Feature film

A feature film, feature-length film, or theatrical film is a film with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program. The term feature film referred to the main, full-length film in a cinema program that included a short film and a newsreel; the notion of how long a feature film should be has varied according to place. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute and the British Film Institute, a feature film runs for more than 40 minutes, while the Screen Actors Guild asserts that a feature's running time is 75 minutes or longer. Most feature films are between 210 minutes long; the first narrative feature film was the 60-minute The Story of the Kelly Gang. The first -feature-length adaptation was Les Misérables. Other early feature films include The Inferno, Defence of Sevastopol, Quo Vadis?, Oliver Twist, Oliver Twist, Richard III, From the Manger to the Cross and Cleopatra. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute, the British Film Institute all define a feature as a film with a running time of 2,400 seconds or longer.

The Centre National de la Cinématographie in France defines it as a 35 mm film longer than 1,600 metres, 58 minutes and 29 seconds for sound films, the Screen Actors Guild gives a minimum running time of at least 75 minutes. The term feature film came into use to refer to the main film presented in a cinema and the one, promoted or advertised; the term was used to distinguish the longer film from the short films presented before the main film, such as newsreels, animated cartoons, live-action comedies, documentaries. There was no sudden increase in the running times of films to the present-day definitions of feature-length. Early features had been produced in the United States and France, but were released in individual scenes; this left exhibitors the option of playing them alone, to view an incomplete combination of some films, or to run them all together as a short film series. Early features were documentary-style films of noteworthy events; some of the earliest feature-length productions were films of boxing matches, such as The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight, Reproduction Of The Corbett-Jeffries Fight, The Jeffries-Sharkey Fight.

Some consider the 100-minute The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight to be the first documentary feature film, but it is more characterized as a sports program as it included the full unedited boxing match. In 1900, the documentary film In the Army was made, it was about the training techniques of the British soldier. Inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth ran for 35 minutes, "six times longer than any previous Australian film", has been called "possibly the first feature-length documentary made in Australia"; the American company S. Lubin released a Passion Play titled Lubin's Passion Play in January 1903 in 31 parts, totaling about 60 minutes; the French company Pathé Frères released a different Passion Play, The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ, in May 1903 in 32 parts running about 44 minutes. Defined by length, the first dramatic feature film was the Australian 60-minute film The Story of the Kelly Gang; the first European feature was the 90-minute film L'Enfant prodigue, although, an unmodified record of a stage play.

The first Russian feature was Defence of Sevastopol in 1911. Early Italian features were The Inferno, Quo Vadis?, The Last Days of Pompeii, Cabiria. The first UK features were the documentary With Our King and Queen Through India, filmed in Kinemacolor and Oliver Twist; the first American features were Oliver Twist, From the Manger to the Cross and Richard III. The latter starring actor Frederick Warde starred in some of these movie adaptations; the first Asian feature was Japan's The Life Story of Tasuke Shiobara, the first Indian feature was Raja Harishchandra, the first South American feature was Brazil's O Crime dos Banhados, the first African feature was South Africa's Die Voortrekkers. 1913 saw China's first feature film, Zhang Shichuan's Nan Fu Nan Qi. By 1915 over 600 feature films were produced annually in the United States, it is incorrectly cited that The Birth of a Nation was the first American feature film. The most prolific year of U. S. feature production was 1921, with 682 releases.

Between 1922 and 1970, the U. S. and Japan alternated as leaders in the quantity of feature film production. Since 1971, the country with the highest feature output has been India, which produces a thousand films in more than twelve Indian languages each year. In 1927, Warner Bros. released the first feature-length film with sound, The Jazz Singer, whose audio track was recorded with a proprietary technology called Vitaphone. The film's success persuaded other studios to go to the considerable expense of adding microphones to their sets, scramble to start producing their own "talkies". One of the next major advancements made in movie production was color film. Before color was a possibility in movies, early film makers were interested in how co

Robert Kendall (poet)

Robert Kendall is an influential figure in the field of digital poetry. Canadian-born, he now lives in the United States, he has a master's degree in Musicology and has taught electronic poetry for the New School University's online course. In 1990, he used DOS to create two'kinetic poems', The Clue: a MiniMystery and It all Comes Down to ________. Kendall refers to these two early poems as "SoftPoems", in which words and phrases are animated to match movement with meaning, he worked with Visual Basic, using this Microsoft programming language to create a book-length hypertext poem, A Life Set for Two, in 1996. Kendall has created work for Flash and the Web. Kendall serves on the board of directors for the Electronic Literature Organization. Kendall, Robert. Logoza. Kendall, Robert. Candles for a Street Corner. A work of multimedia poetry. Kendall, Robert. Clues. A work of detective noir interactive poetry. Kendall, Robert. Faith. A work of kinetic concrete poetry. Kendall, Robert. A Study in Shades. A a two part poem about dealing with Alzheimer's disease.

