New PDF release: American Film History: Selected Readings, Origins to 1960

This authoritative choice of introductory and really good readings explores the wealthy and leading edge background of this era in American cinema. Spanning a vital variety of matters from the early 1900s Nickelodeon to the decline of the studio approach within the Nineteen Sixties, it combines a extensive old context with cautious readings of person movies.

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1985). Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907–1934. London: British Film Institute. 2 D. W. Griffith and the Development of American Narrative Cinema Charlie Keil Professor, University of Toronto, Canada Few American directors have received as much attention by historians and scholars over the past 20 years as D. W. Griffith. Charlie Keil focuses on Griffith’s work during the transitional period in American cinema, approximately 1908–1913, asking whether Griffith should be understood as representative of his era or as a highly innovative aberration.

And while Griffith did exhibit some interest in the capacity of the moving camera, he appears to have been outstripped in this regard by a number of companies, most prominently Laemmle’s Independent Moving Picture Company (IMP) and Lubin. Finally, while Griffith was developing a particular approach to the representation of depicted space that saw him dependably return to the exact camera setup multiple times, other companies altered the camera’s perspective on a repeated space. This last divergence between Griffith’s preferred practice and tendencies at other companies points to the way in which aspects of the director’s narrational approach would become identifiably his own, especially in the later Biograph years.

Though a particularly limited number of films has survived from the key years of 1908–1910, we can say on the basis of what is available for viewing that Griffith proved comparatively adept at discerning how his newly chosen medium might be harnessed for its storytelling potential. If Griffith was not in the vanguard of every new practice that helped usher in a changed approach to narration during this time, he certainly seems to have found the potential in a significant number of important storytelling techniques.

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