The theater is a performing art . In French , it is commonly referred to as the ” seventh art “, according to the expression of the critic Ricciotto Canudo in the 1920s 1 . The cinematographic art is characterized by the spectacle proposed to the public in the form of a film, that is to say a narrative (fictional or documentary), conveyed by a medium (flexible film, magnetic tape, digital container) which is recorded and read by a continuous or intermittent mechanism that creates the illusion of moving images, or by continuous recording and reading of computer data. Communication to the public of the recorded show, which is different from the live performance, is done by the illumination through the support, the passage of light by a set of mirrors and / or optical lenses, and the projection of this light beam on a transparent screen (Émile Reynaud, Thomas Edison ) or opaque (Lumière brothers), or the diffusion of the digital signal on a plasma or LED screen. In the original and limiting sense, cinema is the public projection of a film on a screen (indoor or outdoor). From Émile Reynaud, in 1892Film creators understand that the projected show is better accompanied by music that builds the mood of the story, or highlights each action represented. Very quickly, they add noises caused by an assistant during each screening, and make comments on the actions by a huckster also present in the room. Since its invention, cinema has become a popular art , entertainment , industry and media . It may also be used for advertising, propaganda , pedagogy or scientific research purposes or as part of a personal and singular artistic practice.

The term “cinema” is the abbreviation of cinematograph (from the Greek κίνημα / kínēma , “movement” and γραφή / graphê , “art of writing, writing”), name given by Léon Bouly to the camera of which he filed the patent in 1892 . Having no longer paid the royalties in the following years, he lost the property and the Lumière brothers took him back this name. Antoine Lumière (the father) would have preferred that the machine of his sons be named “Domitor”, but Louis and Auguste preferred Cinématographe, word in their opinion more dynamic. However, Antoine’s word came back1985 , the International Association for the Development of Early Cinema Research has, with a little humor, dubbed their association Domitor . The word cinema is polysemous, it can designate the filmic art, or the techniques of the animated shooting and their presentation to the public, or, by metonymy , the roomin which the films are shown. It is in this last meaning that the term is itself often abbreviated in French in the familiar language, in “cinema” or “cinoche”, the reference to the screen of projection having moreover given the expression of the cinephiles, “To make a web”. In the same vein, “make cinema”, “is cinema” (that is untrue or exaggerated), are expressions born of the th art.

It should be noted that in 1891, Thomas Edison named Kinétographe the animated camera he had designed and that his assistant, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson , had developed, and which was at the origin of the first films of the cinema, as early as 1891 . This term kinetograph (after the ancient Greek kinetos and graphein meaning respectively “movement” and “write”) served as a basis for appellation of cinema in several languages ​​other than Latin. Kino , in both German and Russian, and in many other languages 2 , refers to cinema 3 .

If films are representative objects of specific cultures of which they are sometimes faithful reflection 4 , their diffusion is potentially universal, the stories they convey are indeed based on the great feelings shared by all humanity. Their theatrical exploitation, favored by subtitling or dubbing dialogue, has become secondary at the commercial level, the sale of broadcasting rights to television channels , and their making available in domestic formats have become the main sources of cinema recipes. According to a study by ABN AMRO ( 2000), about 26% of revenues from American studios come from the sale of tickets in theaters, 28% come from television broadcasts, and 46% come from the sale of home formats ( cassettes , DVDs , Blu-Ray , Internet , etc.) 5 .

Main article: History of Cinema .

Precinema and beginnings

The cinema was born at the end of the xix th century . To designate the research that leads to the invention of cinema, so before the first films in 1891 , we speak of precinema 6 . It is often said that the inventors of cinema were the Lumière brothers . They themselves did not claim as much and corrected this assertion by recalling that the cinema was the result of research feverishly pursued all over the world, and that everyone had arrived at his ends “in a handkerchief”. In fact, the first films, as Laurent Mannoni, a film historian and curator of cinemas at the Cinémathèque Française, put it, were recorded by Kinetograph (in Greek, movement writing): camera of the American Thomas Edison , patented August 24, 1891, employing 35 mm perforated film and a system of intermittent advance of the film by “ratchet wheel”. Between 1891 and 1895, Edison made some seventy films. ” 7

But the illusion of moving images was given earlier (beginning of xix th century ) by scientific toys that use drawings of a subject in the different phases of a gesture split into a dozen or two thumbnails one looks succession by slits or through mirrors in rotation. These “living room toys”, which were popular with a rich audience, were designed to develop scientific curiosity in the minds of children from good families. These include the Phénakistiscope of the Belgian Joseph Plateau , the Zootrope of the Englishman William George Horner , the FolioscopePierre-Hubert Desvignes, an adaptation of the English Flipbook by John Barnes Linnett , and the French Praxinoscope by Émile Reynaud. Not to mention the Zoopraxiscope of the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge , but it should be noted that Muybridge and his famous French equivalent Étienne-Jules Marey and his assistant Georges Demenÿ have developed various machines or optical processes for a more scientific than commercial purpose, to try to decompose, and thus study, the movements of human beings or animals, and in general any phenomenon too fast to be analyzed by the eye human (examples: drop of a drop of water, explosions or chemical reactions).

First films

In 1891 , under the direction of the American Thomas Edison , the inventor of the industrial manufacture of light bulbs and the designer and manufacturer of the phonograph , his principal collaborator, the electrical engineer William Kennedy Laurie Dickson , succeeded animated photographic shots and their presentation to the public.

First cinematographic cameras

Thomas Edison, who became almost deaf during his teenage years, dreams of pairing the phonograph with a machine that would record the image of a singer or an orchestra performing a song or an operatic aria. “We might as well attend a concert of the Metropolitan Opera and fifty years later, when all the performers have long gone 8 . ”

1891: the kinetograph with horizontal scrolling: on the left, the electric motor; on the right, regulation; in the center, the winding-drive-alternating-lens-shutter assembly. When shooting, the camera is closed by a cover.

A fundamental invention is timely. That of the American John Carbutt who, in 1888 , put on the market, manufactured by the factories of George Eastman , a supple celluloid support , intended for photography , cut in rolls of 70 mm wide, coated or not with substance photosensitive. The date of 1888 can be considered as the end of precinema and the beginning of cinema. From Carbutt-Eastman’s non-perforated flexible tape, Edison and Dickson first create a specific 19 mm wide format . It’s a photograms formatCirculars about 12 mm in diameter (survival of optical toys that preceded this invention) that scroll horizontally, driven by a single row of rounded rectangular perforations , arranged at the bottom of the photograms, at the rate of 6 perforations per image. Dickson and his assistant William Heise record on this support the first films of the cinema. “Dickson’s tapes are, strictly speaking, the first films 9 . “The mechanism used to advance the film and stop behind the lens to impress an image, then restart to stop immediately to impress another image, is already known in the world of mechanics: the electric ratchet wheel . “Kinétographe (in Greek, movement writing): camera of the American Thomas Edison, patented August 24, 1891, employing perforated film 35 mm and a system of intermittent advance of the film by” ratchet wheel “. Between 1891 and 1895, Edison performs some seventy movies 10 . ” This is Edison who had the idea to use the word English movie , which means” sail “,” layer “, to denote the film reels impressed 11 .

In one of these films, William Heise films Dickson, who salutes the future audience. This is in principle the first film of cinema, according to some historians, but for others, it is still a test part of the precinema . It is entitled The Hi Dickson ( Dickson Greeting ), which lasts less than ten seconds, of which there remain only two seconds. It is presented on May 20, 1891 before an assembly of one hundred and fifty activists of the Federation of Women’s Clubs . The success is at the rendezvous, the spectators, individually or two by two, crowd around the kinetoscope and watch several times each Dickson’s Salut, expressing their astonishment and satisfaction, the first public performance of a film 12 . The desired cycle of the recording of the movement and its restitution is finally acquired 13 , the date is certified by this public presentation, the first films are those of Edison-Dickson.

In 1893 , Edison and Dickson decided to increase the surface of the photograms by cutting in two rolls of 35 mm wide Eastman support of 70 mm , that they endow with 2 sets of 4 rectangular perforations for each photogram and which this time , scrolls vertically. They are launching what will become, twenty years later, the standard international format for filming and film screenings . This format, the 35 mm , is still used today, although made practically museological by digital processes.

First motion picture viewer

In parallel with the experimentation of these two formats, Dickson develops, in the industrial Edison, a device to see in motion the future films, it is the kinetoscope , a wooden furniture on which the spectator looks and can view individually a film that runs continuously, driven by an electric motor, in front of a light box. The user observes the film through a peephole and a set of magnifying glasses. The movement is restored by the passage of a movable disk shutter , synchronized with the film drive through the perforations, which reveals the photograms one after the other, at the rate of 18 units per second. ” The cinema, as we know it today, with the invention of the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope. These two instruments Represent the first practical method of cinematography “(The cinema as we know it today, began with the invention of the Kinetoscope and Kinetograph. These two machines are the first successful method of taking cinematic views) 14 .

The kinetoscopes (whose commercial name is exactly kinetoscope peep show machine ), attract many curious, but Edison, in the euphoria of the victory, deposits the patent of his apparatus only for the American territory, a stupefying fault of the part of a man, however, fussy and procedurous. Counterfeits will immediately develop around the world, Edison can do nothing. “At that time, it was of course too late to protect my interests,” he wrote in his memoirs 15 . However, during the summer of 1894 , he organized public demonstrations of kinetoscopes in Paris, which were attended by Antoine Lumière, photographer of great talent and father of Auguste and Louis. Antoine also attends, a few steps away, a screening session of the first cartoons of cinema , presented by the French designer and inventor Émile Reynaud in the basement of the Musée Grévin , with his Optical Theater . Antoine returns to Lyon and directs his sons towards the conception of equivalent machines of the kinetoscope and the kinetograph. Thus, on December 26, 1894 , one can read in the newspaper Le Lyon républicain, that the Lumière brothers “are currently working on the construction of a new kinetograph, no less remarkable than that of Edison, and of which the Lyonnais will soon have, as we believe, the first”, 16 irrefutable proof of the anteriority of the Edison machines and films over its French competitors. The film historian Georges Sadoul asserts loud and clear that “the bands filmed by Dickson are strictly speaking the first films” 1 , but in the same book, he delivers an impressive essay of world chronology, five thousand films from fifty countries , it begins in 1892 , with the projections of Émile Reynaud. The historian takes into account both Dickson’s essays between 1888and 1891 (including the Hi Dickson , it considers being a test) and bright Pantomimes Reynaud 1 .

