The Jazz Singer (1927)
It was just a short scene in a movie, in which a diminutive actor utters a few unscripted words to the orchestra leader, reciting a line that went down in history: “Wait a minute … you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” But it was a scene that changed the entertainment world and heralded the dramatic arrival of sound to the movies.
Never again would audiences have to read “titles” to explain the action or translate the sweet nothings of lovers. In the space of just over an hour, the silent film was dead.
In the 1920s, sound started creeping in to motion pictures, first via shorts then later making its feature debut in 1927’s The Jazz Singer. In those first formative years, sound was an accessory, it was a flashy new gimmick and that’s how it was used, for the enjoyment and amusement of the audience. Sound was for musical numbers or punching up comedic scenes, and, of course, for dialogue, but it wasn’t yet considered to be the storytelling element, an equal to film’s visual aspect, that it is today.
Until 1931, that is, and Fritz Lang’s M.
A serial-killer thriller and Lang’s first time working with sound, M is also the first major feature to utilize sound as a narrative and filmmaking tool: it advances the plot, it serves as a transition between scenes, it
Darryl F. Zanuck
The first ceremony was held May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, three months after winners had been announced. Like high-school graduates getting diplomas, winners silently went to the stage, accepted the trophy, then sat down; honorable mentions did the same, receiving certificates. Warner Bros. was given an award for “The Jazz Singer,” the only talkie honored. Accepting the trophy, Zanuck did something radical: He said a few words of praise for the WB team. And thus the acceptance speech was born.
The ceremony was first broadcast March 19, 1953, on NBC. The Variety review the next
Since the 1980s, Hollywood has been criticized (with justification) for depicting any religious believer as mindless, evil or both. Filmmakers this year treat them with respect.
“Silence” and “Hacksaw Ridge” daringly center around devout Christians. Religious beliefs have a positive effect on the lead characters in other 2016 films, including “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Jackie,” “Mr. Church,” even “The Conjuring 2.”
Studios have their own belief system, and it’s based on recent hits. Hollywood loves stories about an individual whose principles are challenged, but usually the protagonist is a superhero, cop or animated creature.
“Silence” depicts the culture clash of Western Christians with Japanese. The long legacy of the “white savior” is turned upside down, and the film raises issues of faith, doubt, personal integrity, and the fine line between belief and stubborn pride. To its credit, “Silence” raises questions that audience members must answer.
As a bit of trivia to begin with, the first known piece of moving film footage was the The Horse in Motion (1878), a 3-second experiment consisting of 24 photographs shot in rapid succession. It’s just a scene of a jockey riding a horse, but it ultimately led to the development of modern film.
Most early films were short, silent bits of daily life, showing such exciting events as boarding a train, which was captured in The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station (1895). This film footage supposedly scared the bejesus out of the viewing audience, who thought a real train was coming at them and ran for cover. Early films began to include documentary footage and newsreels,
Every year, HollywoodChicago.com seeks out these filmmakers, to talk about the challenges of using cinema as a expressive platform, in addition to finding their style and artistic energy through the process of creating their films.
Anne Beal, Director of “Positioning”
‘Positioning,’ Directed by Anne Beal
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival
Anne Beal is a local artist and academic who spent a year filling a book called “Know How” – that she randomly found – with self portraits. After that project was done, she decided to create an animated film using the artwork.
HollywoodChicago.com: Your film is very timely,
Meanwhile, movies offer a whole range of tactile sensations, as evidenced by a new supercut from Now You See It host Jack Nugent simply entitled “Touch.” The premise could not be more basic. For a minute and a half, movie characters just touch things, including each other. Rings are fondled. Couches ...
1828 Feral teenager Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering Nuremberg, claiming to have been raised in total isolation. Theories abound and the story inspires many artists down the road including Werner Herzog in the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974).
1877 Influential dancer Isadora Duncan is born. Vanessa Redgrave gets an Oscar nomination playing her in Isadora! (1968)
1886 Al Jolson is born. Will later star in the first "talkie" The Jazz Singer (1927)
1894 Silent film star Norma Talmadge is born
1897 Bram Stoker's epistolary novel "Dracula" is published. Never stops being adapted for film and television but our hearts will always belong to Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) despite the aggravating double possessive
1907 John Wayne was born. Did he always talk like that?
1913 Peter Cushing is born in England. Later stars in Hammer Horror films with his irl best friend Christopher Lee, the Dracula to his Van Helsing.
After serving in the Royal Marines during the second world war, Tony began his career in the film industry. He started as an assistant in the props department and ended up in the cutting rooms, where he considered himself privileged to have enjoyed successful collaborations with the directors Tony Richardson (for whom he edited A Taste of Honey, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Tom Jones), Richard Lester (The Knack, Petulia and Juggernaut) and Nic Roeg (Walkabout and Performance). He definitely played a significant role in the “new wave” of British cinema during the 1960s.
Those sun drenched days belong to a scholar working for France’s department of ministry, Paul Dedalus (Mathieu Amalric). We encounter him as he prepares to leave Tajikistan for Paris.
I don’t know if you could necessarily talk about anything with Storaro, but the man can take any topic that interests him and run with it — for a good, long time, as the following discussion will illustrate. This is not a complaint. Those who are so well-versed in
While in recent years the Oscars returned to Hollywood, and new hotels and clubs drew tourists, office development had been lagging. Now the clusters of Hollywood studio lots are about to be joined by development on an unprecedented scale — that is, if the well-heeled residents of the Hollywood Hills and other neighborhoods approve.
Next year Viacom will relocate MTV, Bet and Comedy Central to Columbia Square, a new office, residential and retail campus built around the art deco former headquarters of CBS that’s also home to NeueHouse, the brand-new invite-only social club/workspace. And BuzzFeed Motion Pictures is
Before technological advances and audience thirst for innovation and unique creativity changed how cinematic achievements are charted, it used to be that we could chart watershed moments in easy chapters.
In 1897 the first studios were formed; 1902 saw A Trip To The Moon in colour; in 1927 sound came with The Jazz Singer… Now, everything is so grand and epic that the spectacular is normal. But that wasn’t the case in 1985, the last truly transformative film year.
If you were lucky enough to live it, it was like a series of ground-zero events that would shake cinema to its core, but because of its importance, there’s no way even the youngest ticket buying film fans could escape its legacy.
Obviously the best films of the year are important to note, but bringing up classics like Brazil, Prizzi’s Honour, Out Of Africa, Ran and The Color Purple is too easy,
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