Friday, February 5, 2010

Early Movies Among the Best in Our History

In class on Wednesday we learned about the early history of cinema. At the turn of the century films were made with poor quality film and no sound. The success of the film had entirely to do with the performance and where the camera was placed. In early comedy sketches and sound films these films still centered on performance and the writing. What actions the performers were making were more closely scrutinized because there were no distractions from a poor performance or a boring storyline. Later in films such as Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, and Touch of Evil the importance of storyline and performance is even more apparent. These are films with little to no special effects whatsoever and if not for brilliant script writing these films would have never made it to the silver screen.

Nowadays movies of good quality are few and far between. Movie goers are looking less for a good story and more to be wowed by state-of-the-art special effects. Not to say that visual effects are not entertaining in movies such as Avatar and Star Trek, but that filmmakers are relying less on their scripts and performances, which I believe are the foundation of filmmaking, and more on explosions and computer graphics added in after production. It is because of this shift that early movies are proving more and more to be the best that have ever been made.

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