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Early Cinema (1895-1926) Essay

During this period, there were big towns coming up. The towns offered new opportunities and advantages to the cinema practitioners. The cost of production of cinemas greatly dropped as the demand for their products increased steadily. These innovations of various machines led to concepts like leisure with people increasing valuing how they spend their free time. The year 1895 came with the invention of motion picture cameras. These included both the portable cameras and the cinematograph projector. The advancements marked the beginning of the motion picture era with the field of cinema becoming more popular. In 1895, Lumiere presented the first projected, moving, photographic pictures to a group of audience. This was an improvement from the earlier invention by Edison. Later in 1896, Edison invented an improved vetascope projector. The advancements show increase in number of artists in the cinema field. However, the field has been facing a lot of contradictions from within its players as witnessed between the mainstream and the avant-garde.

Things that add value to movies

A good movie has to have at least a good storyline. The storyline helps in capturing the attention of the audience while keeping their interest in the movie . The story line should not be very slow as this may confuse the audience and eventually compel them to stop watching the movie. Great stories played out on the screen can be the most interesting section of any movie. Storylines such as “Gone with the wind Armageddon” have been identified to have a great impact on the audience perspective about the movies.

The second aspect that adds value to a movie is the passion the actors give to the part that they play. Characters should strive to utilize all their abilities to enable them become the character they represent. An example of such an actor is Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest. Nicholson put every of his ability and skills to enrich the parts that he is playing in the movie. The audience literally waits to welcome him whenever he appears on stage.

Thirdly, there is need for scene continuity. The movie can be very irritating to the audience if they are loosing the track and have to find their own way every time within a movie. There is thus a need for proper connection between events and a proper coordination of actors to ensure proper utilization of the time budgeted for. This can be possible by the actors playing the leading role. The actors can for example consider giving the audience a hint at various levels of the play.

A good movie should also have specific events which grabs the attention of the audience. Such scenes and actors form the climax of the movie and pull its audience into it. The events can for a moment make them imagine that they are in the real world and are no longer watching a movie. This will avoid the unnecessary boredom by the audience. A good movie should also have some elements of fun. Movies should win the emotions of its audience too. The movies which send its audience crying and scare them to an extent while at the same time making them to laugh too much is attractive to many groups of audience.

Melodrama

Melodrama is a form of drama such as play, film, or television program characterized by exaggerated emotions, stereotypical characters, and interpersonal conflicts. It focuses on incidences that are considered sensational. It usually has a plot with both the noble hero and the long suffering heroine. The term melodrama comes from the word melody implying that it is normal for any melodrama to be enriched with music. The exaggeration may be witnessed during the performance of the drama or in the extreme way in which the actors change the plot. Melodrama is rampant with the soap operas where it is a common phenomenon to use characters that may have one time died. Melodrama also seeks to demonstrate the contrast between good and evil as an attempt to promote the correct moral issues within the society. It achieves these by ensuring that Good triumph over Evil in all such plays or films.

Melodrama is very sensational and can make the audience shed tears. The exaggeration may send audience gasping severally making them be active throughout the play. It doesn’t engage much of the cognitive process of the audience but gives them a real experience with tragic events such as wars, and accidents. The popularity of melodrama has been diminishing since the early 20th. It is still seen in the contemporary film genres such as the action movies. 

The Avant-Garde

It is a collective name for the artists who reacts against norms as they emerge. A common belief among the Avant-Garde is that art offers the most immediate and fastest way to ensure social, political and economic reform. Different from the main stream cinema, which aims to entertain, avant-garde cinema aims to challenge the norms practiced by the mainstream. It is against the perception by the mainstream that the ultimate goal of art is to entertain. They therefore, contrary to the mainstream which protects their audience, attack their audience. They are concerned with irrationality and strongly oppose the products that teach traditions like the dada and surrealists. 

The surrealists are extremely found of recreating the dream sequence in their films as evidenced in Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou for example. The viewers keep getting lost because of lack of consistency in the various aspects of narration. The time of narration, the places at which the events are happening and the characters involved keep on changing. The actions throughout the play are not well connected either. Using the title Un Chien Andalou is in itself confusing to the audience as it signified nothing of the events in the film.  Even more confusing to the audience are the sections’ headings of the Avant-Garde which do not always provide the traditional context of a narrative that they expect.

On the other hand, the Hollywood (mainstream) style emphasizes that the means of the film production should be invisible, accessible and also universal in its emotional appeals. The mainstream directors are majorly concern with keeping the viewer in touch throughout the play. Alfred Hitchcock while describing his craft indicated that he tried to tell his story in the simplest possible way. His reason was that he wanted to be sure that it will have the attention of any audience and that it won’t irritate or scare them away. In contrast avant-garde defines themselves in opposition of the diegetic constructs favored by the mainstream filmmakers. However, there exist certain similarities between the two groups.  The mainstream directors are beginning to use such techniques as abrupt transitions and narrative techniques such as nonlinear narration that have a tendency to break the diegesis.