cinematography

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. Griffith was the son Jacob “Roaring Jake” Wark Griffith,…
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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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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 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. Rogers made his first appearance as Anthony Rogers in Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. The character was born in 1898 and…
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Doctor Who …

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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Godzilla!

Godzilla!

On November 3, 1954, the very first of a series of 28 Godzilla films premiered. The film focuses on Godzilla, a prehistoric monster resurrected by repeated nuclear tests in the Pacific, who ravages Japan and reignites the horrors of nuclear devastation to the very nation that experienced it first-hand. Since his debut, Godzilla has morphed into a worldwide cultural icon. Godzilla belongs to the most recognizable symbols of Japanese culture and is…
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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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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 Fauntleroy Duck was born on June 9, 1934 and soon became one of the…
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The Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

On May 4, 1927, the official Articles of Incorporation for the organization were filed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were filed, a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures with 36 founding members. The Academy is known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, now officially knyown as The Oscars. One day in 1927, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) head Louis B. Mayer got the…
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Eadweard Muybridge and the Photography of Motion

Eadweard Muybridge and the Photography of Motion

On April 9, 1830, English photographer Eadweard James Muybridge was born. Muybridge is best known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-motion photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography. Eadweard Muybridge was born as Edward Muggeridge in in Kingston upon Thames. He emigrated to the United States at…
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