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70 Terms


  • optical toy created by William George Horner

  • early motion picture projector that produced illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of drawings or photographs

The Lumiere Brothers

  • invented the Cinematographe

  • created "Arrival of a Train at the Station"

  • shocked audiences because it looked like the train was going to come out of the screen

George Melies

  • one of the first fictional narratives

  • inventor of special effects in movies

  • created "The Man with the Rubber Head" and "A Trip to the Moon"

Cinema of Attractions

  • 1895-1906

  • emphasis on performative spectacle

  • aim is to show and exhibit

  • direct stimulation

  • incite visual curiosity

Classical Hollywood Cinema

  • 1907-present

  • emphasis on construction of a story; to narrate

  • creation of digests

  • encourage voyeurism

  • action for the sake of narrative continuity

shot / counter shot

  • sometimes referred to as shot / reverse shot

  • prime example in the film Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street

  • when a filmmaker places a camera on a subject (usually a person looking at something) and then shows the reverse view of that subject (usually what the subject was looking at)

long take

  • used in film without any cuts or reverse shots

  • the camera remains stationary and follows the characters continuously without any editing or interruptions

  • example: Godard's "Breathless"

Edwin Porter

  • worked as a Vitascope projectionist which led him to the practice of continuity editing

  • pioneered crosscutting/intercutting across simultaneous actions in different spots

  • created "Life of an American Fireman", "The Great Train Robbery", and "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest"


the first true motion picture camera


  • a Greek term

  • literally means the fictional world of the film

  • may be a world that resembles ours

  • outer space environment in Star Wars, Middle Earth from LOTR

Tom Gunning "Cinema of Attractions"

  • defined attractions as "directly soliciting spectator attention, inciting visual curiosity, and supplying pleasure through an exciting spectacle"

D. W. Griffith

  • established the narrative language of cinema through a combination of his own analogies with those of others (modeled the narrative we call "film")

  • directed for Biograph films and innovated alternate shots of different spectacle lengths

  • begins to use close ups and more cuts in "The Greaser's Gauntlet"

  • Directed "The Lonely Villa", "Corner Wheat", "The Birth of a Nation", and "Way Down East"

  • had a role in Edwin Porter's "Rescued from an Eagle's Nest"

interframe Narrative

  • meaning is created within the shot

  • multiple camera setups within the use of close ups, full shots, long shots, cross cuts, POVs, etc

  • ex: "Way Down East", main character looks up and sees a beautiful chandelier. she is in awe because she comes from a low income background and has never seen anything like it

intraframe narrative

  • meaning is created within the shot

  • dramatic lighting and use of probs, costumes, makeup, performance, screen space

  • long takes with camera movement and angle

Buster Keaton

  • American film director and comedian during silent film

  • known for his deadpan expression and elaborate visual comedy

  • "Our Hospitality", "Cops", and "The General"

Thomas Ince

  • worked with Griffith

  • introduced the continuity script to the filmmaking process

  • pioneered the studio system of production

Charlie Chaplin

  • transformed cinema from a novelty into a living art form

  • films addressed the real issues with dimensional characters

"Our Hospitality" dir. Buster Keaton and John Blystone, 1923

  • silent comedy that used a specific narrative style which ranged from broad to subtle

  • tells the story of a Southern family feud between the Canfields and McKays

French Film d'art Movement

  • brought great stage plays and artists o the movie screen

  • stunted advances in narrative techniques


  • main German production company during 1920s

  • became the core of the Nazi film industry

  • became largest studio in the world behind Hollywood

German Expressionism

  • artistic movement that seeks to express that artist's emotional state while offering a depiction of reality that is widely distorted for emotional effect

  • utilizes highly stylized decor and lighting

Fritz Lang

  • made films that were often Expressionist in theme

  • used lighting to emphasize architectural space and line

  • director of "Metropolis"

Karl Freund

  • cinematographer of many silent German classics

  • emigrated to Hollywood and was D. P. for "Dracula"

  • developed the 3 camera setup for "I Love Lucy"


  • German films from the 1920s that offered an intimate, cinematic portrait of lower - middle class life

Alfred Hugenberg

  • bought out UFA and forced the studio to push his extreme beliefs

  • began producing newsreels containing Nazi propaganda and films pushing German Nationalism

chiaroscuro lighting

  • technique of arranging light and dark elements in pictorial composition

unchained camera

  • continuous camera movement

subjective camera

  • POV of the character allowing us into their emotional state

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" dr Robert Wiene, 1920

  • the first and most influential German Expressionist Film

  • critical to the weakness of the new German Government

Moscow Film School

  • created by the Cinema Committee (aka VGIK)

  • Kuleshov studied editing and helped establish it as the first film school

Dziga Vertov

  • co founder of Soviet cinema and newsreel editor

  • experimented with more expressive editing


  • young group of documentary filmmakers founded by Vertov

  • influential on Soviet montage editing

  • their filmmaking doctrine was kino-gaze (cinema eye)

"Man with a Movie Camera" 1929

  • Vertov's masterpiece showing Moscow life

  • used techniques such as trick photography, multiple exposure, candid camera, and montage

Kuleshov Workshop

  • focused on editing

  • goal was to discover the laws by which film communicates meaning to the audience

  • discovered "Kuleshov effect" - a blank face interchanged with different pictures can change emotion

Soviet Montage

  • cutting film as an expressive or symbolic process by where logically or empirically dissimilar images can be linked together synthetically to produce metaphors

Sergei Eisenstein

  • student of Kuleshov

  • filmmaker and film theorist

  • directed "Battleship Potemkin"

  • main focus was "attraction"

Montage of Attractions

  • structuring films around "attractions" to implant emotions and ideas in working class viewers

  • "units of impression combined into one whole" that could be used to produce "a new level of tension"

dialectical montage (theory)

  • human experience is a personal conflict where one force (thesis) collides with another force (antithesis) to produce a new phenomenon (synthesis)

5 types of montage

  • metric

  • rhythmic

  • tonal

  • overtonal / associational

  • intellectual

"Battleship Potemkin" dir Sergei Eisenstein

  • one of the most important and influential films in the history of cinema

  • chronicles the revolt of Potemkin during the failed Bolshevik revolution

  • famed Odessa step massacre: one of the most influential in the history of cinema

  • Eisenstein uses emphasis on montage (rhythmic) along with stress of intellectual contact

Thomas Edison

  • invented Phonograph

  • his Cinephongraph and Kinetophone did achieve sound on disc synchronization

Eugene Augustin Lauste

  • first achieved adding sound directly onto the filmstrip (1910)

  • converted sound into light beams to be recorded on the film strip photographically


  • system invented by 3 Germans that converted sound waves into light waves

  • recorded photographically on film strip

The Audin

  • vacuum tube invented by Lee de Forest that allowed for amplification of radio signals and later for the amplification of sound in movie theaters


  • sound-on-disc system developed by the Western Electric and Bell Telephone laboratories (under AT&T)

"The Jazz Singer"

  • first feature length film with running dialogue

  • end of silent film era

Fox Movietone

  • sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures which guarantees synchronization between the sound and picture


  • nickname for early sound films due to their inclusion of dialogue

The "Big Five"

  • Mero-Goldwyn-Mayer

  • Warner Bros

  • Paramount

  • Fox

  • RKO