cinematography

Edward Teller and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove

Edward Teller and Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove

On January 15, 1908, Hungarian born US theoretical physicist Edward Teller, often referred to as ‘Father of the hydrogenic bomb‘, was born. Teller made numerous contributions to nuclear and molecular physics, and is considered one of the inspirations for the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 Stanley Kubrick movie of the same name. “There’s no system foolproof enough to defeat a sufficiently great fool.” — Edward Teller, As quoted in “Nuclear Reactions”, by…
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Dziga Vertov – The Man with the Camera

On January 2, 1898, Soviet pioneer documentary film and newsreel director, as well as a cinema theorist Dziga Vertov was born. He is considered one of the most important early directors of documentary films because of both his experimental work and his theoretical texts. Vertov was a brother of the later Hollywood cinematographer and Oscar winner Boris Kaufman and the cinematographer Mikhail Kaufman, with whom he collaborated, for example in his most…
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Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of CinemaScope Widescreen Cinema

Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of CinemaScope Widescreen Cinema

On September 16, 1953, American Biblical epic film The Robe premiered, the very first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope. Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien’s original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses. The film marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection. Henri Chrétien and Anamorphoscope The basis for CinemaScope was probably formed by the French inventor Henri Chrétien who…
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Akira Kurosawa and the Rashomon Effect

Akira Kurosawa and the Rashomon Effect

On August 25, 1950, Akira Kurosawa‘s film Rashomon premiered. Rashomon marked the entrance of Japanese film onto the world stage. It won several awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, and an Academy Honorary Award at the 24th Academy Awards in 1952, and is now considered one of the greatest films ever made. So, what is so special about this movie and what is the “Rashomon effect”?…
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Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age

Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age

On June 22, 1906, Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist Billy Wilder was born. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood‘s golden age. With The Apartment, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film. “An actor entering through the door, you’ve got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you’ve got a…
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The Adventures of Buck Rogers

The Adventures of Buck Rogers

On January 7, 1929, the first adventure of Buck Rogers appeared in a newspaper. Buck Rogers is a fictional space opera character who first appeared in a novella titled Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis Nowlan. The adventures of Buck Rogers in comic strips, movies, radio and television became an important part of American popular culture. “I, BUCK ROGERS, am the only man alive, so far as I know, whose normal span of…
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The Phenomenon of Doctor Who

The Phenomenon of Doctor Who

On November 23, 1963, the famous British science-fiction television program Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV. Just imagine, this was more than 50 years ago. Although, I personally learned about Doctor Who when I was already a grownup, I guess this character in the same way as Mr. Spock from the tv series Star Trek[1], might be responsible that many young people have chosen a career in science. In Germany, where I grew…
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The Most Famous Duck in the World

The Most Famous Duck in the World

On June 9, 1934, Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies cartoon The Wise Little Hen premiered, which featured the the debut of Donald Duck, dancing to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck, most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald is one of the most popular Disney characters. “Donald is a very outrageous fellow, with bad manners and a worse temper, and everyone…
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Orson Welles’ Disputed Masterpiece Citizen Kane

Orson Welles’ Disputed Masterpiece Citizen Kane

On May 1st, 1941, American actor, director, writer, and producer Orson Welles famous movie ‘Citizen Kane‘ premiered at RKO’s flagship theatre, Radio City Music Hall. The film was directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles. It was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories and won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Herman Mankiewicz and Welles. Citizen Kane often is considered by critics, filmmakers and fans to be the greatest film ever…
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Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

Charlie Chaplin – Master of Comedy and Beyond

On April 16, 1889, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was born. He rose to fame in the era of silent film and became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, The Tramp. Chaplin is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years and encompassed both adulation and controversy. “Wars, conflict, it’s all business. “One murder…
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