Charlie Keil, Ben Singer's American Cinema of the 1910s : Themes and Variations PDF

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By Charlie Keil, Ben Singer

It used to be in the course of the children that filmmaking really got here into its personal. significantly, the migration of studios to the West Coast tested a connection among moviemaking and the exoticism of Hollywood.

The essays in American Cinema of the 1910s discover the swift advancements of the last decade that all started with D. W. Griffith's unmatched one-reelers. by means of mid-decade, multi-reel characteristic motion pictures have been profoundly reshaping the and deluxe theaters have been equipped to draw the broadest attainable viewers. Stars like Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks turned very important and firms begun writing high-profile contracts to safe them. With the outbreak of global battle I, the political, financial, and commercial basis was once laid for American cinema's international dominance. through the tip of the last decade, filmmaking had turn into a real undefined, entire with vertical integration, effective specialization and standardization of practices, and self-regulatory agencies.

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Readers were encouraged to imagine the lives of those in “Filmland” as an enhanced version of reality, a parallel to the increased opulence on display in the films produced. The film industry coveted the female audience in particular, in part because women aided its campaign for respectability, but equally because they were a prime consumer group. And with women (and children) a central target of motion picture promotion, through newspapers and mass-circulation magazines, in addition to theater advertising and fan magazines, custodians of public mores continued to pay attention to the content of motion pictures and the conduct of those making them.

The special problem for reformers was that long working hours meant that young women were now going to the movies unchaperoned in the late evenings, too. 50 to $11 a week (with much of that given to parents), leaving the inexpensive movies one of the few entertainment options and the evenings almost the only time to go. The president of Chicago’s Juvenile Protective Association in reporting on this survey warned that in nickelodeons “the darkness afforded a cover for familiarity and sometimes even for immorality” (de Koven Bowen 56, 14).

Or, as it is commonly argued—probably correctly— films can (or cannot help but) reflect their cultural moment and influence spectators’ conceptions of the world, in a more implicit, non-intentionalist way by displaying contemporary customs, norms, manners, lifestyles, trends, fashions, behaviors, tacit assumptions, material environments, consumer ideals, and so on. It is unlikely that a director shooting a thrilling race-to-the-rescue chase between a locomotive and a roadster, incorporating telegraphs, cut phone lines, and so on, proceeded with any consciously formulated objective of reflecting “modernity” or the spatio-temporal transformations brought about by new technologies.

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American Cinema of the 1910s : Themes and Variations by Charlie Keil, Ben Singer


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