Author Archives: gaukartifact

Film History: Silent Period (1895–1929)

The earliest American films, which appeared around 1895, were primarily a working-class pastime. Because they told stories without words, they appealed to the large, mostly illiterate immigrant population in the United States. After 1900, film became a more middle-class phenomenon, as filmmakers exploited film’s storytelling potential by adapting bourgeois novels (which Read more

Film Theory

Film theory is a collection of interpretative frameworks developed over time in order to understand better the way films are made and received. Film theory is not a self-contained field: it borrows from the disciplines of philosophy, art theory, social science, cultural theory, psychology, literary theory, linguistics, economics, and political Read more

Film Genres

The profit motive driving Hollywood studios leads producers to repeat, with some variation, formulas that prove financially successful. This practice has led to the establishment of familiar categories of films, known as genres, some of which are first developed in literature and then adapted for the screen. Some genres, like the Read more

Film Form and Analysis

Cinematography describes the process by which a film strip is exposed to light to create an image. It encompasses many factors: the camera’s distance from the action, camera angle and direction, type of lens, camera movement, and lighting, among others. The art of cinematography also includes mise-en-scène—the arrangement of objects and Read more

Depression and the New Deal 1930–1939

Roosevelt administration implements economic safeguards to revive U.S. economy
U.S. government expands role as employer of and provider for U.S. citizens
Tensions begin to rise in Europe as Germany once again asserts itself
1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff raises taxes on almost 20,000 items; some economists argue that tariff worsened Great Depression or that Read more

The Roaring Twenties 1920–1929

Postwar U.S. economy prospers, thanks to pro-business administrations and boom in automobile industry
Intolerance thrives in both society and big business as African Americans and immigrants are pushed to margins of society
Harding, Coolidge lead United States toward isolationism in reaction to World War I
Freewheeling culture of Jazz Age conflicts with Read more

U.S. Involvement in World War I 1915–1919

Wilson wins reelection on campaign promise of maintaining neutrality, but United States is soon drawn into war raging across Europe
World War I proves to be bloodiest war in world history, often referred to as “The Great War” or “The War to End All Wars”
After World War I, disagreements arise Read more

Progressive Era 1901–1914

Progressives agitate for far-reaching reform in politics, business, poverty relief, and conservation
United States implements aggressive foreign policy through both military actions and corporate investment

1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz (pictured) assassinates McKinley; Vice President Teddy Roosevelt becomes 26th president
Platt Amendment effectively turns Cuba into U.S. dependency
Spindle top oil field discovered in Read more

The Gilded Age 1878–1900

Corporations and trusts begin to accumulate large capital reserves, ushering in Era of Big Business
Western frontier rapidly parceled out and populated; Native Americans forced to assimilate and/or relocate
Reconstruction policies leave African Americans behind in South as post–Civil War recovery continues
Development of cities fueled by immigration and rise of business

1878 Read more

Reconstruction 1865–1877

Lincoln, radical Republicans clash over plans for postwar Reconstruction
Union establishes military rule in former Confederacy to restore order, defend ex-slaves
13th Amendment,14th Amendment, and Civil Rights Act of 1866 pass
Railroad expansion facilitates movement between eastern, western United States
Steady waves of settlers displace and attack Native Americans in the West

1865 13th Read more