American Cinema of the 1910s: Themes and Variations (The by Charlie Keil, Ben Singer

By Charlie Keil, Ben Singer

It was once through the youth that filmmaking actually got here into its personal. Studios migrated to the West Coast, constructing a connection among moviemaking and the exoticism of Hollywood. The essays in American Cinema of the 1910s discover the quick advancements of the last decade that all started with D. W. Griffith s unequalled one-reelers. through mid-decade, multi-reel characteristic motion pictures have been profoundly reshaping the and deluxe theaters have been equipped to draw the broadest attainable viewers. Stars like Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks grew to become extremely important and corporations all started writing high-profile contracts to safe them. With the outbreak of global warfare I, the political, monetary, and commercial basis used to be laid for American cinema's worldwide dominance. by way of the top of the last decade, filmmaking had turn into a real undefined, entire with vertical integration, effective specialization and standardization of practices, and self-regulatory companies.
Some of the flicks mentioned during this quantity are: The Lonedale Operator, site visitors in Souls, The Perils of Pauline, The delivery of a country, The Cheat, Intolerance, and female and male.

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Additional info for American Cinema of the 1910s: Themes and Variations (The Screen Decades Series)

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What accounts for the increased centrality of stars to the commercial and competitive strategies of the film industry in the second half of the 1910s? To begin with, producers simply became ever more convinced that stars were the crucial magnet attracting ticket buyers. The industry took its cue from the empirical observation that fans fell in love with stars. The spectator’s sense of personal affinity and connection to a star was, more often than not, what motivated moviegoers’ film selections. Other factors, such as the production company or the story, while sometimes important, 22 BEN SINGER AND CHARLIE KEIL were secondary considerations.

More concrete business practicalities were also a factor in the ascendancy of stars. Paramount and other distributors had established the practice of block booking, whereby an exhibitor was obliged to rent an entire year’s worth of films altogether, sight unseen. This regularized producers’ revenue by protecting them from the risk of losses that would be incurred INTRODUCTION 23 when they made a film that, for whatever reason, fell far below the anticipated number of rentals. Producers tried to convince exhibitors that block booking was a win-win proposition, since overall rental costs could be reduced.

Easily the most prominent subgenre of westerns this year, however, remained films about Indians, as it had been for the past two years. At least ten Indian westerns were released each month. For several reasons, especially the landscape of the East Coast where most Indian films were shot, they drew more from James Fenimore Cooper’s novels of sociable natives than from the post–Civil War plains battles that became the model for a half-century from 1911 onward (Simmon, Invention 12–54). Several companies had a sideline in Indian westerns, including Selig, Lubin, and Biograph, and among the most fascinating are those directed for Pathé by James Young Deer, of Winnebago ancestry.

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