History of Media Arts Exam Three

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Combat Films
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The purpose of these films were to report World War 2 but instead was actually trying to gain public support and were not shown to the soldiers.
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Battle of Midway
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Directed by John Ford, it showed a very sanitized view of the war. You would never see a dead body in this film. There was also color, music, and voice-overs to personalize (because there was no sync sound),
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Battle of San Pietro
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Directed by John Huston, it was the exact opposite of ‘Battle of Midway.’ It wasn’t as sanitized, and the government suppressed the movie until after the war.
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Orientation films
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These films were just for soldiers and explained to them the US interest for the war.
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“Why We Fight” films
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These were several films done by Frank Capra that were meant for recruits, but also shown to the general public. This was a type of compilation documentaries. They projected values, and had a melodramatic ‘us’ versus ‘them’ structure.
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Compilation Documentaries
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Films that were compilations of already recorded film that came from different places.
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Training films
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Types of wartime documentary, and example would be John Ford’s “Sexual Hygiene.” They were shown to the soldiers.
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Leni Riefenstahl
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The premiere Nazi documentary director. . She is given a lot of power and control over her films. She directed, “Triumph of the Will” in 1934 which was the movie with Hitler and all the soldiers lined up saluting him at a Nazi convention. She also did “Olympia” in 1938 of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with low angle shots of athletes and presented in a poetic mode. Her association with Hitler destroyed her career.
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Casablanca
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Directed by MIchael Curitz and starring Humphrey Bogart, the character gives up his desire (the woman) in order to support the war effort.
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Gunsmoke
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Longest running western on television.
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The Lone Ranger
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Western television show meant for kids, and always ended the show with a cliffhanger. The main character conducts himself by a strict moral code, and his sidekick is an Indian.
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Domesticated Westerns
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Westerns that were meant for adult audiences. . For example, Bonanza and The Rifleman. These two shows both concerned domestic melodrama, meaning it was all about creating a home or a family, being good, and having strong parental presence. It also had the conventions of the western and there were contradictions at the conclusion.
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The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
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a radio show from 1944-54 and then moved to tv. The family played themselves and it was a domestic comedy, which had the ideals of a middle class American lifestyle. It had a single family home, friendly neighbors, and at least two kids. It became a tv show in 1952 and lasted until 1966.
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Amos and Andy
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started on the radio in 1926 in Chicago, and starts to go to network radio in 1929-1960. Goes on tv 1951-1953 and syndication begins in 1954-1960. It was a show about situation comedy, based on the stupid situations the characters would get into. Social difference was also identified through race and class.
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The Texico Star Theater
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A good example of a variety show where the sponsor named the program. M. Berle hosted the show.
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Multiple-camera setup
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a method of filmmaking and video production. Several cameras—either film or professional video cameras—are employed on the set and simultaneously record or broadcast a scene. It is often contrasted with single-camera setup, which uses one camera. Generally, the two outer cameras shoot close-up shots or “crosses” of the two most active characters on the set at any given time, while the central camera or cameras shoot a wider master shot to capture the overall action and establish the geography of the room. In this way, multiple shots are obtained in a single take without having to start and stop the action. This is more efficient for programs that are to be shown a short time after being shot as it reduces the time spent film editing or video editing the footage.
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Financial basis for television station/network development
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AM station revenues went towards TV programming because they were so profitable. RCA, ABC, and CBS would help this cause. Sponsors would buy advertising time by “owning shows”.
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Vladimir Zworkin
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a Russian-American inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology. Zworykin invented a television transmitting and receiving system employing cathode ray tubes.
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Philo Farnsworth
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Was an American inventor and television pioneer. He is best known for inventing the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device, the “image dissector”, the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system, and for being the first person to demonstrate such a system to the public. He developed a television system complete with receiver and camera, which he produced commercially in the form of the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation, from 1938 to 1951.
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Anthology series
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a radio or television series that presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode.
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Telefilm
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A film produced for television broadcasting.
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French Poetic Realism
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it was not a unified movement; rather, a looser tendency. Often center on characters living on the margins of society, either as unemployed members of the working class or as criminals. After a life of disappointment, these people find chance for ideal love. After a short time they are disappointed again, and the films end with disillusionment or death. The tone is nostalgia and bitterness
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Socialist Realism in Russian films
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Artists were forced to accept it as the only correct style. It became an official policy in 1935. Scripts had to be reviewed repeatedly before being accepted. Most were rejected, slowing output. Main genres: civil war films, biographical films, tales of everyday hero’s, and socialist musicals.
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Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
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together often known as The Archers, the name of their production company — made a series of influential films in the 1940s and ’50s. Their collaborations — 24 films between 1939 and 1972 — were mainly derived from original stories by Pressburger with the script written by both Pressburger & Powell. Powell did the majority of the directing while Pressburger did most of the work of the producer and also assisted with the editing, especially the way the music was used. Unusually, the pair shared a writer-director-producer credit for most of their films. Among their most notable successes are The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947) and The Red Shoes (1948). Their films were often extremely romantic and even melodramatic, yet had outlandish twists and narratives.
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Akira Kurosawa
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Major Japanese director. Began his directing career in WWII. Directed social problem films and literary films. Films leave key questions unanswered at the end. Used energetic editing in his films. He eventual became the most influential Asian director in film history. He was influenced by films in the West.
