cinematography

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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The Great George Méliès and his Voyage to the Moon

The Great George Méliès and his Voyage to the Moon

On September 1, 1902, the French film pioneer George Méliès presented the very first science fiction movie to the stunning public of the Paris Olympia theater. George Méliès always had the desire to do something creative and innovative. As a young school boy, he could receive a formal education in private schools due to the wealth of his parents, who owned a boot factory. During his lessons, he attracted attention through his drawings…
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Robert Siodmak – Blending German Expressionism into American Film Noir

Robert Siodmak – Blending German Expressionism into American Film Noir

On August 8, 1900, German film director, writer, and producer Robert Siodmak was born. In 1929 he shot the film Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday), one of the most important representatives of New Objectivity. Like many filmmakers of his time, he fled from Germany before the National Socialist dictatorship. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for a series of stylish, unpretentious Hollywood films noirs he made in the 1940s,…
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Étienne-Jules Marey and the Chronophotographic Gun

Étienne-Jules Marey and the Chronophotographic Gun

On May 15, 1904, French scientist, physiologist and chronophotographer Étienne-Jules Marey passed away. Marey’s work was significant in the development of cardiology, physical instrumentation, aviation, cinematography and the science of laboratory photography. He is widely considered to be a pioneer of photography and an influential pioneer of the history of cinema. Étienne-Jules Marey was born on March 5, 1830 in Beaune, Côte-d’Or, France. He studied medicine in Paris, France starting from 1849. He…
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Snow White and the Seven Cel Animated Dwarfs

Snow White and the Seven Cel Animated Dwarfs

On February 4, 1938, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in the United States as the first full length feature film to use cel-animation. The Ancestor of Computer Animation Cel animation is a traditional animation technique and depicted the dominant animation method for many years until computer animation became common. It is considered very complex and time consuming, since every frame has to be drawn by hand. During this process, the…
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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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The Third Man – A Film Noir Masterpiece

The Third Man – A Film Noir Masterpiece

On September 2, 1949, The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton, was officially released. Based on a novel by Graham Greene, The Third Man has become an iconic masterpiece that has been voted as the greatest British film of all time by the British Film Institute in 1999. Set in the ruins of post war Vienna it plays with the damaged history of its protagonists, about…
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M – A City looks for a Murderer

M – A City looks for a Murderer

On May 11, 1931, German drama-thriller “M – A city looks for a murderer” directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre premiered in Berlin at the UFA-Palast am Zoo. Now considered a classic, the film was deemed by Fritz Lang to be his finest work. M was ranked at number thirty-three in Empire magazines’ “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema” in 2010. The film concerns both the actions of a…
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D. W. Giffith’s Birth of a Nation

D. W. Giffith’s Birth of a Nation

On February 8, 1915, American silent epic drama film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, was released. Griffith’s innovative techniques and storytelling power have made The Birth of a Nation one of the landmarks of film history. The film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era over the course of several years. “A film without a message is just a waste…
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Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of Widescreen Cinema

Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of 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. The basis for CinemaScope was probably formed by the French inventor Henri Chrétien who developed and patented a…
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