Cinema that was invented in the last decade of 19th century, flourished in the 20th century and for the most part,it was the most popular and in a way the most creative art format, borrowing from other art forms. After the invention of television, and the production of TV films in the second half of the last century, and later on the internet media and the new age of digitalism and online streaming or stealing of the movies, at least over the past couple of decades, Cinema has lost its glory. At the same time, while in the first half or most of the 20th century, Cinema was heavily in the hands of story tellers, photographers, and actors, who were all led by the filmmaker or the creator, in the last few decades of the past century and more so in the present 21st century, it is dominated by digital special effects and out of reality. So cinema as an art format has greatly transformed to a technical/digital industry. Along the many efforts across the globe to save this modern art against the box office sales pressure and capital demand, this site hopes to contribute a small part in this endeavor!
Cinema initially sprang from photography, so that later on and to this day, it is called “motion picture” or “movies”, while the term “film” could be used for both cinema and photography. In the beginning, cinema was simply, pictures in motion with no other adding arts or technology, such as sound, music, or else, but acting. That is why for the first few decades since the birth of cinema, the movies were “silent” and this art form had to rely basically on the power of imagery with all its cinematographic components and the filmmakers like painters on canvas had to do whatever they could to create a powerful moving picture on the screen in addition to silent acting without talk. In this endeavor, some relied on set design, the use of light and shadows, like the German expressionists, and some relied on editing like Eisenstein, and some relied mostly on acting and sensible realism like Chaplin. At the time and even today, it is easier to rate and rank a silent film, as there were no white noise of sound or talk and all were imagery and picture in motion to measure. Due to simplicity, originality and the role of these pure ingredients, the silent films are still on the top of many best films of all time, such as the works of Serge Eisenstein, Fritz Lang, D.W.Griffith, and Charles Chaplin.
The sound brought theatrical acting to the cinema despite strong oppositions of silent films’ actors who were great action actors, specially in comedy. While 1920’s were still dominated by the silent movies, the 1930’s were the era of infiltration of theatrical acting to cinema that lasted for several decades until the recent domination of special effects and interception of digitalism into cinema. Orson Welles, Humphrey Bogart, Catharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, James Dean and Marlon Brando were such actors who stemmed from theatre or acted as such. This continued to the modern era so that the newer actors such as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Leonardo DiCaprio continued with such legacy. The theatrical acting while added rich flavor to the story telling and content through dialogues to the cinema, in many instances became very close to theatrical plays and robbed the cinematic experience and presentation, and limited the filmmakers in showing their talents. This is somewhat parallel to the digital cinema nowadays, where digitalism and special effects have totally stolen the rich cinematic creation.
Evaluation, rating and ranking movies, is not a matter of personal taste, likeness, or even a collective voting of majority, as the majority could be wrong and do not consider all the components of a film, with a delicate consideration of the differential factors. In other words, the role of camera, acting and editing are not the same and do not carry the similar weights as special effect. Unfortunately this has not been done closely in most rating and ranking of the motion pictures and the best lists, or awards such as Oscar. Beyond the different components of a film, that somewhat and singularly are recognized as in awards for script, acting, editing, directing, etc., the following factors in ranking the best films are essential. (Of course based on the following criteria, the earlier a film, the higher the rank would be, except the films that in addition to these factors, they have the “best impression” that could go beyond the time boundary. This is certainly very rare and on our list could include only a few rare films such as “The Battleship Potemkin”, “Man with a movie camera” and “Metropolis”, but these films are still frontiers in the time frame and only a few ranks above the other films made before them.
- Originality: No matter how well a film has been made today, if it is a copy of an original work, or an adaptation in one form or another, it would put it out of any best rank. An original work, even if not well done to perfection, it is still original and a creation that needs to be considered. Of course the earlier films fairly take on a lot of credits from this factor, but this may encourage the true filmmakers not to be copiers or followers but original and creative!
- Technicality: This factor should cover all the technical aspects of filmmaking from the story and script to the all works of camera, acting, editing, special effects, etc. The originality and proper application of each technique or component need to be considered in ranking.
