The History of Film Timeline All Eras of Film History Explained

Rather than having their reviews published in newspapers or appearing on television, their articles are published in scholarly journals or up-market magazines. They also tend to be affiliated with colleges or universities as professors or instructors. The documentary film also rose as a commercial genre for perhaps the first time, with the success of films such as March of the Penguins and Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. A new genre was created with Martin Kunert and Eric Manes’ Voices of Iraq, when 150 inexpensive DV cameras were distributed across Iraq, transforming ordinary people into collaborative filmmakers. The success of Gladiator led to a revival of interest in epic cinema, and Moulin Rouge! Home theatre systems became increasingly sophisticated, as did some of the special edition DVDs designed to be shown on them.

For many decades, tape was solely an analog medium onto which moving images could be either recorded or transferred. “Film” and “filming” refer to the photochemical medium that chemically records a visual image and the act of recording respectively. However, the act of shooting images with other visual media, such as with a digital camera, is still called “filming” and the resulting works often called “films” as interchangeable to “movies,” despite not being shot on film. “Silent films” need not be utterly silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, including those that have a musical accompaniment. The word, “Talkies,” refers to the earliest sound films created to have audible dialogue recorded for playback along with the film, regardless of a musical accompaniment.

  • An analogous optical soundtrack (a graphic recording of the spoken words, music and other sounds) runs along a portion of the film exclusively reserved for it, and was not projected.
  • Wartime film is important to explore because it teaches us about how people interpret propaganda.
  • A “crew” is usually interpreted as the people involved in a film’s physical construction outside cast participation, and it could include directors, film editors, photographers, grips, gaffers, set decorators, prop masters, and costume designers.
  • In Japanese cinema, Academy Award-winning director Akira Kurosawa produced Yojimbo (1961), which like his previous films also had a profound influence around the world.
  • We can thank the martial arts film, and Bruce’s Lee’s innovation of hiring actual martial artists, for these crowd-favorite fight scenes.

Muybridge’s pictures set the stage for all coming films; check out a short video on Muybridge and his work below. Through the camera obscura, we can trace the principles of filmmaking back thousands of years. But despite the technical achievement of the camera obscura, it took many of those years to develop the technology needed to capture moving images then later display them. The New Hollywood was the period following the decline of the studio system during the 1950s and 1960s and the end of the production code, (which was replaced in 1968 by the MPAA film rating system). During the 1970s, filmmakers increasingly depicted explicit sexual content and showed gunfight and battle scenes that included graphic images of bloody deaths – a notable example of this is Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left (1972). The fad for 3-D film would last for only two years, 1952–1954, and helped sell House of Wax and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

A film – also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, picture, photoplay or (slang) flick – is a work of visual art that simulates experiences and otherwise communicates ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound and, more rarely, other sensory stimulations.[1] The word “cinema”, short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and the art form that is the result of it. In order to understand the creation and context of each film genre, we must look at its popularity in the context of its place in history. While film noir combines German expressionist filming strategies with post World War II ideals; Western films focused on the ideal of the early 20th century. Films such as the musical were created as a form of entertainment during the Great Depression allowing its viewers an escape during tough times.


Examples are recordings of academic lectures and experiments, or a film based on a classic novel. Film may be propaganda, in whole or in part, such as the films made by Leni Riefenstahl in Nazi Germany, US war film trailers during World War II, or artistic films made under Stalin by Sergei Eisenstein. They may also be works of political protest, as in the films of Andrzej Wajda, or more subtly, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.

The name “film” originally referred to the thin layer of photochemical emulsion[2] on the celluloid strip that used to be the actual medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, as well as one of the most popular directors and producers in film history.[1] He is also one of the co-founders of Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Pictures, and DreamWorks Animation. Typically, there’s a natural disaster (or several), a looming astronomical threat, a rampaging monster, or a nuclear holocaust taking center stage.

A “film goer,” “movie goer,” or “film buff” is a person who likes or often attends films and movies, and any of these, though more often the latter, could also see oneself as a student to films and movies or the filmic process. In a career spanning more than five decades, Spielberg’s films have spanned many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood escapist filmmaking.[2] In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, the transatlantic slave trade, civil rights, war, and terrorism. The comedy genre has also been one of the most flexible, as its roots have made their way into the very fabric of cinema and its many other genres. The art of warming a heart and bringing a smile to a viewer’s face will never get old, nor should we consider it anything but truly powerful. You can read more about the evolution of the action genre, its many sub-genres and examples, and some tips for creating modern action films in our full action genre breakdown.

The most popular Indian film of all time was Sholay (1975), a “Masala” film inspired by a real-life dacoit as well as Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and the Spaghetti Westerns. In its short history, the art of motion pictures has frequently undergone changes that seemed fundamental, such as those resulting from the introduction of sound. It exists today in styles that differ significantly from country to country and in forms as diverse as the documentary created by one person with a handheld camera and the multimillion-dollar epic involving hundreds of performers and technicians. The impact of a reviewer on a given film’s box office performance is a matter of debate. Some observers claim that movie marketing in the 2000s is so intense, well-coordinated and well financed that reviewers cannot prevent a poorly written or filmed blockbuster from attaining market success. However, the cataclysmic failure of some heavily promoted films which were harshly reviewed, as well as the unexpected success of critically praised independent films indicates that extreme critical reactions can have considerable influence.

For posterity’s sake, let’s define propaganda as biased information that’s used to promote political points. Documentarian Laurent Bouzereau made a three-part series about the war of Capra, Ford, Huston, Stevens, and Wyler. Soviet Montage Theory was a deconstructionist film movement, so as to say it wasn’t as interested in making movies as it was taking movies apart… or seeing how they worked. The great works of the German Expressionist movement are some of the earliest movies I consider accessible to modern audiences. Perhaps no German Expressionist film proves this point better than Fritz Lang’s M; which was the ultimate culmination of the movement’s stylistic tenets. It’s important to note that Paris wasn’t the only place where dadaist art was being created.

Hollywood film noirs were inspired by classic detective fiction stories, like those of Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe. Over time, film noir was adopted as a style around the world – most famously in Great Britain with Carol Reed’s The Third Man. It’s ridiculous – it would be wrong to omit any of them; and still, there are probably dozens of iconic figures missing. “Hepburn” could sell a movie every time; it didn’t matter which Hepburn – or what the movie was about. The British New Wave was a minor film movement that was defined by kitchen-sink realism – or depictions of ordinary life. Many filmmakers of the British New Wave were critics before they were directors; and they wanted to depict the average life of Britain through a filmic eye.

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