○ Anything but silent ○ A lot of noise and activity going on ○ “It became an event” DW Griffith: Birth of a Nation, 1915 ● Rewrite of the Civil War ● African American people taking over the South, taking over Congress ● He used close-ups - no one had ever done that before ● He used transitions between scenes - also hadn’t been done before ● Built tension ● Our films teach us a lot about our culture ○ At time of this movie’s release, the KKK was mostly non-existent ○ With this film, the KKK came back with a vengeance ○ This film was shown wherever it could be projected ○ People thought it was REAL and did not realize it was a movie, a story, fiction, actors ● People realize that film is an amazing tool of propaganda ● By 1915, we have a clear storyline, we have developed narrative, developed technology (couldn’t be shot in a day), powerful impact on culture Sergei Eisenstein: Potemkin, 1925 ● Different camera movements to create different feelings ○ (The Untouchables, 1987) ● Famous for stair battle scene that is mirrored by The Untouchables ● Members of the crowd become individual characters ● We see the fate of these individuals played out ○ Characters ● We learn about culture from this film Charlie Chaplin: Modern Times, 1931 ● Entertainment ● Prolific Silent Film actor, writer, director ● Pioneered the idea of “doing it all on your own” ● Uses the movies f
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