- Impact Factor/Significance: This is the factor influencing other films, urging them to copy and experience the original work in part or in whole. This factor is not only the influence that an original work has on the industry, but on people in general and other forms of art and aspects of life as well. In conjunction with the influence that a film could have on other films or else, the significance of the film on cinema as a whole and on the history of this art medium is important and will be counted on.
- Survival: This shows how long a work, no matter how great, it will be remembered and looks fresh for years to come, specially in the eyes of the true cinema patriots.
Throughout this site, in writing on films and ranking them, the above factors will be delicately considered, though no evaluation or ranking could be rightful. Such comprehensive evaluation and ranking will hopefully encourage others to take on such or similar process in ranking and awarding, and avoiding a single factor such as the content of the story for political or trend of the time reasons!
“How Green was my Valley” film was adapted from a 1939 novel of the same title by Richard Llewellyn, about the suffrage of a mining community and the condition of the miners then in Wales, England. The film was directed by John Ford, the most productive American film directors to this day, who was more popular for westerns than dramas. But surprisingly, Ford the most Oscar winning of any filmmakers, with four awards, did not win any for his popular westerns, but for his four dramas of “The Informer” in 1935, “The Grapes of Wrath” in 1940 and the following year in 1941 for “How green was my valley” and finally after 11 years of making many other films, mostly westerns, for “The quiet man” in 1952, another drama with his favorite actor, John Wayne. “How green was my valley” was the only of these four that won the best picture award in 1941, beating “Citizen Kane” for that and even cinematography.
Another iconic realism on screen:
The popularity of this film and Ford’s previous one, a year before, “The Grapes of Wrath” in winning awards, fame and respect for the filmmaker, was for the sheer fact that they were made at the right time, the time of war demanding realism and true stories of people’s sufferings. While the film was initially planned to be in color and at the location in Wales, it was filmed in black and white and on an 80 acres made up studio in the Santa Monica Mountains. This privileged the film with such a strong cinematography of unique depth that felt in the hearts of American audience and truly won the academy awards.
This film with its harsh realism and strong in depth cinematography set the stage for the future realistic and neo-realistic films not just in US, but in Europe after the second world war, particularly in Italy and France, by the great filmmakers such as Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini. That is why John Ford has been a subject of great accolade by his filmmaker colleagues around the globe such as Ingmar Bergman who believed he is “the best director in the world”; by Frank Capra as “the king of directors”; by Alfred Hitchcock who called his films “visual gratification”; by Akira Kurosawa “I have respected John Ford from the beginning…I am influenced by him.”; by Satiajit Ray “…the nearest description of Ford’s would be a combination of strength and simplicity”; and by Orson Welles “I like the old masters, by which I mean John ford, John ford and John ford.” Ford also influenced so many other great filmmakers of the future years such as Elia Kazan, Federico Fellini, Jean Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, Sergio Leone, Jean Renoir, and Martin Scorsese among others. If John Ford did not get attracted to the western films, and had continued creating more cinematic realisms such as “The Grapes of Wrath” and “How green was my valley”, not only he would have put up himself higher in the cinematic creation, but the American cinema at a higher place!
The film centers around the Morgan family of seven boys and a girl in a small Welsh mining village. The opening scene is when the youngest of Morgan’s son, Huw in a later adult age over-voicing while leaving “…my valley and this time, I shall never return.” Then in a flashback to the past, we see the Morgan’s family, how relatively happy they were despite the hardship of working all in the mine with the minimum wages. When they all come home blackened by the cruel mine and more so by the mine owners, the wife or mother sitting by the house entrance get all their wages, then they all wash up, eat and leave for the pub to drink off their sweats and a hard day work. We see the whole hard working people of the village as one big family, who share their pains, suffering, hard work, then their joy at the pub, and at the wedding of the eldest son of Morgan’s.
