Cinema

Article

October 20, 2021

Cinema (from the ancient Greek κίνημα, -τος "movement") is the set of arts, techniques and industrial and distributive activities that produce a film as a commercial result. In its broadest sense, cinematography is the set of films which, as a whole, represent an artistic expression that ranges from fantasy, to information, to the dissemination of knowledge. Cinematography is also defined as the seventh art, according to the definition coined by the critic Ricciotto Canudo in 1921, when he published the manifesto The birth of the seventh art, foreseeing that cinematography would synthesize the extension of space and the dimension of time. Since its origins, cinematography has embraced the vein of fiction, becoming the most widespread and followed form of storytelling.

History of cinema

The birth of cinema

The invention of film dates back to 1885 by George Eastman, while the first film shoot is believed to be Man Walking Around a Corner, a 3-second short film, made on August 18, 1887 by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince. Cinematography, understood as the theatrical projection of a printed film, in front of a paying public, was born on December 28, 1895, thanks to an invention of the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière, who showed for the first time, to the public of the Gran Café on the Boulevard de Capucines in Paris, a device patented by them, called cinématographe. This device was able to project on a white screen a sequence of distinct images, imprinted on a film printed with a photographic process, in order to create the effect of movement. Thomas Edison in 1889 created a film camera (called Kinetograph) and a vision machine (Kinetoscope): the first was intended to take a series of photographs in rapid succession on a 35 mm film; the second allowed only one spectator at a time to observe, through a viewer, the alternation of the images printed on the film. However, the Lumière brothers were responsible for the idea of ​​projecting the film, so as to allow a multitude of spectators to view the show. They did not understand the potential of this instrument as a means of making a show, considering it exclusively for documentary purposes, without diminishing its importance, they tried to sell their machines, limiting themselves to leasing them. This led to the birth of many imitations. In the same period, Edison (in the USA) began a bitter judicial battle to prevent the use, on American territory, of the French devices, claiming the exclusive right to use the invention. After around 500 court cases, the market will still be liberalized. In 1900 the Lumière brothers ceded the exploitation rights of their invention to Charles Pathé. The cinema thus immediately spread to Europe and then to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the cinema recorded some sensational successes with audiences: The Great Train Robbery (1903) by the American Edwin Porter depopulated throughout the United States, while the Journey to the Moon (1902) by the French Georges Méliès, father of fictional cinema, had a global success (including the first problems with piracy). The first purely "cinematographic" special effects were experimented, that is, the editing tricks (by Méliès, who made characters, objects and backgrounds appear and disappear), the superimpositions (by the directors of the Brighton school, taken from the photograph), the single shot (from the Spanish Segundo de Chomón, to animate simple objects), etc. The first rudimentary techniques of cinematographic language were also outlined: the subjective (George Albert Smith), linear editing (James Williamson), the connection on the axis, the camera movements.

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The art of cinema �

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