cinematography

Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywod Director John Ford

Plumbing the Nature of American Myth-Making – Hollywod Director John Ford

On February 1, 1894, American film director John Ford was born. John Ford is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Until today his four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record. “I don’t give ’em a lot of film to…
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Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

Ernst Lubitsch and the ‘Lubitsch Touch’

On January 28, 1892, German American actor, screenwriter, producer and film director Ernst Lubitsch was born. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood‘s most elegant and sophisticated director. Early German Years Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin and was apprenticed as a merchant. However, the son of a fashion designer and tailor quickly became the student of Max Reinhardt. Reinhardt was back then an important an influential person…
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Sergei Eisenstein and the Art of Montage

Sergei Eisenstein and the Art of Montage

On January 22, 1898, Soviet film director and film theorist Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein was born. Eisenstein is considered a pioneer in the theory and practice of montage. He is noted in particular for his silent films Strike (1925), Battleship Potemkin (1925) and October (1928), as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1958). “American capitalism finds its sharpest and most expressive reflection in the American cinema.”…
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Federico Fellini – Realist of the Fantastic

Federico Fellini – Realist of the Fantastic

On January 20, 1920, Italian film director and screenwriter Federico Fellini was born. Known for his distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images with earthiness, he is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. “All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini, in The Atlantic (December 1965) Early Years Federico Fellini was the first of three children to be born…
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Metropolis – A Cinematic Vision of Technology and Fear

Metropolis – A Cinematic Vision of Technology and Fear

On January 10 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction film Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang  premiered in Berlin. Metropolis is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature length movie of the genre and one of the most expensive movies of its time. The First SciFi Blockbuster If you like science fiction movies and you don’t know Metropolis, you have missed the very first blockbuster of this popular genre.…
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The Lumière Brothers invented the Cinema

The Lumière Brothers invented the Cinema

On December 28, 1895, the Lumière Brothers performed 10 movies for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines, marking the debut of the cinema. Family Background and Family Business Louis and Auguste Lumière’s father Claude Antoine Lumière (1840-1911) learnt the profession of a type painter from the painter Auguste Constantin. 1860 he went into business for himself in Besançon. Soon he was attracted by the spreading new technology…
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The Great Train Robbery and the Birth of the Western Movie

The Great Train Robbery and the Birth of the Western Movie

On December 1, 1903, the very first Western movie ‘The Great Train Robbery‘ premiered, directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman.[5] Although only 12 minutes long, it is considered a milestone in film making, expanding on Porter’s previous work ‘Life of an American Fireman’. Actually, it also was the first narrative movie, one that told a story. In this film, a number of by the time rather innovative techniques…
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Dialogues Are Overestimated – The Great Film Maker Jacques Tati

Dialogues Are Overestimated – The Great Film Maker Jacques Tati

On October 9, 1908 Jacques Tatischeff, better known as cinematographer, actor, and comedian Jacques Tati was born as the son of Russian father Georges-Emmanuel Tatischeff,  director of Cadres Van Hoof, a prestigious picture framing company, and Dutch mother Marcelle Claire Van Hoof, in the little French village Le Pecq, Yvelines. Family and Early Life Jacques Tatischeff seems to have been a mediocre student. However, he was quite sporty, played tennis and liked horseback riding. In…
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More than a Bushy-Browed, Cigar Smoking Wisecracker –  Groucho Marx

More than a Bushy-Browed, Cigar Smoking Wisecracker – Groucho Marx

On October 2, 1890, Julius Henry Marx, better known as Groucho Marx from the famous comedians, the ‘Marx Brothers‘ was born in New York City. The bushy-browed, cigar-smoking wisecracker with the painted on mustache (later on with a real mustache) and stooped walk was the leader of ‘The Marx Brothers‘. With one-liners that were many times full of sexual innuendo, Groucho never used profanity in any of his performances and said he never…
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Erich von Stroheim – Always a man of his own Invention

Erich von Stroheim – Always a man of his own Invention

On September 22, 1885, Austrian-American director, actor and producer Erich von Stroheim was born. He is most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris’s McTeague entitled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers’ rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a…
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