The valley is not green, but all black by the coal mine, though it is green in the memory of Huw Morgan, the youngest son and the story teller of the film in a flashback. It was green, despite all the hardships, as the family were still together, until the wages suddenly dropped and not enough to live by, and separated not just the Morgan’s family whose three of their sons, could not tolerate the enslaving labor like their pacifist father and left their home and the valley. It is not only the Morgan’s family who are divided but the whole village and the workers, once a grand family, now some feuds to those who can get the work, or work despite the protest of the others. This is at the time before the institution of the workers’ unions that took long time to evolve for the protection of the rights of workers partially against the tyranny of the capital.
If cinema still could make such a beautiful film, in an extraordinary black and white cinematography, telling the story of people’s life even at the present time that is not better than the past, instead of tons of ridiculous and unrealistic “reality shows”, that would have saved her from falling as an art medium. The film coherent beautifully with its story, cinematography and a very matched soundtrack, is like a masterpiece painting unbelievable to come out of American cinema. It is clearly a prototype of many future films on similar subject of mass sufferings and else such as “On the Waterfront”, coming years later but rarer and rarer over time from Hollywood. Although there are acting, but it all looks like a “mass acting”, a general act by all with no leading role. The film at times feels like a fairy tale, but a dark and at the same time pleasant one, not for the hardship and sufferings but for the cohesion of the mass.
The beautiful few symbolisms in the film such as hopping of the two birds through the window to the bedside of the little Huw Morgan, as a sign of spring coming and the end of his paralytic illness, is heart warming. Then the group of people singing and bringing flowers to the cured mother and Huw after a winter long sickness, and at the same time the return of the family four sons who had left home earlier are all brilliant in making. Inviting the whole village to eat in their small house by Morgans is another memorable depiction of simple kind hearts on the screen.
The film contains quite a few prototype scenes such as the revolutionary beliefs and behaviors of the priest (Walter Pidgeon) who supports the establishment of the workers’ union. Also the unconventional story of love between the Morgan’s only daughter, “Angharad” (Maureen O’Hara) with the preacher, despite not being fulfilled, is another beautiful, unconventional piece of cinema to be adapted in other future films. The bullying of Huw, as the only member of the Morgan’s family attempting at education, by other mean boys, is a very well known prototype of similar bullying behaviors ins schools, prisons and else. The final scene of the narration by the older Huw recalling “Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still, real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green was my valley then.”, and ending with a montage of family vignettes remembering the whole family together, is clearly another original beautiful cinematic piece staying on minds and hearts of the viewers for years to come.
In closing remarks “How Green was my Valley” one more time will be redefined based on the following criteria:
- Originality: “How Green was my Valley” is original in many aspects as detailed somewhat above, specially for its unrepeatable cinematography, unmistakable work of John Ford and several cinematic prototypes offered to the world of cinema.
- Technicality: “How Green was my Valley” while telling a story of suffering very beautifully, is quite technical in its imagery, for what cinema is and should be. Its cinematography and perfect direction by John Ford to put every piece together as it should be that it was is all technical at its best. While very technical as it was the style of John Ford, the film is so simple, the some may not see its amazing technicality, which is the next higher level of mastery of the director. The film is unlike some other technical films that technicality oozes out of the screen and what is remembered at the end is a bunch of techniques and not the content, or in a better word the content is lost in technicality.
- Impact Factor: The influence of “How Green was my Valley” on other films and specially filmmakers is needless to say as they all have been said by other filmmakers. In fact when other filmmakers comment on a film or a filmmaker, that is closest to the true of the matter than when critics comment, as critics know nothing of filmmaking, but filmmakers know better their own kinds. So the impact of this film like “The Grapes of wrath” and John Ford’s work need to be reviewed and appreciated by other filmmakers, such as Cline Eastwood whose favorite film is “How Green was my Valley”.
- Survival: “How Green was my Valley” has survived well to this very day, through its many adaptations of its prototypes, in the world cinema more than Hollywood, specially the Italian neo-realism and French realism film movements. The film could still be watched by today’s viewers and liked and not even being bored to be in black and white, but not to believe that could have been made otherwise in color!
