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The Birth of an Abbreviation Abhorred by the Budding U.S. Film Industry

11 August 2017 7:53 PM, PDT

“Movies” or…? Quo Vadis: One of the first feature films ever made, Enrico Guazzoni's Italian epic came out in 1913, going on to become a global sensation. Should American “moving picture” fans of the early 1910s have referred to it as a “photoplay” or a “movie”? Silent bites: The birth of 'the movies' In 1926, in her native England, Iris Barry published what is generally considered the first serious historical study of the motion picture as an art form. Utilizing the British slang term, she chose to title it Let's Go to the Pictures. Later that same year, when the book was published in the United States, the title was changed to Let's Go to the Movies, in recognition of what had become the most familiar form by which the motion picture was known – and would continue to be known.[1] The history of the term “movies” is a fascinating one, dating »


- Anthony Slide

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Bigelow's Detroit Review Pt. 2: Marketable Thriller Instead of Real-Life Tragedy

6 August 2017 9:12 PM, PDT

'Still-living history' See previous post: “'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'.” But I'm a Black American from the 1960s, who knows this history as a history of the lives of my people in this nation. From uprisings in Philly and Harlem, to those in Watts and Ferguson (where I lived for years), these stories have been lived and told from generation to generation with the specific intention of keeping me and black boys like me alive. The idea that the police could and did kill black folks anywhere, at anytime, for any reason – or no reason at all – has been a baseline of understanding in black communities for 400 years, give or take a week or two during Reconstruction and Bill Clinton's first election. For Black Americans, the events of Detroit '67 are not the events of a “dramatic thriller.” They are the events of a tragedy and still-living history we »


- Tim Cogshell

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No Matter How Well Made, Bigelow Depiction of Detroit Rebellion Both Condescending and Self-Serving

6 August 2017 9:10 PM, PDT

Detroit movie street riot scene: The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 Detroit riots in “horribly real” and “deeply self-serving” 2017 release marketed as a “dramatic thriller.” Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' movie: Horribly real semidocumentary or self-serving Hollywood depiction of 1967 Detroit Rebellion? In the city of Detroit, from July 23 through July 27 of 1967, the people rebelled against the conditions of their existence. Some call this the 1967 Detroit Riot; it's also known as the 12th Street Riot and the 1967 Detroit Rebellion. I prefer the latter. During the rebellion, 43 people died – 33 of whom were black, 10 were white. Twenty-four of the black victims were shot by police officers and National Guardsmen, while six were shot by store owners or security guards. Three of those killings are the subject of Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, her itinerant The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty scenario writer Mark Boal (who also wrote Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah), and »


- Tim Cogshell

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Desert-Set Adventure Movie Filled with Unsavory Characters Dares to Posit Ancient Philosophical Question

6 August 2017 5:38 PM, PDT

Desert Nights with John Gilbert and Mary Nolan: Enjoyable Sahara-set adventure – which happened to be Gilbert's last silent film – dares to ask the age-old philosophical question, “Is there honor among thieves?” John Gilbert late silent adventure 'Desert Nights' asks a question for the ages: Is there honor among thieves? The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release Desert Nights arrived in theaters at the tail end of the silent era. By 1929, audiences wanted lots of singing and dancing – talkies! And they might have been impatient to hear John Gilbert's speaking voice. I can't tell whether sound would have improved it or not, but Desert Nights has a lot of title cards filled with dialogue. Directed by the prolific William Nigh,[1] the film tells the story of diamond thieves who get stranded in the Sahara and almost die of thirst. (At first, Desert Nights' was appropriately titled Thirst.) Cinematographer James Wong Howe perfectly captures the hot, dry »


- Danny Fortune

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