cinematography

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

On April 2, 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s seminal film “2001: A Space Odyssey” permiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. Thematically, the film deals with elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life. It is notable for its scientific accuracy, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue. Despite initially receiving mixed reactions from critics and audiences alike, today 2001: A…
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Walt Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ and the Rise of Mickey Mouse

Walt Disney’s ‘Steamboat Willie’ and the Rise of Mickey Mouse

On November 18, 1928, Walt Disney’s animated movie ‘Steamboat Willie‘ was released that presented his most famous character ‘Mickey Mouse‘ for the very first time in New York City. The film is also notable for being the first cartoon with synchronized sound. The movie was produced in black-and-white and debuts Mickey Mouse as well as his girlfriend Minnie. Even though it was the third of Mickey’s films to be produced, it was the first to be distributed.…
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The Art of Suspense – Alfred Hitchcock’s Cinema

The Art of Suspense – Alfred Hitchcock’s Cinema

On August 13, 1899, English film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock was born. Reknowned as England’s best director, he pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades and often is considered the most influential filmmaker of all time. Alfred Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone near London, the youngest son of the greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862-1914) and his wife Emma…
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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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The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

On April 14, 1894, chief engineer William K. L. Dickson in the team of Thomas Alva Edison, presents the newly invented Kinetoscope, an early motion picture exhibition device designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device. Ok, according to Edison, the cinema would never have become the silver screen you know, but would have remained a cheap fairground…
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America’s First Movie Studio – the Black Maria

America’s First Movie Studio – the Black Maria

On February 1, 1893, America’s First Movie Studio, Thomas Edison’s Black Maria was opened. The Black Maria movie production studio was located in West Orange, New Jersey. But, Black Maria did not produce for the big screen. It was still the times of the so-called kinetoscope, a one person viewing machine, where only one person was able to watch the movie through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device.[1] A…
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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. 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 and the artistic…
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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. If you like science fiction movies and you don’t know Metropolis, you have missed the very first blockbuster of this popular genre. Of course, it was…
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Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Expressionism in German Cinema

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Expressionism in German Cinema

On December 28, 1888, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was born. He was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s. Murnau‘s best known work was his 1922 film Nosferatu, an adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was actually born as Friedrich Wilhelm Pumpe. He grew up in a wealthy family and enrolled at…
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You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet – The Movies started Talking

You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet – The Movies started Talking

The first feature-length motion picture withsequences of synchronized speech:‘The Jazz Singer’ from 1927 On October 6, 1927, the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer premiered. With its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system it heralded the commercial ascendance of the “talkies” and the decline of the silent film era. We all know that it started with the silent films already at the end of the 19th century as a simple…
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