Citizen Kane, Orson Welles first major feature has been considered by many critics and other filmmakers as the greatest American film and has been on the top of many greatest American films of all time. But in our list, Citizen Kane is not the greatest film of all time based on our criteria and the following, though it is one of the greatest films of all time.
Orson Welles: Self-Portray:
Citizen Kane as will be discussed here briefly was a partial self-portray or self-depiction of Welles’ life himself. Orson Welles was only 4 years old when his parents were separated, and 9 when his mother with whom he was living until then, died. After his mother’s death, he spent the summer with Watson family at a private colony in Wyoming, New York where he played with the children of Agha Khan. Soon he was on road, travelling to Jamaica and Far East with his alcoholic father for three years, somewhat looking after him, instead of the other way around. At age 15, his father died too, and he was raised under the family friend, Maurice Bernstein. Welles barely studied formally academically or even arts, but travelled and barely had any consistent place or town to call home, mostly Woodstock, New York where he lived the longest, only for 4 years.
While travelling Europe, it was in Dublin, Ireland where Welles was drawn to the theatre and lied to be a Broadway star to get his debut acting role at the Gate Theatre in 1931 at age 17. Soon he was preoccupied with Shakespearian plays and roles and played later on in several roles as Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear. Before opening the Mercury Theatre in New York with John Houseman, he enrolled in radio show performances as well. He put the Mercury Theatre shows on air by CBS radio, and his radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Welles in 1938 at the brink of the WWII. In this show, he panicked the listeners so to believe of a Martian attack on earth, sounding so real that thousands ran into the streets out of fright.
All his theatrical fame and radio performances, specially “The War of the Worlds” drew Hollywood offers to him, first by RKO studio where after rejection of his two film projects, his screenplay of “Citizen Kane” with Herman Mankiewicz was approved. In the film, Welles depicted the real life story of the newspaper giant of early 20th century, William Randolph Hearst, as Charles Foster Kane. The similarity of the life of Welles himself at least in ambitious social, political and media (for Hearst at the time publishing and for Welles, media) is amazing. At the same time the parallel resemblance of Welles and Kane in personal, specially early life is interesting. In fact the Citizen Kane is an amalgamation of Welles, Hearst and Kane!
Read the full text here:
Thanks to John Steinbeck, one of the greatest American novelist who won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for the story and the Nobel Prize in 1962 mainly for this novel, and thanks to the early liberalism of John Ford, and the great acting of Henry Fonda, “The Grapes of Wrath” film adaptation became a prototype cinematic masterpiece of Realism. When preparing to write the novel, Steinbeck wrote: “I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects].” He famously said, “I’ve done my damnedest to rip a reader’s nerves to rags.”
From a Great Novel to a Great Film:
Steinbeck after writing the “Dubious battle” in 1936 and “Men and Mice” in 1937 about the situation in California, wrote “The Grapes of Wrath” to describe the migrant situation and the impact of the Great Depression on the lives of people across America. Steinbeck’s work was received very well, the best selling novel of 1939 and won a large accolade among the working class due to Steinbeck’s sympathy for the migrants and workers’ movement, and his accessible prose style. “The Grapes of Wrath” book has been the most thoroughly discussed novel – in criticism, reviews, and college and high school classrooms. At the time of publication, Steinbeck’s novel “was a phenomenon on the scale of a national event. It was publicly banned and burned by citizens, it was debated on national radio; but above all, it was read. Steinbeck was attacked as a propagandist and a socialist, specially by the Associated Farmers of California who accused him of exaggerating camp conditions to make a political point. But Steinbeck had visited the camps well before publication of his novel and argued their inhumane nature destroyed the settlers’ spirit. The book has been well listed on many 100 best novels of all time, by Time Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Modern Library, Le Monde , BBC 2003 survey and more.