From 1893 , Edison opened everywhere in the United States, or had Kinetoscope Parlors open, under license, rooms where are lined up several devices loaded with different films that can be viewed for a flat fee of 25 cents . These are the first real recipes of the cinema. Laurie Dickson is responsible for directing the shots, so he is the first director in history. He built the first movie studio , the Black Maria(popular nickname of police vans, black and uncomfortable), covered with black tarred paper whose effect inside is that of an overheated greenhouse. The small building with sunroof is placed on a circular rail and can be oriented according to the position of the sun, because the daylight will be long the only lighting used to shoot films. Each film is a maximum of 60 seconds, consisting of a single shot, a single shot . At first, Edison films are more of a music halland fair attractions. He stubbornly refuses, despite Dickson’s advice, to develop the development of a large-screen projection device, which would not have been technically impossible, but the American industrialist believes that the exploitation of individual films in the kinetoscope parlors is commercially preferable to an exploitation in front of an assembled public. But, in 1895 , the success of Louis Lumière’s films, all shot in natural outsides, forces Edison to desert the Black Maria. It lighten the kinetograph by removing the electric motor and it adopts the crank used by the light cameras. He then bought a projection device from a bankrupt inventor (in 1895-1896, an anthology of cinema machines appeared almost simultaneously with the presentation of the Lumière cinematograph), and launched the vitascope .

In 1914, a fire ravaged in West Orange film library film slabs in cellulose nitrate. Fortunately, Edison, in advance of his contemporaries, had instituted a legal deposit of his productions filmed at the Library of Congress , in the only authorized form: the paper. He made a copy of the films on a perforated paper strip 35 mm wide coated with developed and then fixed photosensitive emulsion . The paper films are of poor quality, but once bench-titles , they now recreate the works destroyed 17 .

First animated projections

In 1877 , Émile Reynaud , professor of science and photographer, created his optical toy , the Praxinoscope , which he himself drew the thumbnails, funny or poetic. The Praxinoscope immediately meets the public’s favor and the latest model even allows the projection of the drawings on a small screen, because Reynaud thinks that his art can reach its peak by taking again the magic effect of the luminous lanterns. But, like all “living room toys”, his subjects are in a loop: the gesture, the pirouette, the transformation, last only a second. In 1892, one year after Edison’s first films, whose duration is not longer, Reynaud undertakes to build an ambitious project that has been obsessing him for some fifteen years: a machine that would allow to project on a big screen, giving the illusion of movement, drawings that tell a true story lasting two to five minutes. With patience, he draws and paints several hundred vignettes that represent the different attitudes of moving characters, confronted with each other, on squares of gelatin that he frames with strong paper (as will be later slides ) and that ‘it connects to one another by metal strips protected by fabric, all with a width of 70 mm. His technique is the beginning of what will be called cartoon , and the reconstituted movement classifies his show in the category of films, and therefore of cinema.

In October 1892 , Émile Reynaud presents in Paris, in the Fantastic Cabinet of the Grévin Museum , what he calls the Optical Theater , where his luminous Pantomimes are projected , as he calls his films. Émile Reynaud’s Optical Theater breaks new ground with respect to Thomas Edison by launching the first screenings of animated films on the big screen. Unlike the solo viewing of kinetoscopes, the Optical Theater audience is gathered to follow the story projected on the screen. Thus, the Grévin Museum can boast of having been the first cinema screening room, three years before the Lumière brothers’ screenings at the Salon Indien du Grand Café .

Cinematography Light

In the summer of 1894 , during a trip to Paris, Antoine Lumière attends one of animated projections of the optical theater of Emile Reynaud to Grevin Museum, at o 10 Boulevard Montmartre. Then he went to a demonstration of the Kinetoscope, organized a few hundred meters o 20 Boulevard Poissonnière. Edison’s representatives offer him a sample of about thirty centimeters of the perforated 35 mm film of the American industrialist. “Amazed by the Edison Kinetoscope” 18 , Antoine returns to Lyon, convinced that the market for recording machines and representation of photographic views in motion (the English word film, adopted for the first time by Thomas Edison in 1893 to designate the impressed films is not yet known) is at hand and that this market is full of commercial promise. The projections of the Optical Theater and the reactions of the audience convinced him that the future is not in the Kinetoscope, seen by only one spectator at a time, but in a machine like Reynaud’s, projecting on a screen animated views, in front of an assembled public.

Eccentric cam and claws Light, round perforations. Not represented on the animation: an arm carrying two ramps, rotating with the cam, realized the depression of the two claws and their withdrawal.

The flexible film is manufactured by Eastman who collects industrial rights included in the price of each footage of the medium it sells. This smooth film must be transformed on its borders so that the claws can engage in perforations and ensure the precise passage of an already impressed photogram to another photogram to impress. But the Lumière brothers know that rectangular Edison perforations have been the subject of several patents, and that they are an essential industrial reality. Their duplication would be a case of forgery on the part of the Light that Edison would not have hesitated to sue. To avoid paying fees to the American, the Lumière brothers endow their film with round perforations,19 , 16 . Edison perforated film, more efficient, was chosen worldwide by film makers as the standard format for shooting and projection in 1903 .

The Lumière brothers then ascend a series of paid screenings in Paris, in the Salon Indien du Grand Café , at o 14 Boulevard des Capucines. The first day, December 28, 1895, only thirty-three spectators (including two journalists) come to appreciate the various “sights” 20 , 1 . Word of mouth helping, in a week the line reaches the street Caumartin. The screenings are sold out and the sessions are doubled, the impact of this success, which over the months, does not fade, is global. Ten films, which Louis Lumière calls ” animated photographic views “, constitute the show, including The Exit of the Lumière factory in Lyon,The Place des Cordeliers in Lyon , The landing of the photography congress in Lyon , Swimming at sea , children diving into the waves, The Blacksmiths , like Edison, but with real blacksmiths and a real forge because Dickson, for the purpose of filming, had simply reconstructed the forge with mere unconvincing extras. There follow two family scenes with a baby, the daughter of Auguste Lumière , The Baby Meal and The Goldfish Fishing , then two “comic views”, in fact military antics, The Stunt and The Jump on the cover , in the tradition of comicstroopers . The session concludes with the famous L’Arroseur watered (The Gardener), which is in fact the first fiction in the history of cinema, played by actors (the first fiction films are the luminous Pantomimes drawn Émile Reynaud) .

Thomas Edison understands that the cinematograph’s projection technique on the big screen has just sounded the death knell for his Kinetoscope. His engineer Laurie Dickson enters the competition. “Pressed by time, Edison acquires the inventor Francis Jenkins his projection device released in October 1895 under the name of Phantascope, which he adapts with the help of the engineer Thomas Armat , and he calls the Vitascope . Edison can then project on the big screen the many films he has already recorded since 1893 with the Kinetic. For his part, Émile Reynaud maintains his projections at the Musée Grévin. It drains half a million spectators, between 1892 and 1900, which represents a great success. However, competition very close to the Grand Café reaches him directly and he reacts by trying to adapt to his machine photographic strips. But Eastman films are in black and white, and their coloring with varnish goes against the pastel hues of Reynaud’s delicate designs. “At the dawn of the xx th century, Émile Reynaud bankrupt. In desperation, he destroys his machines, sold by the weight of the material. As for the celluloid strips drawn, he throws them into the Seine. An irreparable loss … Only two wonders will escape, Around a cabin , and Poor Pierrot .

Birth of an industry

To vary the programs, and especially to sell their films and their cinematograph (the device itself) to the rich individuals, the Lumière brothers feed their funds by “views” that they rotate by operators sent around the world. The most famous of them, Gabriel Veyre , Alexandre Promio , Francis Doublier , Felix Mesguichrecord reels that have only one shot, one shot. Exceptionally, they stop “milling”, in order to save the precious Eastman film during a scene that they consider longuette, and they resume a little later, creating two shots in the same bobbin which is then cut and glued by eliminating the overexposed photograms that correspond to the stop and restart of the camera. Premisses of the assembly? It can be said that no, since it is a simple repair.

However, Georges Méliès , famous illusionist, attends one of the first screenings of the Grand Café. He imagines immediately how the projection of films could enrich his show at the Robert Houdin theater that he bought in 1888 . He proposes at the end of the session to buy back for an astronomical sum (he is then fortunate) the patents that protect the Cinematograph. Antoine Lumière refuses with good nature and told him: “Young man, I do not want to ruin you, this device has only scientific value, it has no future in the show”.

After the polite refusal of Antoine Lumière, Georges Méliès does not admit defeat, it is not his genre. He turns to his English friends, Birt Acres and Robert William Paul, inventors of the Kinetic camera they have developed about the same dates as the Cinematographe Lumière. Robert William Paul has made a name for himself by making the counterfeits of Edison’s Kinetoscope in England. This time, he provides Méliès with a single model camera. It remains for the Frenchman to feed his camera with film. He managed to get a stock of Eastman 70 mm virgin film in England and embarked on two perilous technical operations that he led himself, prestidigitation oblige!mm . Then, with another machine of its manufacture, it creates a row of rectangular perforations on each edge of the film. His film is ready to be impressed.

