UFA GmbH is a German film and television production company that unites all production activities of Bertelsmann in Germany. Its history comes from Universum Film AG, a major German film company headquartered in Babelsberg and distributing motion pictures from 1917 through to the end of the Nazi era; the name UFA was revived for an otherwise new television outfit. The former UFA was established as Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft on December 18, 1917, as a direct response to foreign competition in film and propaganda. UFA was founded by a consortium headed by a former Deutsche Bank board member. In 1925, financial pressures compelled UFA to enter into distribution agreements with American studios Paramount and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to form Parufamet. UFA's weekly newsreels continued to contain reference to the Paramount deal until 1940, at which point Die Deutsche Wochenschau was consolidated and used as an instrument of Nazi propaganda. In March 1927, Alfred Hugenberg, an influential German media entrepreneur and Minister of the Economy and Nutrition in Hitler's cabinet, purchased UFA and transferred it to the Nazi Party in 1933.
In 1942, as a result of the Nazi policy of "forcible coordination" known as the Gleichschaltung, UFA and all of its competitors, including Tobis, Bavaria Film and Wien-Film, were bundled together with foreign film production companies Nazi-controlled to form the super-corporation UFA-Film GmbH, with headquarters in Berlin. After the Red Army occupied the UFA complex in 1945 in Babelsberg, after the privatization of Bavaria and UFA in 1956 in West-Germany, the company was restructured to form Universum Film AG and taken over by a consortium of banks. In 1964, Bertelsmann's Chief Representative, Manfred Köhnlechner, acquired the entire Universum Film AG from Deutsche Bank, the main UFA shareholder and which had determined the company's business policy as head of the shareholders' consortium. Köhnlechner bought UFA, in debt, on behalf of Reinhard Mohn for five million Deutschmarks. Only a few months Köhnlechner acquired the UFA-Filmtheaterkette, a movie theater chain, for eleven million Deutschmarks.
In 1997, UFA and the Luxembourgish rival CLT established the joint venture CLT-UFA, following the takeover of British rival Pearson TV, was restructered as RTL Group in 2000. Today, UFA GmbH works as a subsidiary of RTL Group's production division FremantleMedia, formed out of Pearson TV, is responsible for all production activities of Bertelsmann and FremantleMedia in Germany; until August 2013, eight subsidiaries operated under the UFA umbrella: UFA Fernsehproduktion, UFA Entertainment, Grundy UFA, Grundy Light Entertainment, UFA Cinema, Phoenix Film and UFA Brand Communication. In August 2013, UFA underwent an organizational restructuring that simplified the company down to three production divisions. Today, UFA Fiction, UFA Serial Drama and UFA Show & Factual are the three units responsible for production. In February 2019, Universum was sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. An early step towards the founding of UFA was taken on January 13, 1917 with the creation of the Bild- und Filmamt by Germany's Supreme Army Command.
Formed as a reaction to the perceived advantage of Germany's enemies in the realm of film propaganda, Bufa's task was to make use of film for the purposes of psychological warfare. However, the plans envisaged by the German General Staff – those of Erich Ludendorff – went far beyond the creation of Bufa. Ludendorff foresaw a large-scale, state-controlled film corporation that would serve national interests. In this spirit, Universum-Film AG was founded as a consolidation of private film companies on December 18, 1917 in Berlin; the company's starting capital amounted to 25 million Reichsmark: among the contributors were the German government, the War Ministry and Deutsche Bank. The Board Chairman of the new company was Deutsche Bank director Emil Georg von Stauß. Prior to establishing the company, the General Staff had considered taking over the Deutsche Lichtbild-Gesellschaft e. V., founded in 1916. This agency, was far too much under the influence of heavy industry and, in particular, of Alfred Hugenberg, chairman of Krupp.
Hugenberg would take over UFA in 1927. Three main film companies formed the nucleus of UFA from the end of 1917: Messter Film, owned by Oskar Messter, a dominant German producer PAGU formed by Paul Davidson in Frankfurt, with the Templehof Studios in Oberlandstraße in Berlin-Tempelhof and in Weissensee; the studios were owned by Continental-Kunstfilm, whose production had slowed since 1915 and didn't join UFA. Greenbaum-Film joined in 1919, but the deal was disastrous for Jules Greenbaum who died in a mental institution in 1924. Deutsche Bioscope.
