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Viewing entries from category: Film History

International Film Styles: Neorealism »

James Clarke | Friday September 04, 2015

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Censorship & Regulation, Copyright & Licensing, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Kes, World Cinema, Rome, Open City, Genres & Case Studies, Neorealism, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

Across the varied and diverse ways in which a film text can encode and emphasise meanings and a specific viewpoint on or presentation of a subject, realism is a key aesthetic and formal choice and approach that has functioned as a key creative direction of so much western expression across literature and the visual arts. This resource, then, explores the characteristics of a particular film style that we call neorealism. It stems from post World War Two Italian cinema and its influence has been felt in cinemas around the world.

In exploring two films as our key texts in...

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Popular Film & Emotional Response: All That Heaven Allows & Far From Heaven »

Rob Miller | Wednesday July 01, 2015

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section B: Spectatorship Topics, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Films & Case Studies, Directors, Douglas Sirk, Todd Haynes, Hollywood Films, All That Heaven Allows, Far From Heaven, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience

An Analysis of Two Close Study Films

This resource analyses two close study films All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Far From Heaven (2002) in relation to the FM4 Spectatorship topic, Popular Film and Emotional Response while cross-referencing key points with Imitation of Life (1959). Todd Haynes’ 2002 American drama Far From Heaven makes clear intertextual references to Douglas Sirk’s 1955 and 1959 films All That Heaven Allows and Imitation of Life in terms of style and themes although arguably ‘paints’ using a broader, more contemporary ‘brush’ when...

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The Impact of World War Two on British Cinema »

James Clarke | Tuesday December 03, 2013

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR AS, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Censorship & Regulation, Copyright & Licensing, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, In Which We Serve, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Genres & Case Studies, Drama, Romance, War, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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World War Two impacted ferociously on Great Britain: cities were attacked by German bombers, air battles were fought and daily life was severely tested over the six years of conflict. It’s understandable though, if the war seems a long, long time ago to you. Cinema, however, offers us a meaningful way to reconnect with, and reflect on the event and to develop a sense of the relationship between World War Two and British cinema. Attendance at cinemas was acutely influenced by the war and, perhaps most interestingly, in terms of the kinds of film...

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Spectatorship and Early Cinema Before 1917 »

James Clarke | Saturday November 30, 2013

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section B: Spectatorship Topics, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Censorship & Regulation, Copyright & Licensing, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation, Theory, Spectatorship Theory

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Cinema is now nearly 120 years old and it’s a magnificently broad, deep, complex and exciting subject.

It’s understandably easy to think that the way films are now is how they have always been, in terms of their technology and particularly how they organize (tell) their stories. However, this isn’t the case and so it’s important for us to be aware that all forms of cultural expression evolve across time and that they are subject to many influences, intended or not. Understanding how cinema began might, in fact, give us some feeling for...

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Developments in 21st Century Cinema and Film (2000-Present) »

James Clarke | Wednesday November 27, 2013

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC A2, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Censorship & Regulation, Copyright & Licensing, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Avatar, World Cinema, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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Film is technology. It’s an obvious point, and an essential one.

Film established itself as a symbol of the modern, mechanical age of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and so it is particularly interesting to now witness how the medium is moving into the digital age. Indeed, we should perhaps talk not of new technology but of now technology because it is so quickly ever changing and evolving. In Western Europe we live in an increasingly digital and electronic age and since 2000 the film industry has witnessed the rapid impact of...

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Aspects of National Cinema: Japanese Cinema »

James Clarke | Monday November 25, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Grave of the Fireflies, Seven Samurai, Genres & Case Studies, Japanese, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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WJEC A2 Film Studies FM4 Section A World Cinema: Aspects of National Cinema

Japanese cinema can be understood as a major presence in the international film style context, not only in terms of its own achievement but also for the influence it has exerted on cinema far beyond its borders.  It’s a national cinema with a very specific set of concerns and stylistic traits and with a number of particular contexts that allow the film texts to be understood in all the more interesting ways. In saying that there is such a thing as international cinema,...

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Living with Crime »

James Clarke | Friday March 22, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, London to Brighton, Sweet Sixteen, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Crime, Independent, Social Realism, Thriller, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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Crime and cinema have a longstanding relationship.

Going right back to early cinema one of the landmark silent films was The Great Train Robbery (1903). There is a shot in that film which is overtly referenced as the last shot that we see in the American crime film GoodFellas (1990).

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However, whereas we might argue that the criminal life that’s represented in the Hollywood-produced GoodFellas is somewhat glamourised and told in an overtly artificial way (think of how music is used and, for example, the very...