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“Talking heads”
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People talking to each other. Medium shot. Shot-reverse-shot.
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Bicycle Thief
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Directed by De Sica, the film had no resolution at all, so it wasn’t like the Hollywood Narrative style. In Italian it actually translates into Bicycle Thieves because there is more than one thief. The main character becomes one. He has the best intentions, but he was desperate, and we feel what he feels. His desires aren’t gratified. It was not released in the United States until 1951 because it originally didn’t get a seal of approval. Why? Because the kid peed one a wall.
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Italian Neo-Realism
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It was coined by an Italian Critic in 1942. To describe it: – low budget Italian features – shot on location – about contemporary social problems – often using non-professional actors. Versus the Italian tradition of costume spectacle and historical epics like Quo Vadis (1913)
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Cesar Zavattini
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was a screenwriter who theorized and promoted neo-realism, and meant to point out he problems of everyday society. Some of the realist narrative conventions were contemporary social problems, no resolution, and episodic narrative (Kind of like a mystery-guy steals bike lets see who stole it. But then they stop to eat. This event doesn’t relate to who stole the bike, but it’s important to the story because you see the difference in social class in that scene).
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Andre Bazin
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a french critic and cofounder of Cahiers de Cinema, which was the center of a number of developments that used film as an art form and got people to think seriously about film as art. This set the tone of how people approached movies. Bazin defines a realist style as a mise-en-scene style. For Bazin, realism tries to eliminate contrivances/conventions of representation. Most especially, eliminate continuity editing in favor of long takes and deep focus—- visual conventions of the realist style. In essence, we don’t need to chop up space and time, just let it exist as it is! In The Bicycle Thief, the camera moves with him instead of cutting, with barely any shot reverse shot editing.
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Conventions of post World War 2 films in the United States
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location film, usually urban, natural light (Night for night, they actually shot at night), voice-over narrator, and non-professional extras.
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Rosellini’s Rome: Open City (1945).
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Had international distribution. It was filmed in secret during the war and then finished after the war. It was about Italians who didn’t support the war.
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Blacklisting
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Entertainment professionals who were illegally denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist investigations into Communist Party activities.
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The Hollywood 10
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Ten witnesses were deemed unfriendly because they had evoked their Fifth Amendment rights. They avoided denying that they were communists, stressing that the first amendment guaranteed them freedom of expression. Or they would plead the fifth, which led them to being blacklisted.
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HUAC
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This begins in 1947 with the development of the Cold War. They investigated communist content in Hollywood films. They were not trials, but you could be subpoena to show up. Hearings concentrated on showing that the subject matter of Hollywood films had been tainted by communist ideas
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“Red Channels”
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It was a report of communism used in radio and film, and it was just a list of names with their affiliations. 150 plus alleged communists. Published by the same people who do Counterattack. The Korean War starts up at this time. The HUAC then holds more hearings, but this time they are now looking for communists, not communist content.
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Advertising agencies
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Wanted those accused of communism to be dropped from the television shows that they stared on. Television networks and their sponsors no longer hired anyone whose name was in the book or anyone who seemed controversial.
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The Army-McCarthy hearings
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McCarthy was investigated for ethical reasons, and McCarthy starts to destroy Joe Welches reputation where as Welch answers, “Have you no decency sir?” He was accused of using his power and influence to receive special treatment. It was shown on ABC daytime television and got amazing ratings.
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John Henry Faulk
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Lawsuit against Johnson and Aware Inc. He was accused of being a communist and sought compensation. In 1962 he wins $3.5 million on appeal, because Johnson passed away before the end of the trials.
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Laurence A. Johnson
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an owner of four supermarkets in Syracuse, New York. He embarked on a one-man “Syracuse Crusade” in the 1950s to force television advertisers to cancel sponsorship of programs in which “suspect” actors appeared.
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Clearance
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Former communists or sympathizers would name others to save themselves. Others worked outside the US. Some worked under pseudonyms. Only 1/10 of the victims could resume their careers.
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“Imitation of Life” (1959)
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has the mode of ironic address. It’s intentionally bad. It has the classic narrative Hollywood film style, but it’s so over the top that it doesn’t look naturalistic. For example, when Sarah Jane get’s beat up, it’s staged and rehearsed that it’s not naturalistic, however we still feel sympathy for her. That example also includes sexism, he beats her up because she’s a woman, not so much that she is black. This can be called the self-reflexive or reflexive text, where the contrivances are apparent to the spectator. Narratively, the film builds on what happens in the earlier version of Imitation of Life, where there is dominance in supporting characters, and the black characters problems are racial, collective, and irresolvable. There is narrative rupture at the end. Laura Meredith and Sarah Jane are parallel in careers. Laura is a successful classy actress and Sarah Jane is just a sex object dancing in the Moulin Rouge. Stylized (Non-naturalistic image) Camera work (Long shots/no pov) Reflections and screens (The characters are at a distance) Color (Things match too easily, sometimes symbolic) Blocking of action (hit your mark, very contrived) Petrified acting (intentional that their performance is bad) The sound over punctuates (When she throws the black doll to the floor, lower piano keys are played)

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