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines; the idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or in large cities, a small orchestra—would play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from improvisation; the term silent film is a retronym—a term created to retroactively distinguish something. Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies," "sound films," or "talking pictures." Within a decade, the widespread production of silent films for popular entertainment had ceased, the industry had moved into the sound era, in which movies were accompanied by synchronized sound recordings of spoken dialogue and sound effects.
Most early motion pictures are considered lost because the nitrate film used in that era was unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video, it has been claimed that around 75 percent of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data. The earliest precursors to film began with image projection through the use of a device known as the magic lantern, which utilized a glass lens, a shutter, a persistent light source to project images from glass slides onto a wall; these slides were hand-painted, after the advent of photography in the 19th century, still photographs were sometimes used. Thus the invention of a practical photography apparatus preceded cinema by only fifty years; the next significant step toward the invention of cinema was the development of an understanding of image movement. Simulations of movement date as far back as to 1828—only four years after Paul Roget discovered the phenomenon he called "Persistence of Vision."
Roget showed that when a series of still images is shown at a considerable speed in front of a viewer's eye, the images merge into one registered image that appears to show movement. This is an optical illusion, since the image is not moving; this experience was further demonstrated through Roget's introduction of the thaumatrope, a device that spun at a high speed a disk with an image on its surface. The three features necessary for motion pictures to work were "a camera with sufficiently high shutter speed, a filmstrip capable of taking multiple exposures swiftly, means of projecting the developed images on a screen." The first projected proto-movie was made by Eadweard Muybridge between 1877 and 1880. Muybridge set up a row of cameras along a racetrack and timed image exposures to capture the many stages of a horse's gallop; the oldest surviving film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888. It was a two-second film of people walking in "Oakwood streets" garden, titled Roundhay Garden Scene.
The development of American inventor Thomas Edison's Kinetograph, a photographic device that captured sequential images, his Kinetoscope, a device for viewing those images, allowed for the creation and exhibition of short films. Edison made a business of selling Kinetograph and Kinetoscope equipment, which laid the foundation for widespread film production. Due to Edison's lack of securing an international patent on his film inventions, similar devices were "invented" around the world. In France, for example and Louis Lumière created the Cinématographe, which proved to be a more portable and practical device than both of Edison's as it combined a camera, film processor, projector in one unit. In contrast to Edison's "peepshow"-style kinetoscope, which only one person could watch through a viewer, the cinematograph allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple people, their first film, Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon, shot in 1894, is considered the first true motion picture. The invention of celluloid film, strong and flexible facilitated the making of motion pictures.
This film was 35 mm wide and was pulled using four sprocket holes, which became the industry standard. This doomed the cinematograph; the art of motion pictures grew into full maturity in the "silent era". The height of the silent era was a fruitful period, full of artistic innovation; the film movements of Classical Hollywood as well as French Impressionism, German Expressionism, Soviet Montage began in this period. Silent filmmakers pioneered the art form to the extent that every style and genre of film-making of the 20th and 21st centuries has its artistic roots in the silent era; the silent era was a pioneering one from a technical point of view. Three-point lighting, the close-up, long shot and continuity editing all became prevalent long before silent films were replaced by "talking pictures" or "talkies" in the late 1920s; some scholars claim that the artistic quality of cinema decreased for several years, during the early 1930s, until film directors and production staff adapted to the new "talkies" around the late 1930s.
Richard Alexander (actor)
Richard Alexander was an American film character actor. Born in Dallas, Alexander appeared in numerous film serials such as Flash Gordon, Zorro Rides Again and films like Babes in Toyland, The Gladiator, as well as a leading role in All Quiet on the Western Front. Richard Alexander died at age 86 in Los Angeles, California, he is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Richard Alexander on IMDb Richard Alexander at Find a Grave
Al Jolson was a Russian-born American singer and actor. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer", his performing style was brash and extroverted, he popularized many songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach." In the 1920s, Jolson was America's most highest-paid entertainer. Although best remembered today as the star of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, he starred in a series of successful musical films during the 1930s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with The Jolson Story, for which Larry Parks played Jolson, with the singer dubbing for Parks; the formula was repeated in Jolson Sings Again. In 1950, he again became the first star to entertain GIs on active service in the Korean War, performing 42 shows in 16 days, he died weeks after returning to the U. S. owing to the physical exertion of performing.