John Ford who was first liberal before becoming more conservative and due to his own Irish background, and the Irish Great famine where people were drifted out of their lands, depicted the Steinbeck’s story on the silver screen in sympathy and hence makes his best masterpiece ever. The film was so much needed at the time of the Great Depression and on the dawn of the World War II, to reach out to the American People more than what the novel of Steinbeck had already reached. The film like the book was a revolution on its own to stir up the American people whose government was still at the time in peace with Nazi Germany. The film arose the people’s conscious along the novel to realize the dark reality of capitalism that was the cause of the Great Depression, their poverty, unemployment and mass misery, also globally the primary cause of wars, and at the time the second world war.
The Birth of Realism in Cinema:
The film with its sheer realism was a prototype for many films to come in US and the rest of the world, such as “On the Waterfront” of Elia Kazan in 1954, and after the second world war in Italy by the Neo-realism movement and great films such as “The bicycle thieves” “Shoeshine”, “Miracle in Milan” and “Umberto D” of Vittorio de Sica, “Rome, Open City”, “Paisan”, “Europe ‘51” “Germany Year Zero”, “Journey to Italy” of Roberto Rossellini,”Ossessione” and “The Earth Trembles” of Luchino Visconti, “Nights of Cabiria” of Federico Fellini” and more.
The story of migrants across US at the time of the Great Depression to the promise land of California, on the screen opens with a panoramic scene, of Tom Joad played by Henry Fonda in an empty road, surrounded by desert lands or Dust Bowl. While the color films had already been in fashion, the black and while color of the film deliberately adds to the imagery of the realism that John Ford tries to depict. The opening scene puts the man in contrast with the harsh nature in a beautiful imagery. Tom Joad, just released from jail after 4 years for pulling knife at someone, going back home, in Oklahoma. On the way home, he meets a former preacher, Casey who has realized the harsh truths of the life, have fallen on people not only by the nature, but more so by the capitalism, the main cause of the Great Depression. So he like everybody else not only has lost his job and money, but his spirit as well. “maybe there is no sin or anyone to save, maybe that what it is”!
When Tom finally along with Casey reach home, he finds it empty: “they’re all gone or dead”. He finally finds out from someone hiding in the house that they all have left their lands, farms, houses and have gone to California, the promised land for work as they were all pushed off their lands by the banks. The cats (caterpillars) and tractors with the support of law and the police had pushed everyone off their lands, knocked down their houses and left them on the roads empty handed. Tom finally finds his family in a nearby farm house who are about to move along for California, with the promise of fruit picking jobs. But Grandpa is not willing to leave his land and his home even if it is no good , but it is his and he belongs here, so the family have to knock him down with alcohol in his coffee, but he shortly dies on the road.
Read the full text here:
Imagine it is 1940 and Europe is at the feet of an ambitious and ruthless dictator and a destructive military machine, and only one man could bring it down to his feet. That man is not a head of a state, a general or a soldier, but the genius of cinema, Charlie Chaplin. “The Great Dictator” on its heroic idea of making and releasing alone at such a sensitive time that could easily lead to the assassination of Chaplin, it is a great achievement and would be impossible not to include it in any list of the greatest films of all time. But of course as any Chaplin’s film, it is multifaceted and harbors its great writing, acting and directing. The originality, the technicality, the impact and the survival of the film was seen right away at the time of its release to this very day. Chaplin once again proved that he is one of the greatest genius of cinema and at the very heart of people of the world.
This political satire comedy was the first Chaplin’s true sound film after a few years of still producing silent into the era of sound film. At the time of 1940 that still the United States was at peace with Nazi Germany, Chaplin stirs the world and more so the America, where the film was produced and released first. That was the first American protest to the dictatorship of Nazis, and at the head Adolf Hitler (in the film Hynkel) and his allies, Italy with Benito Mussolini (in the film Benzino Napoleoni) at the head, and a loud voice of protest against their racism and anti-semitism. Chaplin artfully plays one of the first double roles in cinema, both as the dictator, Hynkel or Hitler and a persecuted Jewish barber. The film became so popular with the audience world wide, to become Chaplin’s most commercially successful film.
