Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Critical Studies Lecture - The History of Film

DATE: 22/05/13

The history of film:
New Zealands oldest surviving film is The Departure of the 2nd Contingent to the Boer War. (which isn't available on Youtube but is essentially a small clip of horses going through past the camera.
It has been painstakingly restored over hundreds of hours. [1]
The Lumiere Brothers:
The makers of the earliest films to be projected for a live audience. Given that these films were called actualities. Since the titles were very literally “workers leaving the factory” it can be said that these short movies are the first documentaries. [2]
Of note is the one of the train coming into the station that had people rushing out of their seats in terror and leading to the posting of a sign assuring people that the train wasn't real.
Editing transforms a story. Sometimes this ability can be abused and you get films that are heavily skewed to one point of view [3].
At other times however:
You can't look away

The cost of equipment means that filmakers are forced to be innovators of technology [4]
Neuremburg Rally – Nazi Propaganda film which extolls the glorious virtures of the Nazis [5]. It's worth referencing the German news reels shown towards the end of the war in which they, understandably, removed the fact that the allies were actually winning and led to statements like “We had a brilliant action in which we allowed the Americans to think that they had captured the town of Generic-german-name-von-burg which is all part of a cunning plan that will lull them into a false sense of security and allow us to beat them up when our reinforcements arrive” [6]
  1. Which means I'm not going to make fun of it because rule 1 is that you don't make fun of the guys with heavy artillery.
  2. The first porn film I hear you ask? It's “After the Ball” which was released in 1897
  3. and yet still have their fans claiming that it's totally objective
  4. This isn't suprising as this sort of thing happens in every field sooner or later. But since we're talking about kiwi filmakers I'm going to go ahead and claim that we invented everything! You must agree with this if you want to see another Hobbit film.
  5. Those wacky Germans!
  6. Not an actual quote

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