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Portal:Film

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The Film Portal

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Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.

Film is an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and in turn, affect them.

Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring, the viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to a combination of physiological and psychological effects. One is known as persistence of vision—whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers also perceive motion due to psychological effects called beta movement and the phi phenomenon.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture; picture show; photo-play; flick; and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen; the silver screen; the cinema; and the movies.

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Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 film noir containing elements of drama, horror, and black comedy. Directed and cowritten by Billy Wilder, it was named for the famous boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. William Holden plays down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe Gillis and Gloria Swanson is Norma Desmond, a faded movie star who entraps the unsuspecting Gillis into her fantasy world in which she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper portray themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film figures Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson. Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won three, it is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the most noteworthy films of American cinema. Deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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Filmstrip
Credit: Cinematographica

Filmstrip of one of the three Monkeyshines films produced by Thomas Edison's laboratory in 1889–90 for the early cylinder version of the Kinetoscope.

Did you know...

  • ...that the 1975 film Tubby the Tuba marked the first time that computers were used in the production of an animated feature?


Did you know?
  • ...that the title of the movie I Married a Communist was so unappealing to audiences that their response led the film to be re-released under the title The Woman on Pier 13?



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Sharon Tate was an American actress. During the 1960s she played small roles in television, before starting her film career, after receiving positive reviews as a light comedienne, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers. Tate's celebrity status and role as a style icon of the "Swinging Sixties" increased after fashion magazines began featuring her as a model and cover girl. Married to the film director Roman Polanski, Tate was eight months pregnant when she, along with four others, was murdered in her Benedict Canyon home by followers of Charles Manson, in a crime that shocked the nation. A decade after the murders, her mother Doris Tate, appalled at the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of them might be granted parole, joined a campaign to ensure they remained in prison. This was part of the catalyst which led to amendments to California law in 1982, which allowed crime victims and their families to make victim impact statements.

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Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, one of her two 1939 films for which she received an Academy Juvenile Award
Judy Garland received numerous awards and honors in the course of a career that spanned over 40 years. Garland won or was nominated for awards for her work in motion pictures, television, music recording and on stage, she was twice nominated for an Academy Award and was awarded a special Academy Juvenile Award in 1940. Garland won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a second, and she received a special Tony Award for her record-breaking concert run at New York's Palace Theatre. Garland won two Grammy Awards for her concert album Judy at Carnegie Hall. Garland has also received a number of posthumous awards and honors, she was the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. She has twice been honored on United States postage stamps and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the American Film Institute has repeatedly recognized her talent, placing Garland eighth on its list of the top 100 female stars of all time and placing five of her recordings in its list of the 100 best songs from films, including "Over the Rainbow" at number one.

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There’s so many things that go into making a film. The director, the actors that you're working with, the time that you have to rehearse, whether you catch up with a character in time. It’s pretty hard to tell which performer performed the best. Somebody may have started out with a piece of junk and brought it up past mediocrity until it was pretty damn good, and another guy starts off with a beautiful script and deliciously defined character and marvelous director, comfortable schedule and he’s got everything going for him. I would give the credit to the guy in front of him.

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Film

Terms - Animation • Beta movement • Camera • Cult film • Digital cinema • Documentary film • Dubbing • Experimental film • Fan film • Film crew • Film criticism • Film festival • Film frame • Film genre • Film journals and magazines • Film industry • Film manifesto • Film stock • Film theory • Filmmaking • History of film • Independent film • Lost film • Movie star • Narrative film • Open content film • Persistence of vision • Photographic film • Propaganda • Recording medium • Special effect • Subtitles • Sound stage • Web film • World cinema

Lists - List of basic film topics • List of film topics • List of films • List of film festivals • List of film formats • List of film series • List of film techniques • List of highest-grossing films • List of longest films by running time • List of songs based on a film or book • Lists of film source material • List of open content films

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