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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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Laurence Olivier, photo by Carl Van Vechten
Richard III is a 1955 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's historical play Richard III. The film also contains elements of Shakespeare's Henry VI, part 3, it was directed by Laurence Olivier, who also played Richard. The cast includes many noted Shakespearean actors of the time, including a quartet of acting knights, the film depicts Richard plotting and conspiring to grasp the throne from his brother, King Edward, played by Cedric Hardwicke. In the process, many are killed and betrayed, with Richard's evil leading to his own downfall, the prologue of the film states that history without its legends would be "a dry matter indeed", thus the film admits that it is not portraying the actual events of the time, but rather the legend. Many critics now consider Olivier's Richard III his best screen version of Shakespeare, as well, the British Film Institute has called Olivier's rendition of the play "definitive" and that it has done more to popularise Shakespeare than any other single piece of work.

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Buffalo galloping
Credit: Eadweard Muybridge

American bison ("buffalo") galloping - set to motion using photos by Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge was an English-born photographer, known primarily for his early use of multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the celluloid film strip that is still used today.

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Austin Nichols (born April 24, 1980) is an American television and movie actor. Nichols has appeared in guest spots on television shows such as CSI, Six Feet Under, and Deadwood, his film roles include the 2004 blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, in which he was cast as an academic and romantic rival to Jake Gyllenhaal's protagonist. In Wimbledon, a film also released in 2004, Nichols played an arrogant American tennis pro, opposite Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany. Signed to a rare holding deal with HBO, he most recently starred in his own series, John from Cincinnati. Nichols is the son of a 10-time water skiing champion and was raised in Austin, Texas, he became a successful competitive water skier himself, until a shoulder injury forced him to retire. Shortly afterwards, Nichols moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in acting.

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Schwarzenegger in December 2008
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor who has appeared in multiple film roles. Schwarzenegger began his acting career primarily with small roles in film and television, for his first film role, he was credited as "Arnold Strong", but was credited with his birth name thereafter. Schwarzenegger has acted in over thirty films, and has also ventured into directing and producing. He has appeared mainly in sword-and-sorcery, action, and comedy films. Schwarzenegger has been a primary character in two film franchises: as Conan in the Conan series and as Terminator in the Terminator series. Other notable roles include Ben Richards in The Running Man, Douglas Quaid in Total Recall, and Harry Tasker in True Lies, although Schwarzenegger's acting career has been put on hold due to his position as Governor of California, he has made several cameos in various films. Upcoming cameos include the 2009 film Terminator Salvation and the 2010 film The Expendables. Schwarzenegger has received several awards and nominations for his work in films; in Stay Hungry, one of his first roles, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture. He has also been nominated for various awards for his work in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Junior, and True Lies. According to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracking website, films which Schwarzenegger has acted in have grossed a total of more than $1.6 billion domestically, with an average of $70 million per film.

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Robert Redford
Whereas money is a means to an end for a filmmaker, to the corporate mind money is the start. Right now, I think independent film is very confused, because there's excess pressure in the marketplace for entertainment to pay off. Entertainment has pervaded every system of information in our culture, and along with it comes the promise of money. So it's hard for artists not to keep half an eye on what works commercially as they go about realizing their visions, as a young filmmaker, you've got to deliver, and you've got to deliver fast these days; that wasn't the case twenty years ago.
Robert Redford, 1997

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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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