Leon Gaumont , an industrialist who sells equipment and supplies for photography, and who believed for a time in 60 mm format Georges Demen, soon offers a catalog of thriving film reels 35 mm 21 . He entrusts his secretary, Alice Guy , to direct the production of these films. Alice Guy is the first woman filmmaker in the world, she herself realizes hundreds of reels, including a Passion (of Jesus) that marks the arrival of religion on the market halls, and which has a scenario famous and tried: the way of the cross . A newcomer arrives in the race for success: Charles Pathé, a showman enriched by his film screenings, who decides to send operators around the world, following the example of Louis Lumière, to film typical scenes, always in the form of reels containing a single shot 21 . In a short time, with the help of his brother, his company, Pathé-Cinéma , became as powerful as the most important American production companies, be it Edison Studios or Vitagraph Company . Its triumphal emblem is the Gallic rooster , and is still today.

Birth of a language

From 1891 to 1900 , and even a few years later, the films always present themselves in the same light: a film reel 35 mm to 20 meters about ( 65 feet ), on which is impressed a single camera comprising a single frame (a shot ), which, in projection, lasts less than a minute.

It is the English filmmakers who first discover the virtues of cutting into shots and its corollary, editing . The film historian Georges Sadoul groups them under the name of ” Brighton School “, and reserves to the most inventive of them a hat trick deserved: “In 1900, George Albert Smith was still with James Williamson at the avant-garde of cinematographic art » 1. Others do not hesitate to declare: “While William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, William Heise, Louis Lumière, Alexander Promio, Alice Guy, George Méliès, in short, the inventors of primitive cinema, do not depart from the habit, all photographic and scenic, shooting a single shot to film a single action in one place, George Albert Smith, he describes a single action taking place in one place, with several shots which are connected to each other by visual logic alone. It was later called the shooting script, cutting in planes of space and time to shoot 22 . ”

Directed by George Albert Smith in 1900 , Granny’s Reading Glasses , or Grandma’s Magnifying Glass , is the first film in which a specific way of film is experimented with describing an action. In this twenty-minute film about very thin, as is customary to conceive them at the time: a child uses the magnifying glass of his grandmother to observe around him, George Albert Smith alternates two kinds of shooting. A main and wide framing shows the boy in the company of his grandmother, busy darning. The boy takes the magnifying glass and directs it first to a watch, which is then seen in close-upthrough a round cut in the shape of a magnifying glass. The young boy searches around him, and points his magnifying glass at a bird in a cage. Close up of the bird through the cutout. The child then directs the magnifying glass to his grandma. A very close-up rather funny picture shows the right eye of the grandmother, who turns in all directions, always seen through a round cut. The grandson sees his grandmother’s kitten hidden in his sewing basket. Closeup of the kitten through the magnifying glass. The kitten leaps out of the basket, the grandmother stop there the game of her grandson. This succession of shots, linked by the same story, inaugurates the division into shots of a movie film, what is today called technical cutting, or more simply cutting. And its logical continuation, which is the montage of these elements filmed separately, said alternate assembly. The discovery is important, fundamental. As a bonus, this film invents thesubjective plan , since each close-up seen through the lens, is a subjective plan that borrows the gaze of the boy. In our time, this division into plans seems easy and obvious, almost banal. But in 1900 , it’s a revolution.

George Méliès, he does not understand the essential contribution to the cinema of his good friends of Brighton, and The Voyage in the Moon that he realizes in 1902 is there again, in spite of his numerous humorous inventions, a succession of paintings in the manner music hall for almost 13 minutes. This reservation makes it possible to affirm that Georges Méliès is not, contrary to what is often said, the inventor of the fiction, whereas his technical contribution, like illusionist, is considerable, in particular with the stop of camera , a process he takes from William Heise and Alfred Clark of the Edison team who shot The Execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots in 1895. But while William Heise only once used this “thing” elementary (still had to discover it), Georges Méliès, him, after a first successful test in 1896 ( Escamotage of a lady at the Robert-Houdin theater ), declines the camera stop on dozens of films with an invention renewed each time and extraordinary dexterity, which still amazes all the professionals of the cinema today.

In 1908 , David Wark Griffith , an American autodidact who began his film career starring in the film Sauvé from the Eagle’s Nest (duration: 7 minutes), directed by Edwin S. Porter , for which he agreed to ‘improviser stuntman’ , is then entrusted with the making of a 13-minute film, The Adventures of Dollie . The discoveries of George Albert Smith, and more generally the English school of Brighton, have opened to filmmakers a huge creative space, hence the duration of films cut into shots is between 10 and 13 minutes, that is to say a film reel 35 mm of 300 meters. We then say of a movie that it makes 1 reel or 2. Dollie’s Adventuresis a movie of a reel. The subject is simple: the girl of a well-off couple is kidnapped by a couple of “Travelers”, who wants revenge for their haughty behavior. The father pursues the kidnappers and catches them, but does not find in their trailer any trace of his child. The kidnappers locked Dollie in a wooden barrel. By passing a ford, the caravan lets out the barrel that floats on the water. The providential current brings back the barrel, and the little girl, in front of the parents’ house. DWGriffith accepts this subject, which seems difficult to achieve, because of the different places and the simultaneity of the actions, because it understands – and this without any previous experience – how to treat this kind of parallel actions. Which is not obvious in 1908.

Yet that’s what DWGriffith tries and succeeds, from his first film, The Adventures of Dollie. He mixes the shots that show the reunited family, playing badminton, with the gypsy couple’s shots in their encampment, the man coming back from his humiliating confrontation with the husband who hit him and swearing at his campaign that he’s going get revenge. Then the man returns to the family’s house, takes advantage of the fact that the girl is alone, seizes her by preventing her from screaming and carries her off. He arrives at the camp and shows the girl to her companion who is upset, and who, for this reason, receives punishment from his companion. In front of the house, the family notices the disappearance of the girl and the husband goes out looking for her with neighbors. At the camp, the man hides Dollie in a barrel he closes. The father and the neighbors tumble, furious, and jostling the couple, looking everywhere without thinking of opening the barrel. They can only withdraw empty-handed, leaving free the couple of kidnappers who leave the camp immediately. The trailer goes off at a gallop and crosses a river, the barrel is detached, it is driven by the current. In their garden, the well-off couple are despairing because their research has not yielded anything. Several shots then show the barrel moving on the course of the river, crossing a small waterfall. In front of the house, a big fishing boy, who sees the barrel stop in the grass bordering the river. He calls the father, who suddenly strains his ear to the barrel, which makes him think he hears cries. He opens the barrel and releases the little Dollie. The family is finally reunited in joy. The trailer goes off at a gallop and crosses a river, the barrel is detached, it is driven by the current. In their garden, the well-off couple are despairing because their research has not yielded anything. Several shots then show the barrel moving on the course of the river, crossing a small waterfall. In front of the house, a big fishing boy, who sees the barrel stop in the grass bordering the river. He calls the father, who suddenly strains his ear to the barrel, which makes him think he hears cries. He opens the barrel and releases the little Dollie. The family is finally reunited in joy. The trailer goes off at a gallop and crosses a river, the barrel is detached, it is driven by the current. In their garden, the well-off couple are despairing because their research has not yielded anything. Several shots then show the barrel moving on the course of the river, crossing a small waterfall. In front of the house, a big fishing boy, who sees the barrel stop in the grass bordering the river. He calls the father, who suddenly strains his ear to the barrel, which makes him think he hears cries. He opens the barrel and releases the little Dollie. The family is finally reunited in joy. Several shots then show the barrel moving on the course of the river, crossing a small waterfall. In front of the house, a big fishing boy, who sees the barrel stop in the grass bordering the river. He calls the father, who suddenly strains his ear to the barrel, which makes him think he hears cries. He opens the barrel and releases the little Dollie. The family is finally reunited in joy. Several shots then show the barrel moving on the course of the river, crossing a small waterfall. In front of the house, a big fishing boy, who sees the barrel stop in the grass bordering the river. He calls the father, who suddenly strains his ear to the barrel, which makes him think he hears cries. He opens the barrel and releases the little Dollie. The family is finally reunited in joy.

This cutting is actually inspired by the novelistic technique. Although never having attended university, Griffith is cultivated. Among the trades that made him live, there is that of bookseller; like Edison, he read a lot. He knows that the novelist constantly uses his gift of ubiquityto parallel two or more actions that take place at the same time. Griffith thinks that cutting into shots makes it possible to move from an action in a set, to another simultaneous action taking place in a different setting but part of the same story, with the possibility of going and to go back to the one or the other, to go from one action to another, what we will call the parallel editing, which is not an effect that we find in editing since this dichotomy is already planned in writing in the technical breakdown that follows the writing of the script , so before shooting. It is this possibility of cutting into sequencesand no longer in view, in pictures or scenes, which now allows filmmakers to deal with increasingly lengthy and complex narratives, setting in motion many characters in various situations, linked by the same story. Griffith paved the way for feature films. The cinema is engulfed there and the long films (4 to 6 reels, and more) multiply, bringing a new breath to the cinematographic spectacle whose attendance increases considerably before the war of 1914-1918 , and resumes of more beautiful after the armistice.

Advent of the sound cinema

En 1892, Reynaud fait accompagner les projections de son Théâtre optique par un pianiste, Gaston Paulin, qui compose, exprès pour chaque bande, une musique originale. On peut dire que ce sont les premières BO (bandes originales) du cinéma. Reynaud a compris que ses Pantomimes lumineuses voient leur force évocatrice décuplée par leur mariage avec la musique, qui assure également un continuum sonore couvrant le bruit du défilement de la bande images. Aujourd’hui, le compositeur de la bande originale d’un film est considéré, au regard des droits d’auteur relatifs à la projection et à la diffusion par support domestique des films, comme l’un des auteurs du film, avec le réalisateur (qui est le plus souvent crédité comme l’unique auteur), le scénariste, et éventuellement le dialoguiste. Les projections de films 35 mm sur support photographique sont accompagnées par un instrumentiste (un pianiste est l’accompagnement de base) ou plusieurs instrumentistes, voire une petite formation de musique de chambre dans les cinémas des beaux quartiers, improvisent au cours des premières projections puis reprennent les effets réussis lors des autres séances. Des partitions sont vendues ou louées avec les films, afin que les forains fassent accompagner efficacement les séances, y compris une liste des accessoires nécessaires au bruitage.

« Il faut attendre 1924 pour que Western Electric Company développe aux États-Unis, en collaboration avec Bell Telephone Laboratories, un système de synchronisation sonore, le Vitaphone, qui reprend le procédé du disque gravé. Les ingénieurs de Western Electric ont équipé l’appareil de projection et le phonographe de moteurs électriques synchrones qui entraînent les deux machines à la même vitesse23. »This time, the synchronization of the sound with the image is perfect from the beginning to the end. But the reluctance of the showmen are great, their experience of the discs coupled with the movies left them bad memories, interrupted projections, laughter or boos of the public, the passive is heavy. Western Electric is considering abandoning its system, but an unexpected opportunity arises in 1926 . Four brothers, former showmen who have for several years organized traveling screenings, buy a theater in Manhattan and equip it with the process Vitaphone, committing their last dollars in a bet that seems, in the eyes of their contemporaries, lost of advanced. The Warner brothers produce a three-hour film, Don Juan, with the star of the time, John Barrymore , whom they still have under contract. The film includes some rare recorded dialogues, but above all, a whole bunch of known classical music, arranged to give them an air of continuity. We can say that this film is the first successful experience of sound cinema (recorded images and sounds). The drive torque etched film 35 mm works without incident. The audience of the screen-haves who are in the film reserve an excellent reception, but Don Juan does not pay for it, the places being too expensive to drain the popular public who besides, at the time, search for other musics .

They then have the idea to film a singer of the most popular cabaret, Al Jolson , a White Grim in Black. They shoot A scene in the plantation , a movie of a single reel. The popular audience is enthusiastic, not only does Al Jolson sing the blues 24 , but in addition he speaks looking at the lens of the camera, he addresses the delighted audience, as in a live show. We are lined up to attend the sessions. The Warner are eager to redouble their efforts, this time producing in 1927 a feature film of one hour and a half, the famous film The Jazz Singer is a huge success. It is a mistake to say that this film is the first sound or talking movie. ” The Jazz Singer was a silent film in which were inserted some talking or singing numbers. The first film “One hundred percent speaking” (to use the language of the time): Lights of New York , was produced in 1929 only 1 . ” Indeed, none of the many dialogues from the movie The Jazz Singer is registered, replicas between the actors are all written on the headings of cartons, according to the silent film tradition. Only Al Jolson’s songs and the sentences he utters between two verses are actually recorded. This film should be considered rather as one of the first singing movies (after Don Juan and A scene in the plantation). One thing is certain: it is a triumph that ultimately condemns silent cinema (which is not yet called that), and immediately makes Warner Bros. one of the pillars of the Hollywood industry.

With these successes, the Vitaphone system, disc and film, is spreading in all movie theaters and in the fairgrounds. But already, the technique is making a leap forward: the Fox Film Corporation inaugurates a photographic process, the sound Movietone . What is now called the “optical track” is interposed between one of the rows of perforations and the edge of the photograms, trimming the useful part of the image. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is launching a technique with the best sound performance, called “fixed density” (white and black only). Other techniques are tested in the United States and many companies are born in the 1920s, taking advantage of the popularity of the Stock Exchange for cinema. The demand for talking films is profoundly changing the film industry. To achieve good sound, studios are now governed by the obligation of silence. ” Silence is turned ! ”

Over the decades of cinema’s existence, the recording and reproduction of sound will go through several stages of technical improvements:

  • Stereophonic sound
  • The magnetic sound
  • Noise reducers
  • Digital sound

Contribution of color

Émile Reynaud is the first to use color for his luminous Pantomimes, shown at the Musée Grévin in 1892 . Image by image, he draws by hand and applies his colors directly to Eastman film 70 mm wide, which makes him the first director of cartoons. In 1894 , one of the strips produced by Thomas Edison, filmed by Laurie Dickson, is then hand-colored (aniline dye), image by image, by Antonia Dickson, the sister of the first film director. This is Serpentine Dance (in French, Butterfly Dance ), very short 20-second tape, where the dancer Annabelletwirling with lacy effects in the manner of Loïe Fuller . The effect is currently still very successful. This is the first appearance of color applied to animated photographic shooting.

In 1906, American James Stuart Blackton registers on silver film 35 mm , like a camera, frame after frame, thanks to what is called “crank”, a “process (which) was called in France “American movement”. He was still unknown in Europe ” 1 , a film for the Vitagraph Company. This is the first animated film cartoon of the history of cinema, Humorous Phases of Funny Faces(Funny phases of funny figures), where we see, drawn in white with chalk on a black background, a young couple who makes his eyes soft, then ages, ugly, the husband smokes a big cigar and suffocates his wife grimacing that disappears in a cloud of smoke, the hand of the host then erases everything. The credits themselves are animated. It’s funny, but the color is still missing.

The contribution of the color passes in the first decades of the cinema by two solutions:

  • The first is cheap, and its appeal limited but recognized. It is the dyeing in the mass of each copy of projection, by immersion in a transparent dye bath which gives each one a particular light. A reel showing a swim in the sea is tinted green. A forge or fire scene is similarly tinted in red. The blue is used for the regattas on the water, the yellow accompanies the views of the desert.
  • The second is the coloring by hand of each of the photograms, using a stencil coated with ink. This technique, which requires the reinforcement of many “little hands”, is much more expensive, but the spectacular effect is guaranteed. Georges Méliès is not the only one to use it. The Pathé, Gaumont, and of course Edison productions, set up workshops in which dozens of women dare to color themselves with a brush, with a manual stencil, then with a mechanical model system that draws, via a parallelogram or cams, one or more stencils.

After discovering the division into shots and many other fundamental innovations of cinema, the British George Albert Smith is losing interest in the realization of chase films . He prefers to engage in pure research by developing with the American Charles Urban a film process giving the illusion of color on black and white film, Kinemacolor whose first film, A dream in color , dates from 1911. The films look good in color, but the disadvantages of Kinemacolor are many: blue and white are poorly or poorly rendered, the colors are a little pasty. And above all, the process requires the investment of equipment that works exclusively for Kinemacolor. After some two hundred and fifty films, Kinemacolor is abandoned for economic reasons, just before the 1914-1918 war .

Another process, American, will replace it, developed during the war, and launched in 1916 : the Technicolor . This process also uses the only available film, Black and White film. The shooting is done with a large camera with large dimensions, which scrolls simultaneously three synchronized black and white film. Behind the lens, a double prism lets pass in a straight line the filtered green image that impresses one of the dandruff. By a first filtering, the same double prism deviates the beam of red and blue on a packtwo films that run against each other. The first is devoid of the anti-halo layer that usually closes the back of the film, the image can cross but the way impresses to blue, while it impresses below the other film filtered red. The shooting thus provides three negatives in Black and White, which represent the matrices of each fundamental color by their complement (the yellow given by the blue monochrome, the magenta red given by the green monochrome, the blue-green given by the monochrome red). The printing of the copies functions according to the principle and the technique of the trichromie of the printing, with the same possibilities to regulate the intensity of each color. Very quickly, it appears the need to add a fourth impression,

In the 1930s , Germany , under the boot of the National Socialist Party ( Nazism ), developed a propaganda cinema endowed with enormous financial means. The search for a color film process, using a single lightweight medium that would promote documentary shooting (for political purposes), is conducted hastily. The Agfacolor process , originally invented for photography on glass plates, is then declined on flexible film, first in reversible film (the film undergoes two successive treatments – development, then veiling – which make it pass from the negative stage at the positive stage), then negative (requiring then separate positive copies). InIn 1945 , after the defeat of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis , the Allies and the Soviets seized German technological discoveries, and brought back behind their borders among other processes and techniques, those of the colored film. In the United States, the subtractive process of Agfacolor becomes Eastmancolor, in the USSR it gives Sovcolor, in Belgium Gevacolor, and in Japan, under American control, Fujicolor is born.

Compared to the Technicolor, the Eastmancolor process offers an economical alternative to the shooting stage. In the 1950s , Technicolor films were now shot in Eastmancolor. After filming, once the editing is completed, the four matrices that are used to print copies of the Technichor trichrome film, with the advantage over the Eastmancolor negative, are drawn from the Eastmancolor monopack negative, so that they can be calibrated effectively. at the chromatic level, for each of the primary colors.

An even more economical process, discovered in photography in the 1920s , is adapted to cinema in Italy in the 1950s : the Ferraniacolor. It will serve mainly costume films, especially the peplums that revive the Italian production.


Film theorists have sought to develop concepts and to study film as an art 25 . Resulting from modern technology while being one of the symptoms and causes of modernity, its principles, like the art, the assembly , or the shooting , upset the modes of representation in the figurative arts and literature 26 . To form and understand each other as art, the cinema needed theories. In Matter and Memory , in 1896 , the French philosopher Henri Bergsonanticipates the development of the theory at a time when the cinema had just appeared as visionary 26 . It is also expressed on the need to reflect on the idea of movement, and thus invented the term “movement-image” and “time-image” 26 . However, in 1907 , in his essay L’Illusion cinématographique , taken from L’Évolution créatrice , he rejects cinema as an example of what he has in mind. Nevertheless, much later, in Cinema I and Cinema II , the philosopher Gilles Deleuze takes Matter and memoryas the basis of his own philosophy of cinema and re-examines Bergson’s concepts by joining them to the semiotics of Charles Peirce .

It was in 1911 in The Birth of the Sixth Art that Ricciotto Canudo outline the first theories 27 , 28 , then raising himself in the era of silence and mainly focusing on defining crucial 29 . The works and innovations of the directors drained more reflections. Louis Delluc , with the idea of photogeny , Germaine Dulac and Jean Epstein, who see cinema as a way of going beyond and meeting body and mind, are the main actors in a French avant-garde, followed closely by German theories which, influenced by expressionism , turn more towards the image. It is noted in parallel Gestalt , which arises between the xix th century and the xx th century under the aegis of Ernst Mach 30 .

On the Soviet side, the filmmakers theorists hold the assembly to the essence of cinema 26 . The favorite theme of Sergei Eisenstein will be creation in all its aspects, that is all that allows to consider the creation of a “language” of image-concept and a general theory of editing, revealing one and the other identical laws of reality and thought. On his side Dziga Vertov will make himself a mouthpiece of novelty and futurism. His theory, corresponding to the assembly of fragments with small units of meaning, wishes the destruction of the whole tradition to replace it by a “factory of the facts”, radical conception of the cinema if it is of it. The “honestly narrative” American montage, put in theory by Pudovkin , will however prevail in world cinema.

The theory of formalist cinema, led by Rudolf Arnheim , Béla Balázs , and Siegfried Kracauer , emphasized that the movie differs from reality, and that this is an art 31 . Lev Kuleshov and Paul Rotha , also highlighted the difference between film and reality and support the idea that cinema should be considered an art form in its own 29 . After the Second World War , French film critic and theorist André Bazinreacts against this approach to cinema by explaining that the essence of cinema lies in its ability to mechanically reproduce reality and not in its difference from reality. Bazin turns more towards an ontological approach of the cinema and thus forms a theory of the realistic cinema. The cinematographic image would pursue the objectivity of the photographic image whose power is to capture as the essence of a moment. We find this view on several occasions and in different variations as in A. Tarkovsky in Sculpting in Time 32 or by combining it with the phenomenology of Gadamer in the pornographic temptation Mr. Dubost 33 . Against Bazin and his disciples,Jean Mitry develops the first theory of sign and meaning in the cinema, without wanting to assimilate, even by analogy, the visual image and the filmic structures with the verbal language, as it will be the temptation of the semiology 26 when, in the years In the 1960s and 1970s , the theory of cinema invaded the academic world, importing concepts from established disciplines such as psychoanalysis , the study of genres , anthropology , the theory of literature , semiotics and linguistics. The semiology of cinema will take various forms: psychoanalysis,Russian formalism , deconstructive philosophy , narratology , history , etc. Its importance lies in the “textual analysis”, research into the details of the operating structures of the films 26 .

From the 1960s , there is a cleavage between the theory and practice of cinema. This desired autonomy will remain quite relative: when, with his “great syntagmatic narrative film” , Christian Metz proposes, in 1966 , to formalize the codes implicit in the functioning of the cinema, Jean-Luc Godard deconstructs such codes within her works. The 1980s will end a fertile era of theories. Then will be born other reflections, in particular those oriented towards the narratology as well as a certain number of theories aiming at the rediscovery of the cinema of the first times. As such, the work of Quebec theorist André Gaudreaultand the American theoretician Tom Gunning are particularly exemplary.

During the 1990s , the digital revolution in image technologies had various impacts in cinematographic theory. From a psychoanalytic point of view, after the concept of the real Jacques Lacan , Slavoj Žižek offered new aspects of the look extensively used in contemporary film analysis 34 .

In modern cinema, the body is filmed at length before it is put into action, filmed as a body that resists. In some filmmakers , it is the brain that is staged 35 . Through this movement, called mental cinema, there is a violent extreme, still controlled by the brain 36 . For example, the first film Jacquot are strongly influenced by this movement: the characters are folded over themselves, without clarification of their Psychology 37 . Jacquot will declare in 1990 , about La Désenchantée : “I make films to be close to those who make the films: the actors. Sometimes young directors would like to erect actors as a sign of their world. I do not try to show my own world. I am more interested in working in the film world. It’s stupid to say that the actor gets into the skin of his character. These are the characters who have the skin of the actor 36 “. Several other filmmakers such as André Téchiné , Alain Resnais , Nanni Moretti , Takeshi Kitano or Tim Burton were influenced by the mental cinema 37 .

Movements and schools

A movement in the cinema can be understood as a way of feeling the work. Heinrich Wölfflin initially called them “upheavals of the decorative feeling 38 ” . Gilles Deleuze remarked in his book The Motion Picture , the film movements were walking hand in hand with the movements in painting 39 . Classical cinema aimed to make the relationship between action and reaction clear, but new movements were born.

In the early 1920s , the expressionism in painting distorts the lines and colors to affirm a sense 40 . In film, he mainly expressed through a distinctive acting and by the opposition of shadow and light 41 . The expressionism and confronts good and evil, as in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari , of Robert Wiene , one of the first Expressionist films 42 . This movement developed in Germany , a country that was slowly recovering from the war, but failed to compete with Hollywood cinema.43 . This is when the directors of the German studio Universum Film AG develop a method to compensate for this lack, via symbolism and staging. The abstract side of the decorations came therefore, first, the lack of resources 43 . The main themes of this movement was madness, betrayal and other spiritual topics and differentiating themselves from the romantic-adventure style of American cinema 44 . However, gradually disappeared Expressionism 44 , but was used in the crime films of the 1940s and influenced the film noir and horror films 41 .

Then comes the lyrical abstraction , which, unlike expressionism, and white light mixture 45 . There is no more conflict, but the proposition of an alternative 46 . This alternative is different in filmmakers, it is aesthetic and passionate in Josef von Sternberg and Douglas Sirk , ethics in Carl Theodor Dreyer and Philippe Garrel , religious Robert Bresson , or a mixture of all these forms as in the work of Ingmar Bergman 47 . In lyrical abstraction, the world often unfolds from a face 47. Then follows a play of light highlighting the features, or leading in a personal universe. In Shanghai Gesture , Sternberg says: “Anything can happen at any time. Everything is possible. The affect is made of two elements: the farm qualification of a white space but also the intense potential of what will be happening 48 “.

In the 1950s , modern cinema unchained the image of action. He was born of disarticulation of things and bodies after the war 49 . He opposes previously established traditions. Modern cinema prefers the cinematographic vision: the image is no longer forced to find its meaning and purpose, it is free. In Hour of the Wolf , of Ingmar Bergman , Johan Borg, played by Max von Sydow , said: “Now the mirror is broken, it is time that the pieces begin to think 50 “. Modern cinema breaks the classical representation of space, a new idea of ​​form is born.

At the same time, from 1943 to 1955 , the neorealism takes shape in Italy 51 . It is presented as the daily in the state, it sees itself as a medium between scenario and reality . The films of this movement are therefore often documentary 52 . They are people in the street who are filmed, plus actors 52 . This movement is also born of the conclusion of the Second World War and lack of funding means 53 . Here, the directorno longer focuses on the person, but on the whole: the individual can not exist without his environment 52 . Moreover, rather than showing something, we prefer to tell it. According to André Bazin , the neorealism is like a form of liberation, that the Italian people after the fascist period 54 . On the other hand, Gilles Deleuze sees neorealism as a demarcation of the image-movement and the image-time.

Also in the 1950s , then appeared the new wave , a term first statement in The Express by Giroud 55 . This movement was distinguished by a previous vitality that sparked a renewal of French cinema 56 . The new wave is seeking to enter the lyricism in everyday life and refuses the beauty of the picture 57 . With the new wave, new technologies allow a new way to produce and shoot a film: the arrival of the camera Éclair 16 using the format 16 mm, light and silent, allows shooting outdoors closer to the real 58 . The break between film shot in studio and outdoor cinema is turned particularly emphasized in for Night of François Truffaut filmed in 1973 . The movement of the new wave also triggers the transgression of certain conventions such as continuity, eg Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard , or the eye camera , so long forbidden. From this perspective, the filmmakers aimed to highlight the reality: the memories arise interspersed, never in a clean and orderly way.

Then a new movement appears: the resistance of the bodies. What has changed in comparison with previous movements, it is the shooting of the body, which is filmed before being put into action, and as a body that resists 37 . The body here is no longer a barrier that separated before the thought itself, instead, that’s what she is going to meet life 59 . In a way, the body does not think, it forces to think, react to life. Gilles Deleuze will declare:

“We do not even know what a body can do: in its sleep, in its drunkenness, in its efforts and its resistance. The body is never in the present, it contains the before and after, fatigue, waiting. Fatigue, waiting, even despair are the attitudes of the body 37 . “

The resistance of the bodies is remarkable in the work of John Cassavetes where the camera is always moving, parallel to the actions of the actors. Through the image, the viewer looks for faces , bodies in long sequences. Similarly, the rhythm is no longer equal to the viewer’s visual capacity. He answers, as in the informal art , the constitution of a space of the touch, more than of the sight 37 . In the cinema of Maurice Pialat , who films a man alive and tries to show the essential, devoid of all aestheticsin order to exhibit the intimate truth of his character, he will say “cinema is the truth of the moment when one turns” 60 . On the other hand, the dialogue remains omnipresent in the resistance of the bodies, always means of important expression in the film 37 . However, it does not explain the feelings of the characters, it advances the action, but not the evolution of the characters in this action 59 . In the early 1980s , with Maria Koleva is introduced the concept of film-book.

In the 1990s , the Danish director Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg launched the Dogme 95 , in response to blockbusters and the misuse of special effects resulting, according to them, formatted movies and impersonal 61 . Through a manifesto , they define constraints for film making as part of this radical movement. Dogme95 prohibits in principle the use of accompanying music, accepting only that which is actually played on the screen by the actors.

The Indian film develops a very productive industry including the famous ” Bollywood ” film music and singing, in which the story is secondary, and love romance highlighted pretext for many sung solo or duet 62 . The music is mostly pre-recorded, and mimed by the actors , via the playback method 63 . These are professional singers who form the postsynchronization of the voices. However, more recently, actors are singing themselves in their films, such as Aamir Khan in Ghulam ( 1998 ) or Hrithik Roshanin Guzaarish ( 2010 ).

Cinematographic criticism

A critic is a person who gives his opinion on a film, in a medium such as television , radio or the press 64 . When they have influence, critics can determine the attendance indoor film 65 . Some have also given their name to a reward, as Louis Delluc . There are also critical associations for price distribution.

The critic’s job was sometimes controversial: for some, the critic could see the films for free before they went out and get paid to write an article 66 . However, when going to a movie, he has to speak in his opinion, or admit the success of a film with the audience, even if he does not like it: every film has its audience 66 . In addition, critical must bring a movie to another, which would have influenced first by staging or shooting 66 .

Criticism began in December 1895 when the cinema was born, prompting the invention of numerous articles in the press 67 . However, until the beginning of xx th century , the criticism represents only about technical, magazines on photography because film was not then considered a major art and as influential as the theater for example 67 . It was in 1912 , in Le Figaro , a survey is conducted on the growing competition from the cinema in the theater 67. Therefore, in the reviews, are included anecdotes about the productions but everything remains advertising: if one writes on a film, it is to facilitate its entries in room 67 .

In 1915 , Louis Delluc looks Forfaiture of Cecil B. DeMille and is struck by the quality of the image 67 . He then decides to give up everything to devote himself to what he considers a true art: he will write his first article in the magazine Film , the. Then, he will persuade the editor-in-chief of Paris-Midi to give the cinema the place it deserves by affirming: “we are witnessing the birth of an extraordinary art ” 67 . Subsequently the major French newspapers develop headings entirely devoted to the cinema, as Le Petit Journal in autumn , and where there is more advertising: the critic is no longer a film salesman, but she analyzes 67 .

First page of the Petit Journal which devotes a heading to the cinema, devoid of advertising.

After the First World War , cinema took a considerable place, superior to the theater. All dailies now have a section for criticism and specialized magazines are created, such as Cinémagazine or Cinémonde 68 , and in a more academic world than the Revue d’études cinématographiques (611 contributions online in 2012 with Persée 69 ) , specializing in film studies and the theory and or analysis of different approaches, methods and disciplines (aesthetics, semiotics, history, communications, etc.) in the field of cinema.

It is to André Bazin that we owe the hierarchy of the profession of criticism 68 . Init tackles the limited nature of the chronicles and the lack of culture of the authors. In 1951 , the Cahiers du cinéma were founded by Joseph-Marie Lo Duca and Jacques Doniol-Valcroze , soon joined by André Bazin 70 . Through their criticisms, they will denounce the lack of demand of other magazines, which tolerate all films, whether they are of quality or mediocre. The influence of the magazine is therefore greater in France 68 . In view of the growing success and influence of the Cahiers , other specialized journals are born, such as Positif in Lyon in 1952under the pen of Bernard Chardère 71 . Positive , to differentiate themselves from other critics, does not attack only the film critic but also to the history of film 72 . The two magazines will fight hard, the filmmakers appreciated by one being depreciated by the other. And if they come to love the same director, they will fight to determine which admired first 72 . It is during this period that the authors’ policy will be created . Meanwhile, in North America, the magazine Séquences was born in Montreal in 1955. It will be led for a long time by the professor and authorLeo Bonneville . Today still active, it is distinguished by its pluralistic side and by the fact that it remains to date the oldest French-language magazine of cinema in America .

In 1962 , with the birth of the International Critics Week at Cannes , the film press is becoming increasingly popular and gives a renewal to the cinephile 72 . She thus intervenes in the dailies to fight against the French censorship 72 , 73 .

In 1980 , with the emergence of television and the collapse of film clubs , film criticism and back several magazines no longer afford to keep 72 . Nowadays, critics, whether professional or amateur, can publish their magazine or review on the Web , paid or free. Although their work has lost much importance in the press, critics retain some influence and may even help to make or break the reputation of a film 72 .

At the same time, associations of critics have organized themselves to reward each year the films that they consider as major, or to give critics’ prizes in the festivals. We find notably among them the NYFCC Award , the Award Circle of the London film critics or the price FIPRESCI and the National Society of Film Critics .


The cinephile is a term whose common meaning is “love of cinema.” Today, the expression of this passion for cinema can be multiple; however, the term was originally used to describe a cultural movement and French intellectual who has developed between the 1940s and the late 1960s 74 . It is commonly said that a person is when cinephile devoted much of his spare time watching films and / or the study of film 75 . In addition, a film buff can also collect movie posters or various derivative products. Due to its potentially addictive nature, André Habib compares cinephilia with a real “ferociously contagious disease, of which we rarely get rid of ” 76 .

The evolution of filmmaking is very influenced by that of cinema. There was a time when, once its finished theatrical distribution, film disappeared 77 . The miss at its output amounted to not be able to see, at least to conduct a diligent search in a film library 78 . To be a cinephile, you had to travel, and follow closely the evolution of styles. Today, missing a movie when it is released in theaters is no longer a problem, as most films are later broadcast on television or on DVD . However, a significant part of so-called “rare” cinematography remains difficult to access, and film buffs can then wait several years for an edition (or reprint) on DVD or a broadcast during afestival . Here is what Jean Tulard , academic and French historian says :

“In old film-lovers, the film was a rare commodity, as a film, once it was released in the commercial sector, disappeared. There were not, as today, 40 TV channels that pass movies. There were no videocassettes or DVDs. A film missed on release or undistributed was a difficult film to see. Which meant, for the film buff, the effort of traveling to see him again in a foreign cinematheque, and this explains why the film-lovers of the old generation were the children of the Cinematheque, that is to say to say the children of Henri Langlois , who passed, precisely, many of these missed films 77 . “

On the other hand, until a certain time, it was possible for a film buff to have seen a large part of the world’s film heritage. This was the case of many French moviegoers between the 1940s and 1960s. Today, given the almost exponential growth 79 producing films since the birth of cinema, well what dedicating their lives, moviegoers can no longer see a small part. For contemporary moviegoers, the choice then takes place between a qualitative approach (see only the recognized or award-winning films, or according to more personal criteria) or a quantitative approach – we then speak of cinema – theaters .

Cinephilia also has other influences: from the birth of cinema, film clubs have developed to bring together film lovers . There is generally studies the history and the different techniques of cinema, following a screening of a film 80 . The different members of a film club have the same interests and schedule their own broadcasts and discussions, debates or 81 . Over time, the concept has evolved and is increasingly affiliated with a varied socio-cultural activity. It is thus adapted into educational programs, such as “cinema-snacks 82 “, within the framework of a cultural objective such as a “cine-philo” that links cinema and philosophy83 , or as part of a for-profit organization, by organizing thematic evenings such as “Ciné-party 84 , 85 “.

The arrival of new media in the second half of the xx th century has upset the habits of moviegoers. The TV , the VCR , the DVD and the Internet have popularized a cinephile seen as elitist at the height of the attendance of film clubs (from 1940 to 1960 ). But this growing popularity has not been passed on to cinema attendance , as cinema lovers are less and less in the cinema . Attendance has indeed been falling since the post-war 86as shown in the detailed table on cinema attendance in the main countries where cinema has been a major player since 1950 :

Average number of films seen indoors per capita per year
Country 1950 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2000 2005
 Germany 87 10.2 15.1 5.1 2.3 1.8 1.5 1.9 1.54
 United States 87 20.5 14.2 6.6 4.6 5.1 4.8 5.2 4.7
 France 86 8.9 9.1 5.3 3.5 3.2 2.3 2.9 2.98
 Italy 87 14.2 16.7 12.5 8.9 2.2 1.6 1.6 1.86
 Japan 87 13.9 13.6 3.9 1.7 1.2 1.0 1.1 0.9
 United Kingdom 87 29 26 6.7 2.1 1.3 2.0 2.4 2.73


The economy and the cinema have always been very close: the economic aspect sometimes explains the history or the aesthetics of the image 88 , 89 .

The film industry requires funding. However, over time, the ways of producing and distributing a film have evolved. For example, during the 2000s , the cost of publishing a French film averages 652,000 € 90 , 91 . Nearly 44.7% of this value is used in the purchase of advertising space, that is to say  207,500 on average. Then come the laboratory costs that mobilize 31.8% of the budget, and the design of advertising material that costs an average of  51,000 . Nevertheless, these values ​​vary according to the number of copies of the film 90 .


The financial stakes around a cinematographic work are generally considerable. This is due to the presence of a large number of stakeholders in the process of creating a film , as well as the technical means used, often important. An economic activity was thus organized from the beginning of the cinema to ensure on the one hand the collection of the funds necessary for the production and on the other hand the profitability of the investments 92 . The results at the box office are therefore decisive especially since the revenues of other media ( television , video…) are correlated with theatrical success (the sale price to television channels depends on the number of viewers) 93 .

Thus the chains TV became involved increasingly in film financing and industry have also provided assistance using the big screen as a recovery vehicle for their products (this is called product placement ) 94 . The appearance of materials used in homes (initially the videotape and then DVD , and more recently the Blu-ray Disc ) is from 1980 a new source of income more important 95 . At the same time, the marketing of derivatives (toys for children, video games or the disc of the soundtrack of the film) and joint campaigns (brand joins the film to receive its image) complete the panorama of revenue 96 .

To help finance a feature film in France , and in order to encourage producers beginners, the National Film Center and the moving image automatically delivers them financial support 97 . In the same vein, the SOFICAs , private equity firms , finance around 5.5% of the cinematographic works 98 in exchange for a percentage on the revenues but without any rights on the negatives 99 . Since their creation in 1985 , they have invested nearly 380 000 000 in more than 700 films 99. If for the moment the producers are the first schedulers of a film, the television tends to catch up with them. For example TF1 has invested nearly 234.6 million francs in nineteen films in 2000 100 .

However, there are still other countries, where cinema and television do not have this type of relationship, and a posteriori financing . In the United States , television does not finance, or little, productions, unlike major majors . In the same way, German cinema is financed by subsidies (in 1977 , it accounted for almost 80% of film financing) 101 . In South Korea , the films are funded by quotas in the 1960s , to try to resurface in front of American cinema , and in 1990it is thanks to the intervention of industrial trusts (“chaebols”) that more than 300 films will be produced per year 102 , 103 .

In addition, during the development , seller or distributor, the film is now playing a crucial role in developing the screenplay and script 105 . Indeed, to decide to distribute a film, the seller seeks a story often public, which will give a box office beneficial. In this sense, the auteur cinema is no longer privileged during the distribution .

However, the development of shared computer files peer to peer , which allows the exchange between films on specific Internet , raised concern among film professionals a crisis like that through the record industry 106 .

Yet, according to the MPAA , that defends the interests of the American film industry, not only such a crisis does not exist, but global profits increased by 54% for 10 years 107 . It may be noted, in France , a record attendance of rooms , with 20.7 million viewers during the month of July 2009: it was thirty years so many people were not moved to go to a movie 108 , 109 . This affluence can be explained by the release of big budget films such as Ice Age 3 , Harry Potter 6 , Up thereor Public Enemies . Moreover, the fight against piracy has continued to increase: a copy of Bronzés 3 had been published on the internet by employees of TF1 who were sentenced by the court of Nanterre 110 , 111 ; his side’s Warner Bros. decided to ban premieres in Canada 112 . In addition, bills are being debated in an attempt to protect the film industry.

Nevertheless, some artists have already made the choice to voluntarily distribute their films on the Internet. We note especially Elephants Dream or The Ball of the Innocents of Joseph Paris, both available under the Creative Commons license 113 , 114 . In the same way, the Warner Bros. has reformed its video distribution since early 2009 . It was during the video release of The Dark Knight: The Black Knight that the production company decided to include a free and legal download on the internet, to the purchaser of a DVD 115 . In parallel, Warner decided that the output on video on demandwould be done at the same time as the usual DVD / Blu-ray Disc format output . It is from this initiative that Warner sees a fight against piracy 116 .

Movies & TV

The links between cinema and television have been highlighted by Laurent Creton in Cinema and Money 117 . The cinema has a complicated relationship with television 118 , the latter being the first competitor of cinema 119 , 100 . The introduction of color television has had a direct impact on cinema attendance in France in the 1960s 120 .

However it is also the first client of the cinema 121 . The TV channels devote a significant portion of their schedules to movies or documentaries because these programs guarantee their excellent hearing levels 122 . In return for the agreements, channels are required to invest in the film industry. As a result, they become co-producers and take an important part of the financing of films by acquiring the rights to broadcast films 123 . Today it has become essential to film production to obtain a television broadcast to set up a project 124 .

For producers , the importance of this investment is both a reassuring, because it is a reduction or risk-sharing finance , and loss of freedom 124 . In many cases, the producer is forced to choose the projects that are likely to be broadcast on a television channel. Although partial, control of producers by television channels induces a threat to the diversity and originality of the films produced 125 .

The television stations wishing to broadcast the films reflect a diversity of cultures can not limit their relations with the cinema to domestic producers . Two scenarios then coexist. Either all rights for the national territory of the prospective film were purchased by a national distributor , the TV channel then negotiates with the distributor. Either the television rights of the prospective film are held by an international seller, the TV channel being responsible for negotiating with this international seller and for itself performing the dubbing or subtitling of the film.

The reduction of working time as well as increase the number of programming, including a large number of films allowed the television to get a place in the family 118 . For France , the appearance of Canal + in 1984 as well as other channels has significantly increased the number of scheduled films 126 . Between 1975 and 1984 , the three public channels, you could see five hundred films programmed per year against 1500 average from 1995 (of which 1 / 3 on Canal +) and not counting reruns 127 .

In France , the total annual film screenings has increased more than tenfold in thirty years 127 . By viewing, we will hear an entry into a movie theater , or a spectator sitting in front of a screen ( television , computer ) at home. During the same period of time, the proportions composing this total have been substantially modified in favor of home viewing. Thus, today, only 2% of the screenings take place in a movie theater 127 . It should be noted that between 1980 and 2002household expenditure on audiovisual expenditure is among those experiencing the largest increase. But here too, the share of this household audiovisual budget devoted to cinema has declined in favor of alternative audiovisual expenditures. This share rose from 50% in 1980 to 14% in 2002 127 .

Market evolution

As head of the largest importers of feature films, there are the United States and France 129 . Indeed, the volume of trade between Europe and North America is significant: in 1997 , for example, 53 million North Americans saw European films indoors while 388 million Europeans saw films US. Nevertheless, the trade balance is favorable to the United States with total annual income of 5.6 billion 129 . Next is Canada, whose theaters have screened nearly 220 foreign films 130. Therefore, it is possible to effect a reconciliation between producing and exporting countries, in fact, countries that export the most are often the ones that produce the most 129 . The India appears first with export production by almost 60% to the markets of Africa 129 .

Despite the great diversity of world film production, American productions hold the largest share of the market, even presenting quasi-monopoly situations in countries such as Chile and Costa Rica where 95% of imported films come from the United States. United States , or in Cyprus where this figure reaches 97%. Conversely, American cinema represents only 7% market share in Iran which produces itself some 62 feature films a year, and whose rooms have a program of films with very different origins 129 . Similarly, the African continent appears as the largest importer of American productionswhere its market share reaches 70% against 15% for European films 129 . However, French-speaking African countries spend an equal share to American and European productions located around 40%, the Morocco an exception with 46% of American films, 20% of Indian films and only 8.5% of French films 129 . Other cinemas, such as those of Hong Kong or Taiwan , whose productions are nevertheless considered average, record a volume of important export sales, especially to Africa and South America where the penetration of Japanese cinema is also notable 129. However, these figures underlie a number of invisible phenomena such as the diversity of cultures causing a diversity of demand, the power of distribution companies , or more anecdotal facts such as the censorship put in place by some governments that is a drag on production in some countries 129 .

At the same time, other cinemas have taken advantage of market developments, and have managed to make their place, with an increasingly important import, this is for example the case of Bollywood , and more generally Indian cinema . In India, the productions are generally inexpensive, the most expensive reached 10 million 131 , 132 . Until the late 1980s , films were not shown outside of India itself, with a few exceptions such as Morocco 133 , because of US and European distributions whose influence was worldwide 134 , or by the difference of culture 135. However, with the improvement of special effects techniques , Bollywood films have been able to gain a foothold, and to develop a larger market, such as Krrish shot in 2006 or Love Story 2050 ( 2007 ), whose filming generated the participation of more than five international special effects studios 136 . Thus, Indian cinema has developed, and internationalized. However, with the evolution of the market, in some countries, we are talking about the decline of the national film industry. This is the case for example in Italy . In parallel with the drop in attendance, Italy, cinemas do not project that 19% of Italian films, with production of around 138 films per year 137 . The European Union initiated co – productions between its countries, so 41 Italian films in 2004 are co – productions. However, it was not enough to re-raise the value of Italian cinema 137 . According Karmitz , it’s the influence of television private that this decline is due, destructive of creativity: he then speak of a Trojan horse in Europe for American cinema 137. In fact, faced with the decline of national cinema, television broadcasts a large majority of American films.

The following table lists the countries producing the most films based on the annual average of films produced between 1988 and 1999 138 . It should be noted that many of these countries export only a small part of their production, sometimes ahead of the largest exporters.

Ranking Producing country Average number of films produced per year between1988 and 1999
st  India 839
e  China and Hong Kong 469
e  philippines 456
th  United States 385
th  Japan 238
th  Thailand 194
th  la France 183
th  Italy 99
th  Brazil 86
10 th  Burma 85


From an original idea, from filming to distribution , a film involves many technicians, artists and broadcasters. It can range from several weeks to several months. Typically, the producer owns the rights to film 139 .

The production of a film can be divided into five steps 140 .

  1. First, there is the development of a script designed by a writer generally 141 .
  2. Then, the pre-production is set up to prepare the shooting with the conception of a production file 142 .
  3. Then comes the actual production , during which the director turns his film alongside technicians and artists varied and numerous, such as the actors , the chief operator or his assistants .
  4. Finally, the postproduction allows the editing of the film and the addition of soundtrack as well as special effects and photochemical lab work and / or digital. The end of the post-production is concretized by the delivery of the film in its various formats of exploitation (photochemical film, digital files for the digital cinema and PAD (ready to diffuse) for television and other modes of diffusions. end of this stage that stops the role of the producer.
  5. The process ends with distribution when the film benefits from advertising and copies promoting its dissemination; we are talking about exploitation .


The phase of producing a film encompasses the entire production of the film , creating a project to its distribution 143 . Nevertheless, the role of the producer has not always been the same over time 143 and he is not always at the origin of a film 144 .

The production company pays the costs incurred by the shoot 145 . It also chooses the company distribution which publicitera the film when it was released 146 . It sometimes happens that the producer creates his own distribution company 147 . It also helps in the realization of the film, writing the script , choice of actors and locations and it is the main interlocutor of the team in case of conflicts 145 . The producer has not only an artistic role but also patronage. The producer is solely responsible to the various schedulers of project 146 . Moreover, its function is defined as follows: “The producer of the audiovisual work is the physical or moral person who takes the initiative and the responsibility for the realization of the work […] he personally takes or shares initiative and the financial, technical and artistic responsibility for the realization of the work and guarantees the right end 148 “. Nevertheless, most of the time, there is a difference between the production of a film in the United States and France , for example. Indeed, in America , the producer often works for a major of cinema, a large company that relies on banks or firms to finance the film 149 , while in Europe , the producer usually works for a small company and relies on the help of various public bodies such as the CNC in France, for its grants 150 .

