Film History: Transitional Period (1960–1979)

By the 1960s, Hollywood was in decline, unable to keep up with the radical political and cultural developments transforming American society. European films, however, fueled by government funding of film production, achieved unprecedented levels of critical acclaim and box-office success. The sophistication and creativity of these films led to Read more

Film History: Postwar Period (1946–1959)

World War II left the European film industry in ruins, as only Italy’s production facilities avoided devastation. The war also affected American filmmakers and audiences, leading to the production of dark, morally ambiguous and socially critical films in the film noirstyle. As a result of the House Un-American Activities Committee(HUAC) hearings, Read more

Film History: Classical Period (1930–1945)

The transition from silent to sound films caused great upheaval in the film industry, requiring costly renovation of production facilities and movie theaters, ending the careers of many silent film stars, and making it more difficult to market films abroad. Hollywood took some time to overcome the artistic and technical challenges Read more

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

QuickFacts :: Introduction to dolls and bears

Loved by girls and boys the world over, dolls and teddy bears are no longer seen as merely children’s toys – now, more and more of us are beginning to collect them too.
Dolls have been played with and treasured by children both rich and poor from the earliest times Read more

QuickFacts :: Introduction to clocks

Clocks have been appreciated and treasured since at least the 17th century and, despite their popularity, are available at a wide range of prices. Here we look at what you need to know if you’re thinking of beginning a collection.
The value of a clock depends on its maker, the Read more

QuickFacts :: Teapots, coffee pots and chocolate pots

Tea, coffee and chocolate became fashionable in the late 17th century, and over the next two centuries large numbers of pots for serving these drinks were made.
Dating and condition
The shapes of tea and coffee pots can help with dating them, but because many 18th-century styles were repeated in the Read more