Defense Secretary George Marshall posthumously awarded him the Medal of Merit. According to music historian Larry Stempel, "No one had heard anything quite like it before on Broadway." Author Stephen Banfield wrote that Jolson's style was "arguably the single most important factor in defining the modern musical". Jolson has been dubbed "the king of blackface" performers, a theatrical convention since the mid-19th century. With his dynamic style of singing jazz and blues, he became successful by extracting traditionally African-American music and popularizing it for white American audiences who were otherwise not receptive to the originators. Despite his promotion and perpetuation of black stereotypes, his work was sometimes well-regarded by black publications and he has sometimes been credited for fighting against black discrimination on Broadway as early as 1911. In an essay written in the 21st century, Ted Gioia of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia remarked, "If blackface has its shameful poster boy, it is Al Jolson", showcasing Jolson's complex legacy in American society.
Al Jolson was born Asa Yoelson in the Jewish village of Srednike now known as Seredžius, near Kaunas in Lithuania part of the Russian Empire. He was the youngest child of Nechama "Naomi" and Moses Rubin Yoelson. Jolson did not know his date of birth, as birth records were not kept at that time in that region, he gave his birth year as 1885. In 1891, his father, qualified as a rabbi and cantor, moved to New York City to secure a better future for his family. By 1894, Moses Yoelson could afford to pay the fare to bring Nechama and their four children to the U. S. By the time they arrived—as steerage passengers on the SS Umbria arriving at the Port of New York on April 9, 1894—he had found work as a cantor at Talmud Torah Congregation in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood of Washington, D. C. where the family was reunited. Jolson's mother, died at 37 in early 1895, he was in a state of withdrawal for seven months, he spent time at the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a progressive reformatory/home for orphans run by the Xaverian Brothers in Baltimore.
After being introduced to show business in 1895 by Al Reeves and Hirsch became fascinated by it, by 1897 the brothers were singing for coins on local street corners, using the names "Al" and "Harry". They used the money to buy tickets to the National Theater, they spent most of their days working different jobs as a team. In the spring of 1902, Jolson accepted a job with Walter L. Main's circus. Although Main had hired him as an usher, Main was impressed by Jolson's singing voice and gave him a position as a singer during the circus's Indian Medicine Side Show segment. By the end of the year, the circus had folded and Jolson was again out of work. In May 1903, the head producer of the burlesque show Dainty Duchess Burlesquers agreed to give Jolson a part in one show, he performed "Be My Baby Bumble Bee", the producer agreed to keep him, but the show closed by the end of the year. He avoided financial troubles by forming a vaudeville partnership with his brother Hirsch, a vaudeville performer known as Harry Yoelson.
The brothers worked for the William Morris Agency. Jolson and Harry formed a team with Joe Palmer. During their time with Palmer, they were able to gain bookings in a nationwide tour. However, live performances were falling in popularity. While performing in a Brooklyn theater in 1904, Jolson began performing in blackface, which boosted his career, he began wearing blackface in all of his shows. In late 1905, Harry left the trio after an argument with Jolson. Harry had refused his request to take care of Joe Palmer, in a wheelchair. After Harry's departure and Palmer worked as a duo but were not successful. By 1906 they agreed to separate, Jolson was on his own, he became a regular at the Globe and Wigwam Theater in San Francisco and was successful nationwide as a vaudeville singer. He took up residence in San Francisco, saying the earthquake-devastated people needed someone to cheer them up. In 1908 Jolson, needing money for himself and his new wife, returned to New York. In 1909, his singing caught the attention of Lew Dockstader, the producer and star of Dockstader's Minstrels.
Jolson accepted Dockstader's offer and became a blackface perf
Mise-en-scène is an expression used to describe the design aspect of a theatre or film production, which means "visual theme" or "telling a story"—both in visually artful ways through storyboarding and stage design, in poetically artful ways through direction. It is commonly used to refer to single scenes within the film to represent the film. Mise-en-scène has been called film criticism's "grand undefined term"; when applied to the cinema, mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement—composition, props, actors and lighting. The "mise-en-scène", along with the cinematography and editing of a film, influence the verisimilitude or believability of a film in the eyes of its viewers; the various elements of design help express a film's vision by generating a sense of time and space, as well as setting a mood, sometimes suggesting a character's state of mind. "Mise-en-scène" includes the composition, which consists of the positioning and movement of actors, as well as objects, in the shot.