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International Film Styles: French New Wave »

James Clarke | Thursday March 21, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, À Bout de Souffle, Les Quatre Cents Coups, Genres & Case Studies, French New Wave, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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In 1950, when he was only nineteen years old, Jean-Luc Godard, one day to become one the great filmmakers, wrote a piece for the French publication Gazette du Cinema called Towards A Political Cinema. Even at this young age, Godard was aware of cinema’s power to communicate ideas.

Jean-Luc Godard examines a strip of film

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Film history describes a wide range of film movements that have each had an often-short lifespan that’s been quite specific but the legacies of which have endured.

A movement in film, or indeed...

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International Film Styles: 1920s Soviet Cinema »

James Clarke | Friday March 08, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Battleship Potemkin, Man With A Movie Camera, Genres & Case Studies, Documentary, Realism, Social Realism, Soviet Montage

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Cinema is always evolving.

The constantly changing quality of film styles is exciting and since the beginnings of film history many nations around the world have developed their own distinct cinematic style and this continues today in the twenty-first century.

During the early part of the twentieth century one country that contributed very significantly to the development of early cinema, was Russia and now, in 2013, almost a century later, the particular film style that emerged from Russia continues to be an essential stylistic approach that...

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British Film Identity Study: Borders & Belonging »

James Clarke | Friday March 08, 2013

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, FM2, Section B: British Film Topics, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Film Industry, Film Distribution, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Dirty Pretty Things, Gypo, This is England, Genres & Case Studies, British Film, Social Realism

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Introduction

National identity and cinema are inextricably connected around the world. Within this national cinema dynamic is to be found the question of what it might mean to ‘be British’, or, more specifically, English. It’s a question that’s the basis of a longstanding narrative that relates powerfully to our filmic identity and, more immediately, our identity as an island nation, physically and culturally (and economically) separate to the mainland of Europe.

If you watch, read or listen to the news (itself a set of constructed...

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Social Realism Case Study »

Rob Miller | Monday December 10, 2012

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR AS, Analysis, Film Analysis, Film History, Genres & Case Studies, Social Realism, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

Origins and Development

Social Realist films originate in the 1950s/1960s but drew in terms of their form and style from the British documentary tradition of the 1930s popularised by the GPO Film Unit (Nightmail) who ultimately became the Crown Film Unit at the start of WW2 (Fires Were Started, Britain Can Take It). In the 1960s social realist films became critically and commercially successful and benefitted from the fact that television was only a feature in some middle class households – people flocked to the cinema to see films like Billy Liar (1953), Cosh Boy (1953),...

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Mexican Cinema 1990 >> »

Viki Walden | Tuesday November 06, 2012

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC A2, FM4, Section A: World Cinema, Film History, Films & Case Studies, World Cinema, Cronos, Y Tu Mamá También, Genres & Case Studies, Mexican

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Background: The Beginnings

To fully comprehend any one period in a country’s cinema, there needs to be some contextualisation. Early Mexican filmmakers profited from the turbulent times the country faced at the turn of the century. The civil war was the subject of many silent films; several significant battles were documented on camera. As the country began to stabilize during the 1930s, filmmakers had a myriad of social issues to choose from as themes for their films. However, they preferred a detachment from reality and this tradition would continue.

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After the Second...

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Cinema in Context: Rise of the Blockbuster, Format Wars & Multiplexes (1972-84) »

Nicole Ponsford | Tuesday September 04, 2012

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, Film History, Cinema in Context, Hot Entries

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The 1970s and 1980s saw a change in film; how we consumed it and how it consumed us. It is no surprise that an actor became the fortieth President of the United States in the early eighties (1981-89). Blockbusters, which were initially screened in the 1970s, over forty years ago, are still known (and loved) today all around the world.

Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), The Exorcist (1973), and (1975) Bruce Lee films like Enter the Dragon are just a few examples. A combination of factors including technological advances in sound and home recording, the emergence of the...

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Cinema in Context: Early Cinema (1895-1915) »

Nicole Ponsford | Monday September 03, 2012

Categories: A Level, WJEC A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC A2, Film History, Cinema in Context, Hot Entries

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Where does cinema come from? What drives it? Truth, escapism, verisimilitude, ideas? Today we are aware of red carpets, box office figures and event-movies. Innovation and passion bring the ideas through images and audio. If we go back to the start of film, we see that it was this passion and innovation that led to the new (silent) art form.

1888 | The Birth of the Movie Camera and Projector

It starts with the movie camera. The first patented moving image camera was designed by Louis Le Prince in 1888, using paper bands and celluloid film.However the first known one that...

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