As he mocked the capital machinery in the “modern Times”, Chaplin mocks the war machinery right from the start, when in the war camp of the world war I in 1918 as a soldier. Later on in the role of the dictator Hynkel, in his speech to the Tomanian nation, in fact he mocks Hitler German-sounding Gibberish language, very similar to Hitler orations to the whole German nation before and during the war. The dictator speech that liberty, democracy and free speech “stunk”, is not only one of the greatest moment of cinema, but it was one of the greatest blow to the Nazis’ war machine. Chaplin intelligently but very clearly imitates the German Nazi, with very similar terms such as Hynkel for Hitler, XX for SS, Tomonia for Germany or Germania, Benzino Napoleoni for Benito Mussolini, Bacteria for Italy or Italia, Osterlich for Austria, and also satirical terms such as “Garbage” for the minister of propaganda. The satire is not only in words and phrases, but in the whole content of the film such as in the agenda of the dictator to “get rid of Jews first then brunettes to have only blondes, or pure Arians” ruling the world.
Read the full text here:
Since “The Birth of a Nation” by D.W. Griffith that still considered by some including the film critics and historians, as a shame and guilt for the depiction of US inception as a nation, no film had touched the subject until a quarter of century later by “Gone with the wind”. The film while basically is about the American civil war and uniting a separated nation by force and ruling by North, and blowing the old south like gone with the wind, it is a story of love, suffering, struggle, and survival, so like the life itself. Adapted from the book of the same name by Margaret Mitchell, it is beyond a documentary novel, and with its special visuals and great acting for the first time on the silver screen, makes it one of the greatest American films of all time. The title originally from the book, was chosen by Mitchell from a poem by Ernest Dowson, meaning a “lost love”, that was reiterated in the film by Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) when her home in Tara plantation “gone with the wind which swept through Georgia”. The film directed by Victor Fleming who left “The Wizard of Oz” and handed it to King Vidor, to direct this film.
“Gone with the wind” stands out in the history of cinema for once again depiction of the American Civil war, but this time from a southern perspective that was gone with the wind, due to an imposed war of unification. But the film while it is the portray of a struggle for identification and survival of the south and her way of life, it is a struggle for love, regaining of a lost love, then replacement of the love and lastly when all were gone, the struggle for survival and staying alive. Therefore the film is historical, political, melodrama and a monumental epic. It is a bit of short lasting joy and glamour of aristocratic white life in the old south, living like in an empire of her own, then her fall in a home-made war with ultimate casualties and finally her total destruction and submission to the North, abolition of the slavery and reconstruction of the south to take on the way of North to industrialize and expand.
An American Epic:
Read the Full text here:
The Wizard of Oz directed by two American filmmakers, Victor Fleming and King Vidor belongs not to one but a few genres including musical, fantasy, comedy, drama and above all a family and children film. The film is the best adaptation of a 1900 novel by Frank Baum, starring the young Judy Garland as Dorothy. A fantasy film starting in black and white sepia, matching the ordinary desert-like farm life of Kansas, soon after Dorothy’s dream of travelling to the land over the rainbow comes true, it will change to full Technicolor. This on its own alone was innovative and an achievement beyond the time. Then with its unique and meaningful characters, the munchkins, the fantasy lands, musical and even comedy makes the film an icon in American and the world cinema. Although it was a box office disappointment, despite being the most expensive production of MGM to date, its re-releases, starting after the end of the second world war, became popular by the public as it was so by the critics from the start.
An American Icon:
American cinema that was struggling in the 1930’s and during the great depression, all of a sudden right at the end of the decade and on the verge of the WWII, produces two great films, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone with the wind” surprise the world of cinema. The film, a fantasy to instill hope in American people who lost greatly at the time of the great depression, was not first received by the public who have not yet fully recovered from despair and had lost white hopes and not in the mood for fantasy, and apparently preferred the more realistic gloomy rival “Gone with the wind” that year, capturing not the box office but the academy awards as well. But after the war, hope and fantasy returned to the American beliefs and the film flourished truly. As Disney believed and achieved instillation of dreams and hope in a society driven by greed and profits by a few and suffering and poverty of majority, The Wizard of Oz took such a place in the Americans’ hearts and minds to be happy in their dream land if not so in their real land of free! This way Disney and frontier films such as “The Wizard of Oz” created such a fantasy genre that became one of the most popular including several great films in the following years.
