Articles on History of cinema

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Nate Parker, director of the recent revolutionary US film “Birth of a Nation”. Shutterstock

How to get the African films we all should see onto our screens

Racism is a charge that could be leveled at cinema from its very inception. There are some positive signs of change, but audiences have a role to play in making sure African films flourish.
The anti-communist pogrom in Indonesia 50 years ago not only destroyed human lives but also significant cultural works made by the country’s left-inspired artists. Molodec/www.shutterstock.com

Death of a film legacy: remembering Indonesia’s Bachtiar Siagian

Arguably Indonesia's most significant leftist film director and theorist, Bachtiar Siagian, was among the millions who fell prey to the communist purge carried out between 1965 and 1966.
In Cecil B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments, Charlton Heston’s Moses is presented straightforwardly as a man certain of his mission. Wikimedia Commons

Rebooting the history of the world

The term “reboot” means something particular in the movies. The metaphor is drawn from computers: a “reboot” restarts a machine whose software has malfunctioned. But in cinematic terms a reboot refers…
Movie theaters have seen declining box office revenues over the past two years. Michael Gabler/Wikimedia Commons

Event cinema could save the movie theater

If Dumber and Dumber To, Interstellar and Big Hero 6 didn’t get you to the movies last week, you weren’t alone: just before Thanksgiving, Box Office Mojo put year-to-date gross receipts at almost $9 billion…
Light levels in film have markedly declined from 1935. Mirjaleed Biteng

Explainer: film lighting

Lighting is a fundamental property of cinema. So called “writing in light”, photographed images, whether live-action or cell animation, need illumination. It is the most essential part of a cinematographer’s…
The hero’s journey in three stages - separation, initiation, return - offers a narrative framework for understanding character progression. Pineapples101

Are you monomythic? Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey

When you tell someone a story, do you plan it out beforehand so that it’ll sound good? Do you carefully plot what you’ll say, in a specific order? Or does the story find a way of telling itself, the plot…
Norman McLaren working on Begone Dull Care, 1949. National Film Board of Canada

Norman McLaren: a late, great animator now drawing applause

Animation is all around us – from Pixar to manga to animated gifs. As with any creative field, it has its unsung heroes – the innovators who have shaped and defined the art form. So it was a great delight…
In letting go, we have the chance to find ourselves. Warner Bros Pictures/AAP

Gravity lends weight to cinema – and always has

Cinema’s relationship to gravity is a fascinating one. At the time of its birth, in 1895, cinema was seen as a revolutionary machine that didn’t simply defy gravity through moving pictures seemingly suspended…

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