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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Mom and Dad (known as The Family Story in the United Kingdom) is a feature-length 1945 film directed by William Beaudine, and largely produced by the exploitation filmmaker and presenter Kroger Babb. Mom and Dad is considered the most successful film within its genre. Although it faced numerous legal challenges, and was condemned by the National Legion of Decency, it went on to become the third highest grossing film of the 1940s. Mom and Dad starred the young Hardie Albright. It is regarded as an exploitation film; a term used to describe repackaged films with a controversial content, sometimes including medical footage, designed to establish an educational value that might circumvent U.S. censorship law. Babb's marketing of his film incorporated old-style medicine show techniques, and used unique promotions to build an audience. These formed a template for his later work, which were aped by his contemporary filmmakers. In 2005, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry, in recognition of its numerous achievements.

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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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Ronald Reagan and General Electric Theater, 1954-62.
Ronald Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric. Reagan became involved in politics during his work for G.E. and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California Governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

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Gene Kelly in the trailer for 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' (1949)
Gene Kelly (1912–1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer whose work in motion pictures spans from 1942 to 1996. He is probably best known today for his performances in musicals, notably An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952). Kelly made his Hollywood film debut in For Me and My Gal (1942), co-starring with Judy Garland. Afterward, he went on to work as an actor, dancer and subsequently, choreographer, in a series of musical films. In these films, his choreography included experiments with a combination of dance and animation (Anchors Aweigh and Invitation to the Dance) and dance scenes involving special effects (including the "Alter Ego" number from Cover Girl and the split-screen dance number from It's Always Fair Weather). In addition to his work as an actor and choreographer, Kelly directed or co-directed several films, some of which did not feature him in an acting role. Kelly appeared in several non-musical dramatic and comedy films as well. Kelly received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Anchors Aweigh (1945) and won an Honorary Academy Award for his work in An American in Paris (1951). He was voted the 15th most popular film actor on the American Film Institute’s millennium list, while his Singin' in the Rain was voted the most popular movie musical of all time.

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Orson Welles
It seems to me that the great gift of the film form, to the director, is that we are not forced to think of the audience. In fact, it is impossible to think of our audience. If I write a play, I must inevitably be thinking in terms of Broadway or the West End. In other words, I must visualize the audience that will come in; its social class, its prejudices and so on. But with a film, we never think of the public at all, we simply make the film the same way you sit down and write a book, and hope that they will like it.

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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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