What is Realism in Film? Cinematic Realism Explained

What is realism in film? We hear the term “realistic” all the time, but how do we know if something is realistic when realism is so subjective? Well, in storytelling, there is an objective way to tell whether or not something is realistic. We’re going to explore what realism is and how it’s used in… Continue reading What is Realism in Film? Cinematic Realism Explained

What is Technicolor? Definition and History Explained

What is Technicolor? Whether you knew at the time or not, you’ve probably seen a Technicolor movie. If you’re trying to recall an example, just think, color, color, color. Technicolor changed the course of cinema forever with bright and bold visuals, saturated to the point of near-surreality. We’re going to look at some examples of… Continue reading What is Technicolor? Definition and History Explained

Chinatown Movie Analysis — The Legacy of a Hollywood Classic

The Robert Towne-written, Roman Polanski-directed Chinatown is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made – which begs the question: what’s so great about it? Well, as it turns out, just about everything involving Chinatown is great. The Chinatown screenplay is viewed as the Hollywood gold standard; Jack Nicholson’s performance is considered among… Continue reading Chinatown Movie Analysis — The Legacy of a Hollywood Classic

What is the Studio System — Hollywood’s Studio Era Explained

Before The Walt Disney Company owned a bunch of companies, and before other film studios and companies were being bought by other big companies, there was the classic Hollywood studio system. What is the studio system? While it would be easy to simplify it as the time when movie studios owned the theaters that would… Continue reading What is the Studio System — Hollywood’s Studio Era Explained

What is Film Noir? A Brief History with Examples from Cinema

You’ve probably heard the term ‘film noir’ hundreds of times. You may associate it with detectives and femme fatales running around in black and white. But what is film noir, really? Well, it turns out it’s not so clear cut, but there are some elements of the style that are fairly obvious. Let’s get into… Continue reading What is Film Noir? A Brief History with Examples from Cinema

What is VistaVision — A History of Widescreen in Hollywood

Before the 1950s, nearly every single movie was in the same 4:3 aspect ratio. But then CinemaScope from 20th Century Fox changed the landscape with widescreen imagery to get people into theaters nationwide. Pretty soon, other studios were making their own widescreen movies, including Paramount Pictures with VistaVision. What is VistaVision, you ask? Well, it… Continue reading What is VistaVision — A History of Widescreen in Hollywood

Movie Censorship — A History of Film Censorship in America

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said in his 383 U.S. 463 (1966) ruling that “censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” And Stewart was right: censorship has reflected social culture (or the lack thereof) since the dawn of time. Cinema has not been immune to censorship. In fact, cinema has been subject… Continue reading Movie Censorship — A History of Film Censorship in America

What is a Spaghetti Western — History and Legacy Explained

Cowboys, outlaws, deserts, shanty towns, and gunslinging. These are familiar elements seen in the genre known as the Western, in both literature and cinema. But for many genre fans, it specifically refers to Spaghetti Westerns, a genre that emerged during the 1960s. Traditional Westerns they weren’t, as they were often low budget, featured violence and… Continue reading What is a Spaghetti Western — History and Legacy Explained

What is Blaxploitation — An American Film Movement Explained

What is blaxploitation? Blaxploitation refers to a genre, a film movement, and an important period of cinema history. In this post, we’ll define Blaxploitation, explain the historical context, look at the most important films of the movement, and even take a look at the status of this genre and style in our modern film industry.Continue… Continue reading What is Blaxploitation — An American Film Movement Explained

What is Queer Theory? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

Queer theory is a complex, multi-faceted subject that’s difficult to cover in a single post. So we’re going to try to break it down into more digestible pieces. We’ll give you a basic overview of Queer Theory, but mainly we’ll provide some examples from films and TV shows that have been groundbreaking in terms of… Continue reading What is Queer Theory? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

What is Postmodernism? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

The term “postmodernism” gets thrown around a lot. Anything that seems to buck normal conventions or breaks the fourth wall tends to receive the label, but what is postmodernism really? For this blog, we’ll look into the history of postmodernism as well as its place in the cinematic landscape today. We’ll examine several postmodern films,… Continue reading What is Postmodernism? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

When Was the Camera Invented? Clarifying Dates and Inventors

Crediting one person and nailing the exact year of when the camera was invented isn’t that simple. Mainly because the internet gives a ton of different answers. It turns out, a quick history lesson solves the problem. So, if “When was the camera invented?” is a question that’s keeping you up at night, you’ve come… Continue reading When Was the Camera Invented? Clarifying Dates and Inventors

What is Pre-Code Hollywood? The Most Risque Pre-Code Movies Explained

From 1929-1934, Hollywood produced some of the 20th century’s most progressive films. This period of time — and the films that were made within it — is widely known as Pre-Code Hollywood. But what is Pre-Code Hollywood? It was more than just a few years in cinema history — it was a liberal shift in… Continue reading What is Pre-Code Hollywood? The Most Risque Pre-Code Movies Explained

What is a Biopic? Definition and Examples of Biographical Films

Do you ever wonder what is a biopic, or what counts as a biopic? In contemporary cinema, biopic movies seem to be everywhere. Old historical figures, musicians, politicians, as well as “regular” people dealing with extraordinary events. There have been more biopic films in recent decades, but they’re nothing new. Biopics have been a staple… Continue reading What is a Biopic? Definition and Examples of Biographical Films

What is Surrealism? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

What is Surrealism in film? To understand the best Surrealist films, we need to know the basics of the term. You can probably imagine what “realism” might be — strict adherence to reality. Surrealism takes the “rules” and expectations of realism and turns them on their head; logic and reason need not apply. Filmmakers have… Continue reading What is Surrealism? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

Blacklist Definition and Meaning — The Hollywood Blacklist Explained

Imagine one day you’re writing movies or acting in a major studio’s film, and the next, you can’t find work anywhere. Such is the way of blacklisting. The practice, in one form or another, is still active today but not nearly as rampant as it once was. For an accurate Hollywood Blacklist definition, we need… Continue reading Blacklist Definition and Meaning — The Hollywood Blacklist Explained

What is CinemaScope? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is CinemaScope?” It’s a widescreen lens and projection system that has become a popular choice for filmmakers and is now an industry standard. Most audiences had never seen anything like it, and it started a widescreen revolution that literally changed the shape of movies forever. So, what is CinemaScope,… Continue reading What is CinemaScope? Definition and Examples for Filmmakers

What is New Hollywood? The Revolution of 1960s and ‘70s Hollywood

What is New Hollywood? There’s a scene in Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind that can answer that for us. It shows a group of young directors going to the home of a Hollywood Golden Age titan to express their admiration. This scene shows what the Hollywood New Wave was really about; an… Continue reading What is New Hollywood? The Revolution of 1960s and ‘70s Hollywood