These are all the areas overseen by the director. One of the most important people that collaborates with the director is the production designer; these two work to perfect all of the aspects of the "mise-en-scène" a considerable amount of time before the actual photography begins. The production designer is responsible for the general look of the movie, leading various departments that are in charge of individual sets, locations and costumes, among other things. Andre Bazin, a well-known French film critic and film theorist, describes the mise-en-scene aesthetic as emphasizing choreographed movement within the scene rather than through editing; because of its relationship to shot blocking, mise-en-scène is a term sometimes used among professional screenwriters to indicate descriptive paragraphs between the dialog. Set design An important element of "putting in the scene" is set design—the setting of a scene and the objects visible in a scene. Set design can be used to amplify character emotion or the dominant mood, which has physical, psychological, emotional and cultural significance in film.
One of the most important decisions made by the production designer and director is deciding whether to shoot on location or on set. The main distinction between the two is that décor and props must be taken into consideration when shooting on set. However, shooting on set is more done than shooting on location as a result of it proving to be more cost effective. Lighting The intensity and quality of lighting can influence an audience's understanding of characters, actions and mood. Light can emphasize texture, distance, time of day or night, glamour. Highlights, for example, call attention to shapes and textures, while shadows conceal things, creating a sense of mystery or fear. For this reason, lighting must be planned in advance to ensure its desired effect on an audience. Cinematographers are a large part of this process, as they coordinate the lighting. Space The representation of space affects the reading of a film. Depth, proximity and proportions of the places and objects in a film can be manipulated through camera placement and lenses, set design determining mood or relationships between elements in the story world.
Composition The organization of objects and space within the frame. One of the most important concepts with the regard to the composition of a film is maintaining a balance of symmetry; this refers to having an equal distribution of light and objects and/or figures in a shot. Unbalanced composition can be used to emphasize certain elements of a film that the director wishes to be given particular attention to; this tool works because audiences are more inclined to pay attention to something off balance, as it may seem abnormal. Where the director places a character can vary depending on the importance of the role. Costume Costume refers to the clothes that characters wear. Using certain colors or designs, costumes in narrative cinema are used to signify characters or to make clear distinctions between characters. Makeup and hair styles Establish time period, reveal character traits and signal changes in character. Acting There is enormous cultural variation in performance styles in the cinema. In the early years of cinema, stage acting and film acting were difficult to differentiate, as most film actors had been stage actors and therefore knew no other method of acting.
Early melodramatic styles indebted to the 19th century theater, gave way in Western cinema to a naturalistic style. This more naturalistic style of acting is influenced by Konstantin Stanislavski's theory of method acting, which involves the actor immersing themselves in their character. Filmstock The choice of black and white or color, fine-grain or grainy. Aspect ratio The relation of the width of the rectangular image to its height; each aspect ratio yields a different way of looking at the world and is basic to the expressive meaning of the film. Filmmaking technique of Luis Buñuel Barsam, Richard Meran. and Dave Monahan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010 Pramaggiore and Tom Wallis. Film: A Critical Introduction. Boston: Laurence King, 2005. Connell, Joanne. "Film tourism – Evolution and prospects." Tourism Management, 33, pp. 1007–1029 Bordwell and Kristin
George Irving (American actor)
George Henry Irving was an American film actor and director. George Irving started his prolific career as a theatre actor, notably on Broadway in the 1900s, he came to Hollywood in 1914 and acted in over 250 films from 1914 until 1948. Irving was an actor-director and directed about 35 silent films, which are forgotten today, he switched to acting in the mid-1920s and became a character actor until the 1940s. Irving played reputable and stern persons of authority in supporting roles, he is best known for his roles as Robert Wentworth in Coquette, as the lawyer Alexander Peabody in Bringing Up Baby. He ended his prolific career with two television roles in the 1950s. George Irving and his wife, Katherine Gilman, had two daughters and Dorothy, he died from a heart attack in Hollywood in 1961, aged 86. George Irving on IMDb George Irving at Find a Grave
Underworld (1927 film)
Underworld is a 1927 American silent crime film directed by Josef von Sternberg. The film launched Sternberg's eight-year collaboration with Paramount Pictures, with whom he would produce his seven films with actress Marlene Dietrich. Journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht won an Academy Award for Best Original Story. Boisterous gangster kingpin'Bull' Weed rehabilitates the down-and-out'Rolls Royce' Wensel, a former lawyer who has fallen into alcoholism; the two become confidants, with Rolls Royce's intelligence aiding Weed's schemes, but complications arise when Rolls Royce falls for Weed's girlfriend'Feathers' McCoy. Adding to Weed's troubles are attempts by a rival gangster,'Buck' Mulligan, to muscle in on his territory, their antagonism climaxes with Weed killing Mulligan and he is imprisoned, awaiting a death sentence. Rolls Royce devises an escape plan, but he and Feathers face a dilemma, wondering if they should elope together and leave Bull Weed to his fate. Clive Brook as "Rolls Royce" Wensel George Bancroft as "Bull" Weed Evelyn Brent as "Feathers" McCoy Fred Kohler as "Buck" Mulligan Helen Lynch as Meg, Mulligan's girl Larry Semon as "Slippy" Lewis Jerry Mandy as Paloma Alfred Allen as Judge Shep Houghton as Street Kid Andy MacLennan as One of Laughing Faces at the Ball Ida May as Laughing Woman at the Ball Karl Morse as'High Collar' Sam Julian Rivero as One of Buck's Henchmen Josef von Sternberg's brief tenure as director at M-G-M was terminated by mutual consent in 1925 shortly after he walked off the set of a Mae Murray vehicle The Masked Bride.