Read the full text here:
While 1937 boasted with three greatest films of all time, “La Grand illusion”, “Pépé le Moko” and “Snow white and the seven dwarfs”, 1938 could not match so. Despite Sergei Eisenstein’s “Alexander Nevsky”, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The lady vanishes”, and quite a few other films, some on the greatest films lists or awards winners such as “Pygmalion”, “You can’t take it with you”, “Olympia”, and “Jezebel”, none were quite original, technical masterpiece or having had any impact on other films. But a year later in 1939, when the World War II breaks out in Europe, quite a few great films appear on the silver screen that “Le jour se lève” (“Day Break”) is one. This classic needs to be remembered and reviewed once again, particularly since it was not fairly appreciated like its predecessor “Pépé le Moko” both from France, and played by Jean Gabin.
While color films were already in trend, the film was made in black and white that added to its thrilling and mystery murder poetic realism impression that was the goal of the film. Marcel Carné, one of the key figure in the poetic realism movement in French cinema, born in Paris, lost his mother when only 5 years old. He started his film career as a film critic and worked for quite a few film magazines until 1933. While he was experimenting on short films by age 25, he assisted a few directors such as René Clair.
Beyond a melodramatic thriller:
The film, in story being a melodramatic thriller, that even as such was an original in the genre, had much more to offer to the audience and to the cinema as a whole for the time and over decades to come. The film simple in the story at the surface with no political content or targeting anyone directly, due to its pure bitter realism was banned a year later after release, in France in 1940 by the Vichy government on the grounds of demoralization. But after the war’s end, the film was shown again to wide acclaim in France, and in 1947 it was again suppressed by RKO Radio Pictures that wanted to remake the film in Hollywood as “The long night”! The company acquired the distribution rights of the French film and sought to buy up and destroy every copy of the film that they could obtain. For a time it was feared that they had been successful and that the film was lost, but it re-appeared in the 1950s and has subsequently stood alongside Marcel Carné’s next masterpiece “Les Enfents du paradis” (Children of Paradise).
Read the full text here:
If D.W.Griffith founded Hollywood and is the father of American Cinema, Walt Disney is the father of animation pictures and as everyone knows now the founder of Disney studio and any Disney theme parks and more. All these started by Walt Disney with a life risk taking adventure in 1937 in making “Snow white and the seven dwarfs”, the first full-length animation feature. Although the film was directed by David Hand and a few others and written by quite a few more, the mastermind behind the first animation feature that has so many re-releases and has been the gold standard of all feature animations, has been Walt Disney himself who deserves an introduction, despite being well known to all.
The Man behind all Animations:
Born in December (5, 1901), died in December (15, 1966) and released his and the first feature animation in December (21, 1937), Walt Disney is the founder of cartoons and family entertainment. Despite not being a filmmaker, he stands beside D.W.Griffith and Charlie Chaplin in American Cinema. He holds the record for the most academy awards of 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. Born in Chicago with an early interest in drawing, started a job as a commercial illustrator at 18, he moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. He developed the character of Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first highly popular success, in short animation, a predecessor for his masterpiece, Snow white and the seven dwarfs in 1937. But his adventures and creation of feature animation did not stop there, but continued for years to come in his life time with “Fantasia” and “Pinocchio” both in 1940, “Dumbo” in 1941, “Bambi” in 1942, “Cinderella” and “Treasure island” in 1950, “Alice in Wonderland” in 1951, “The story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men” in 1952, “Peter Pan” in 1953, and finally “Mary Poppins” in 1964, two years before his final farewell.
Read the full text here: