Portal:Film

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Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.

Film is an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and in turn, affect them.

Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to a combination of physiological and psychological effects. One is known as persistence of vision—whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers also perceive motion due to psychological effects called beta movement and the phi phenomenon.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, photo-play, flick, and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema, and the movies.

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American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, a middle-aged office worker who has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend, Angela (Mena Suvari). Annette Bening co-stars as Lester's materialistic wife, Carolyn, and Thora Birch plays their insecure daughter, Jane; Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper and Allison Janney also feature. The film has been described by academics as a satire of American middle class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction; analysis has focused on the film's explorations of romantic and paternal love, sexuality, beauty, materialism, self-liberation and redemption. Principal photography took place between December 1998 and February 1999 on soundstages at the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, California and on location in Los Angeles. Released in North America on September 15, 1999, American Beauty was positively received by critics and audiences alike; it was the best-reviewed American film of the year and grossed over $350 million worldwide. Reviewers praised most aspects of the production, with particular emphasis on Mendes, Spacey and Ball; criticism tended to focus on the familiarity of the characters and setting. The film was nominated for and won many awards and honors, mainly for the direction, writing and acting.

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Interior of the Kinetrographic Theater
Credit: E. J. Meeker

Interior of the kinetographic theater, also known as Edison's Black Maria, Thomas Edison's movie production studio in West Orange, New Jersey.

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Sharon Tate was an American actress. During the 1960s she played small roles in television, before starting her film career. After receiving positive reviews as a light comedienne, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers. Tate's celebrity status and role as a style icon of the "Swinging Sixties" increased after fashion magazines began featuring her as a model and cover girl. Married to the film director Roman Polański, Tate was eight months pregnant when she, along with four others, was murdered in her Benedict Canyon home by followers of Charles Manson, in a crime that shocked the nation. A decade after the murders, her mother Doris Tate, appalled at the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of them might be granted parole, joined a campaign to ensure they remained in prison. This was part of the catalyst which led to amendments to California law in 1982, which allowed crime victims and their families to make victim impact statements.

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Schwarzenegger in December 2008
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor who has appeared in multiple film roles. Schwarzenegger began his acting career primarily with small roles in film and television. For his first film role, he was credited as "Arnold Strong", but was credited with his birth name thereafter. Schwarzenegger has acted in over thirty films, and has also ventured into directing and producing. He has appeared mainly in sword-and-sorcery, action, and comedy films. Schwarzenegger has been a primary character in two film franchises: as Conan in the Conan series and as Terminator in the Terminator series. Other notable roles include Ben Richards in The Running Man, Douglas Quaid in Total Recall, and Harry Tasker in True Lies. Although Schwarzenegger's acting career has been put on hold due to his position as Governor of California, he has made several cameos in various films. Upcoming cameos include the 2009 film Terminator Salvation and the 2010 film The Expendables. Schwarzenegger has received several awards and nominations for his work in films. In Stay Hungry, one of his first roles, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture. He has also been nominated for various awards for his work in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Junior, and True Lies. According to Box Office Mojo, a box office revenue tracking website, films which Schwarzenegger has acted in have grossed a total of more than $1.6 billion domestically, with an average of $70 million per film.

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Robert Redford
Whereas money is a means to an end for a filmmaker, to the corporate mind money is the start. Right now, I think independent film is very confused, because there's excess pressure in the marketplace for entertainment to pay off. Entertainment has pervaded every system of information in our culture, and along with it comes the promise of money. So it's hard for artists not to keep half an eye on what works commercially as they go about realizing their visions. As a young filmmaker, you've got to deliver, and you've got to deliver fast these days; that wasn't the case twenty years ago.
Robert Redford, 1997

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Film

Terms - Animation • Beta movement • Camera • Cult film • Digital cinema • Documentary film • Dubbing • Experimental film • Fan film • Film crew • Film criticism • Film festival • Film frame • Film genre • Film journals and magazines • Film industry • Film manifesto • Film stock • Film theory • Filmmaking • History of film • Independent film • Lost film • Movie star • Narrative film • Open content film • Persistence of vision • Photographic film • Propaganda • Recording medium • Special effect • Subtitles • Sound stage • Web film • World cinema

Lists - List of basic film topics • List of film topics • List of films • List of film festivals • List of film formats • List of film series • List of film techniques • List of highest-grossing films • List of longest films by running time • List of songs based on a film or book • Lists of film source material • List of open content films

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