The film was completed by director Christy CabanneStenberg's next project was an assignment by Charlie Chaplin to write and direct A Woman of the Sea starring Edna Purviance. This episode ended badly: the film was never released and Chaplin felt compelled to destroy all film negatives; as Sternberg sardonically quipped in his 1965 memoir Fun in a Chinese Laundry, "It was's last film and nearly my own." Sternberg accepted a contract offer from Paramount Pictures in 1926, with the humbling condition that he was demoted to the role of assistant director. He was assigned to reshoot portions of director Frank Lloyd's Children of Divorce, his work was so outstanding. The result was his most famous film to date of his career -Underworld; the film would "establish Sternberg in the Hollywood system." Underworld is based on a story by Ben Hecht, a former Chicago crime reporter, adapted for screenplay by Robert N. Lee with titles by George Marion Jr.. It was produced by B. P. Schulberg and Hector Turnbull with cinematography by Bert Glennon and edited by E. Lloyd Sheldon.
Sternberg completed Underworld in a record-setting five weeks. The gangster role played by George Bancroft was modeled on "Terrible" Tommy O'Connor, an Irish-American mobster who gunned down Chicago Police Chief Padraig O'Neil in 1923 but escaped three days before execution and was never apprehended. Paramount Pictures cool towards the production, predicted the film would fail. Initial release was limited to the New York Paramount; the studio did not provide advance publicity. Writer Ben Hecht requested to have his name taken off the credits, due to the dismal prospects for the film. Contrary to studio expectations, the public response to the New York screening was so positive that Paramount arranged for round-the-clock showings at the Paramount Theatre to "accommodate the unexpected crowds that flocked to the attraction." Time felt the film was realistic in some parts, but disliked the Hollywood cliché of turning an evil character's heart to gold at the end. Underworld was well-received overseas in France, where directors Julien Duvivier and Marcel Carné were impressed with Sternberg's "clinical and spartan" film technique.
Filmmaker and surrealist, Luis Buñuel named Underworld as his all time favorite film. Paramount, overjoyed at the film's "critical and commercial success" bestowed a gold medal and a $10,000 bonus on Sternberg. Ben Hecht won the Academy Award for Writing in the 1st Academy Awards ceremony in 1929 for his work on this film. In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated this film for its Top 10 Gangster Films list. Sternberg has been credited with "launching the gangster film genre." Critic Andrew Sarris cautions that Underworld is "less a proto-gangster film than a pre-gangster film" in which the criminal world of the Prohibition Era provides a backdrop for a tragic tale of a "Byronic hero" destroyed, not by "the avenging forces of law and order" but by the eternal vicissitudes of "love and falsehood."Journalist Ben Hecht's influence appears in the phony flower shop operation and killing of "Bull" Weed's archenemy, "florist" Buck Mulligan, evoking the 1922 real-life murder of kingpin Dion O'Bannon by the Tony Torrios mob.
Funeral hearses abound in the film, notorious as capacious conveyances used to conceal criminal activities and personnel in Chicago. Despite these contemporary references, Underworld does not qualify as "the first gangster film" as Sternberg "showed little interest in the purely gangsterish aspects of the genre" nor the "mechanics of power." Rather than invoking contemporary social forces and inequities, Sternberg's "Bull" Weed is subject to "implacable Fate", much as the heroes of classical antiquity. The female companions to the outlaws are less gangster molls, addicted to violent men, but protagonists in their own right, who induce "revenge and redemption." The genre would only be properly established in such film classics as Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, High Sierra, White Heat, The Aspha