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The Film Portal

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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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Zombies in Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 black-and-white independent horror film directed by George A. Romero. Early drafts of the script were titled Monster Flick, but it was known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters during production. The film stars Duane Jones as Ben and Judith O'Dea as Barbra. The plot revolves around the mysterious reanimation of the dead and the efforts of Ben, Barbra, and five others to survive the night while trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse. Romero produced the film on the low budget of $114,000, but after a decade of theatrical re-releases it had grossed an estimated $12 million in the United States and $30 million internationally. Reviewers criticized the graphic contents, but three decades later the Library of Congress placed Night of the Living Dead on the United States National Film Registry with other films deemed "historically, culturally or aesthetically important". The culture of Vietnam-era America had a tremendous impact on the film. It is so thoroughly riven with critiques of late 1960s American society that one historian described the film as "subversive on many levels." While not the first zombie film made, Night of the Living Dead influenced subsequent films in the subgenre. The film is the first in a tetralogy directed by Romero and spawned four unofficial sequels. It has been remade twice.

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The praxinoscope was an animation device, the successor to the zoetrope. It was invented in France in 1877 by Charles-Émile Reynaud.

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Aaron Sorkin in June 2006
Aaron Sorkin is an American screenwriter, producer and playwright. His stageplay A Few Good Men caught the attention of Hollywood producer David Brown, who bought the film rights before the play even premiered. Castle Rock Entertainment hired Sorkin to adapt A Few Good Men for the big screen. The movie, directed by Rob Reiner, became a box office success. Sorkin spent the early 1990s writing two other screenplays at Castle Rock for the films Malice and The American President. In the mid-1990s he worked as a script doctor on films such as Schindler's List and Bulworth. In 1998 his television career began when he created the TV comedy series Sports Night for the ABC network. Sports Night's second season was its last, and in 1999 overlapped with the debut of Sorkin's next TV series, the multiple Emmy-award-winning political drama The West Wing, this time for the NBC network. In 2006, after a three year hiatus, he returned to television with a dramedy called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, about the backstage drama at a late night sketch comedy show, once again for the NBC network. His recent feature film screenplay is Charlie Wilson's War, which was set to open in movie theaters on Christmas day 2007.

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Logo for the National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008. The 1996 law also created the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation which, although affiliated with the National Film Preservation Board, raises money from the private sector. The National Film Registry names to its list up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" each year, showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. However, inclusion on the list is not a guarantee of actual preservation. To be eligible for inclusion, a film must be at least ten years old. For the first selection in 1989, the public nominated almost 1,000 films for consideration. Members of the National Film Preservation Board then developed individual ballots of possible films for inclusion. The ballots were tabulated into a list of 25 films which was then modified by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and his staff at the Library for the final selection. Beginning in 1997, members of the public were able to nominate up to 50 films a year for the Board and Librarian to consider. The Registry includes films ranging from Hollywood classics to orphan films. A film is not required to be feature-length, nor is it required to have been theatrically released. The Registry contains newsreels, silent films, experimental films, short subjects, films out of copyright protection, film serials, home movies, documentaries, independent films, television movies, and music videos. As of the 2009 listing, there are 525 films preserved in the Registry. The earliest listed film is Blacksmith Scene (1893), and the most recent is Fargo (1996). The year with the most films selected is 1939, as 17 films were chosen for preservation. The time between a film's debut and its selection varies greatly. The longest span is 109 years, when the 1894 Dickson Experimental Sound Film was selected in 2003. The shortest range is the minimum 10 years; this span is shared by Do the Right Thing, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Toy Story, and Fargo.



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Martin Scorsese
Because of the movies I make, they get nervous, because they think of me as difficult and angry. I AM difficult and angry [laughs], but they don't expect a sense of humor. And the only thing that gets me through is a sense of humor.

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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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