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First Fifty Years of American Cinema - Term Paper Example

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The "Fifty Years of American Cinema" paper considers the progression of stylistic devices during the golden age of artistic revelation period and considers their relevance and influence for later filmmakers. Filmmakers during the 50 years of cinema made an indelible impact on the artistic options…
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First Fifty Years of American Cinema
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Download file to see previous pages Today contemporary filmmakers stand on the shoulders of over 100 years of insights and stylistic innovations made by directors throughout the 20th century. A considerable amount of this innovation occurred during the early years of the cinema and was implemented and articulated to perfection in the first fifty years. During this period one witness Edwin Porter’s development of the western genre, and Georges Melies’ fantastical science fiction creations.

Fritz Lang’s 1931 film M constituted his first sound film. While Lang had made a number of silent films, including the seminal Metropolis, he would later say that this film constituted his greatest work. It was also the film that popularized Lang with American audiences, ultimately leading to his influence becoming an indelible aspect of American film culture. As an early sound film, Lang’s combination of visual and sound elements also constituted a stylistic breakthrough for the emerging medium. Even as the film is important for these reasons, perhaps its great importance and contribution to the film landscape is its articulation of the German Expressionist style that would come to influence film noir and has even influenced contemporary filmmakers. While German Expressionism as a distinct stylistic approach to the film has largely died out, its contemporary applications have lived on throughout the 20th century in film noir devices. For instance, consider Sin City. Director Robert Rodriguez sets the film in the black and white world of the fictional city of Basin. Just as the M utilizes the dark expressionist imagery to convey the devilish interiority of the characters, so does director Rodriguez implement the stark black and white contrasts, shadowing many of the characters and settings, to convey the amoral and violent aspects of the city and the film’s overarching plot. Throughout the film, the rigid and dark settings function as do the oblique backgrounds in M. For example, when the viewer is first introduced to Nancy she is held captive by her kidnappers. As they open the door the film situates her alone on the bench and the viewer only sees the dark silhouettes of her captures. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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