Kendall, Robert. A Life Set for Two. Eastgate Systems, Inc. Kendall, Robert. A Wandering City. Issue 33 of CSU poetry series. Cleveland State University Poetry Center. ISBN 0-914946-86-2. Eastgate Systems Hypertext Kendall's homepage Robert Kendall feature article, The Cortland Review, Fall 2002. A Study in Shades, interactive poem on BBC Online

Chinese as a foreign language

Chinese as a foreign or second language is the study of the Chinese varieties by non-native speakers. Increased interest in China from those outside has led to a corresponding interest in the study of Standard Chinese as a foreign language, the official language of mainland China and Singapore. However, the teaching of Chinese both outside China is not a recent phenomenon. Westerners began learning different Chinese varieties in the 16th century. Within China, Mandarin became the official language in the early 20th century. Mandarin became the official language of Taiwan when the Kuomintang took over control from Japan after World War II. In 2010, 750,000 people took the Chinese Proficiency Test. For comparison, in 2005, 117,660 non-native speakers took the test, an increase of 26.52% from 2004. From 2000 to 2004, the number of students in England and Northern Ireland taking Advanced Level exams in Chinese increased by 57%. An independent school in the UK made Chinese one of their compulsory subjects for study in 2006.

The study of Chinese is rising in the United States. The USC U. S.-China Institute cited a report that 51,582 students were studying the language in US colleges and universities. While far behind the more than 800,000 students who study Spanish, the number is more than three times higher than in 1986; the Institute's report includes details on the popularity of other languages. As of 2008, China had helped 60,000 teachers promote its language internationally, an estimated 40 million people were studying Chinese as a second language around the world. Other than Standard Mandarin, Cantonese is widely taught as a foreign language, it is the official language of Hong Kong and Macau and has traditionally been the dominant language among most Overseas Chinese communities. A number of universities outside Hong Kong and Macau offer Cantonese within their Chinese-language departments as well in the UK and North America. Taiwanese Hokkien is taught at the International Chinese Language Program, Taipei Language Institute and other schools.

The interpretation of the Chinese language in the West began with some misunderstandings. Since the earliest appearance of Chinese characters in the West, the belief that written Chinese was ideographic prevailed; such a belief led to Athanasius Kircher's conjecture that Chinese characters were derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphs, China being a colony of Egypt. John Webb, the British architect, went a step further. In a Biblical vein similar to Kircher's, he tried to demonstrate that Chinese was the Primitive or Adamic language. In his An Historical Essay Endeavoring a Probability That the Language of the Empire of China Is the Primitive Language, he suggested that Chinese was the language spoken before the confusion of tongues. Inspired by these ideas and Bacon, among others, dreamt of inventing a characteristica universalis modelled on Chinese, thus wrote Bacon: it is the use of China and the kingdoms of the High Levant to write in Characters Real, which express neither letters nor words in gross, but Things or Notions...

Leibniz placed high hopes on the Chinese characters: I thought that someday one could accommodate these characters, if one were well informed of them, not just for representing the characters as they are ordinarily made, but both for calculating and aiding imagination and meditation in a way that would amazingly strike the spirit of these people and would give us a new means of teaching and mastering them. The serious study of the language in the West began with missionaries coming to China during the late 16th century. Among the first were the Italian Jesuits, Michele Ruggieri and Matteo Ricci, they mastered the language without the aid of any grammar books or dictionaries, are viewed as the first Western sinologists. Ruggieri set up a school in Macau, the first for teaching foreigners Chinese and translated part of the Great Learning into Latin; this was the first translation of a Confucian classic into any European language. He wrote a religious tract in Chinese, the first Chinese book written by a Westerner.

Matteo Ricci brought Western sciences to China, became a prolific Chinese writer. With his wide command of the language, Ricci impressed the Chinese literati and was accepted as one of them, much to the advantage of his missionary work. Several scientific works he authored or co-authored were collected in the Siku Quanshu, the imperial collection of Chinese classics; some of his religious works were listed in the collection's bibliography, but not collected. Ricci and Ruggieri, with the help of the Chinese Jesuit Lay Brother Sebastiano Fernandez, are thought to have created the first Portuguese-Chinese dictionary some time between 1583 and 1588. While travelling on the Grand Canal of China from Beijing to Linqing during the winter of 1598, with the help of Lazzaro Cattaneo and Sebastiano Fernandez compiled a Chinese-Portuguese dictionary. In this latter work, thanks to Cattaneo's musical ear, a system was introduced for marking the tones of romanized Chinese syllables with diacritical marks.

The distinction between aspirated and unaspirated consonants was made clear through the use of apostrophes, as in the much Wade-Giles system. Although neither of the two dictionaries were published—the former only came to light in the Vatican Secret Archives in 1934, saw publication in 2001, while the has not been found so far—Ricci made the transcription system developed in 1598, in 1626 it was published, with minor modifications, by another Jesuit Nicolas Trigault in a guide for new Jesuit missionaries; the system continued to be in wide use throughout the