The output starts with the development , that is to say by writing a scenario 151 . Subsequently, a sequencer is designed to break down the story into scenes. Therefore, a distributor is chosen by the producer: he will evaluate the potential success of the film, considering the genre of the film, the target audience or the history of the success of similar films. A director is then chosen 152 . Then comes the pre-production , where the film is imagined and the filming also prepared 153 . Sometimes an illustrator draws a storyboardto describe all the shots that will have to be made and thus help the team during the preparation of the plateau 154 . The budget is also set by the production company. The executive producer hires the required filming crew: it usually includes the director, his assistant , a casting director , a general manager , the production director and the director of photography , the artistic director , the sound operator , the perchman , the editor and the composer. The filming is thus ready one enters the phase of production proper, the one where the director stages the actors: the shots can finally begin 155 .

The lights are put in place and the actors makeup and costumed. They then repeat their text under the direction of the director , who tells them the movements to perform, or what is wrong with their intonation. Finally, filming can begin 156 . Each scene is shot several shots and each shot is identified with the clap , allowing the editor to locate tips from those that will not serve 157 . It is up to the director to decide if the decision is good, or, on the contrary, whether to redo it. For safety, good catches are doubled.

For productions using traditional photographic film , the negatives of the day are sent to the laboratory for night development. They are the ” rushes “ (positive first) and are viewed by the director, the technical team, and sometimes the players 158 . For the digital techniques, the catches are downloaded and orchestrated in a computer under the name of “catches of the day”. Thus, at the end of filming, the film enters into phase post , where it is mounted with possible special effects and soundtrack 159. With the arrival of video, the editing process has evolved. The principle of editing is to assemble the plans and sequences. The next step is to create a certain fluidity in the sequence of images. So, the director and the producer give their opinion. The assembly is thus “closed”. In audio mixing , sound and picture are synchronized. Then, the final result of editing becomes the “working copy”, and an illuminated or calibrated copy of the negative conforming to this copy is taken. It is from this draw that the copies intended for the cinemas are drawn. So the film goes into distribution phasethat is, a company hired or created by the production company will design a movie poster , organize press sessions and create an advertising universe around the film.


A distribution company is an independent company, a subsidiary, or rarely an individual structure, which acts as the final agent with a production company to guarantee the projection of the film in room 160 . In the world of cinema, the term “distributor” refers to the marketing and the diffusion of films in the world, as well at the level of the cinema room as in a private radiation 161 .

Firstly, it is up to the distributor to screen the theater. It is up to him to program the broadcasts: to do this, he organizes projections to operators or creates an attractive advertisement for the film 160 . Its purpose is to give the operator the idea of ​​the profit that can be generated by projecting the film. Then the distributor must sign a contract stipulating the percentage that the operator will have to transfer to his company and collects the amount provided when the film screened 162 . It passes a share of the income to the production company. Nevertheless, generally, there are global contracts between distributors and operators that set the percentage of the ticket they share. In the 1920s , movies were rented “fixed price per meter” 163 and this rental could last a day or two. It is also up to the distributor to ensure that the number of copies of the film will be enough to provide all the cinemas and he monitors their delivery. It controls simultaneously if the film is screened in cinema stipulated on the contract and if the minimum number of seats is correct 162 . When the film is no longer projected, the distributor must then ensure that the reels are returned to him. In practice, the distributor also sellsposters , of soundtracks and derivatives and organizes interviews for the press 162 . In addition, this advertising material will help the operator to sell tickets. It can also put in place previews to encourage the public to come, with the presence of the main artists on the set .

If the distribution company deals with a film in a foreign language, it will also be its role to subtitle the film, or to set up dubbing . It is also his role to cut the scenes, if any, censored by his government.

Here is a graph showing the evolution of film distribution in France (films distributed by year) 164 :

Film festivals

A film festival is a film festival . This event consists of the projection of a set of short or feature films in a given place and for a limited duration in time. These projections are generally open to the public but sometimes they are reserved for critics , journalists or professional 165 . The film festival is the first meeting between a work, its creators and its audience, if it takes place before the national release of the film 166. Sometimes it will be the only one, if the encounter fails. It is therefore a key moment in the life of a film. This moment of exposure can be violent. For the director and the producer , the reaction of the public – even if informed – to the presentation of the film can be the source of a deep questioning or a national and sometimes international consecration, such as the Golden Lion at the Mostra from Venice , the Golden Bear at the Berlinale or the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 167 .

The role of film festivals is twofold. They make it possible to find “nuggets” at the same time and they are also machines to make known, to promote the selected films 168 . The example of the Cannes Film Festival is striking: the films in competition and out of competition will be distributed in France and will be seen by producers , distributors and critics from around the world 169 . Similarly, during the fifteen days of the festival takes place the Marché du film , which allows artists lacking means to find a distributor. A film festival therefore makes it possible to present a work to the world 170 .

Thus, along the film industry, film festivals are located downstream of the production of films (moment of creation) and upstream of the exploitation (time of theatrical screening ). More specifically, the most important international festivals are immediately downstream of production. Festivals of national or regional influence take place just before the theatrical distribution . Most festivals follow a regular annual or biennial 169 . In addition to matters of practical organization, this rhythm makes it possible to preserve an exceptional character to the event.

Here is a chart showing the number of festivals in Europe in 1996 169 :



After the stages of production and distribution , comes the exploitation that comes down to the projection of films. The activity of an operator can be described as “artisanal” or “industrial” depending on the number of rooms in its complex: it is called miniplex or multiplex . It can also be independent or salaried: it will then depend on a national or international group, such as Gaumont , Pathé , UGC , Regal Entertainment Group or MK2 . The operator can himself, or with the help of various distributors such as Warner Bros., EuropaCorp or Buena Vista , set its schedule, and change it if a movie fails.

In France , the public performance of a film is illegal if an exploitation visa has not been granted by the Ministry of Culture and Communication . The latter is based on the opinion of a commission that brings together public authorities, professionals and consumer or youth protection associations. The exploitation visa is an authorization given for a work to be publicly diffused, and to place these works in categories established by age. Operators know to which category of public the film is reserved. It is during the exploitation that are collected the different recipes of a film, due either to the sale of a ticketor the sale of a derivative product such as a poster or the CD of a soundtrack . These different recipes are then shared with the distributors , who in turn donate some of them to the production .

In France , the cinema does not have any particular legal status, which gives the operator a certain freedom 171 . Moreover, the “Sweat law” allows communities to contribute to the operation and investment of cinemas 172 . This operation helps the rooms in difficulty, that the inputs would not be enough to operate sustainably. Communities can also provide indirect support to theaters with less than 5,000 entries , classified Art and Essay , exempting them from the payment of business tax through Article 1464-A 173 .

Nevertheless, it is a strict and regulated relationship that is established between the distribution and exploitation 174 . In the contract of Terms film rental , it is granted to farmers the right to public performance of works in exchange for a payment that is proportional to income 174 . In addition to this payment, they must pay a sum to the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (SACEM) and compensation for the owners of the soundtrack 174 . In addition, the sale of a ticket entails payment of the additional special tax(TSA) which allows the financing of the distribution, production or exploitation of cinema 174 .

Here is a graph of film exploitation in the world, specifically, by country, the number of cinemas per million inhabitants 175 :


Audiovisual sector

In 2001 , video publishing rose by 25% worldwide, thanks to the development of the DVD , which is gradually replacing video tapes , which was then the head of sales with 36,500,000 unitssold and 59% of sales related to video (in 2000 , the cassette achieved nearly 77% of sales) 176 . The first film released in the form of the video would be Cheongchun Gyosa released in 1972 and VHS in 1976  ; the last movie released in VHS in America would be A History of Violence in 2006 177. Now, a successor to the DVD is set up: the Blu-ray disc that allows two hours of video in high definition or thirteen hours in Standard Definition. The, nearly 530 blu-ray discs were marketed in the United States , against 250 in Japan 178 . This rise of the video is partly due to the new regulation which allows since 2001 the exit of a film in video six months after its exit in rooms 179 . The deadline was subsequently reduced to four months by the Creation and Internet law , and can be reduced to three months on favorable opinion of the National Film Center and the moving image 180 .

The French are distinguished from other Western Europeans by a consumer video media more clearly favoring the purchase at the expense of renting in video club 181 . In 2002 , 85% of the French video budget was devoted to the purchase of media ( VHS or DVD ) 181 . In the same year, 70% of the European video budget was, on average, reserved for purchase. At the same time, 60% of purchases are made in supermarkets ( Carrefour , Auchan , E.Leclerc , Géant 181). Nevertheless, this success benefits especially the sale related to the American cinema. In fact, unlike the VHS edition, where the increase in printing only has the effect of limiting unit manufacturing costs, the DVD edition, where the main investment concerns the manufacture of the “master”, benefits quickly from economy of scale, when the draw increases. Thus, the DVD edition especially promotes the distribution of commercial films, whose publishers have a global infrastructure, such as large US majors 176 . We note that six companies share nearly 85% of the video edition. In 2001 , Universal Pictures was at the top of the rankings, thanks to the success of Gladiator, in front of 20th Century Fox Pathé Europa , which then came out Star Wars, episode I: The Phantom Menace 176 .

However, with the evolution of the Internet , the illegal distribution of movies via peer-to-peer sharing software has grown. The European Commission concluded in its report that between 5% and 7% of world trade was based on piracy, nearly 300 billion euros 182 . This phenomenon therefore influences the sales related to video editing, just like streaming . However, in 2007 , the marketing research firm states that the French download less and less: they were 5,000,000 in 2006 against 2,300,000 in 2007 183 .

Evolution of video publisher revenues in million € 176
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
leasing 52 46 49 50 57 67 71 78 78 96
Sale 305 329 384 483 499 495 502 498 578 723
Total 357 375 433 533 557 562 572 576 656 819
Of which sale in DVD 13 83 216 415

Around the film industry

Public Operators

For several years, the economy in the cinema has evolved a lot. Agreements have been signed between the movie chains and the American majors which have had important consequences for the latter. The operators of satellite packages sign of increasingly large contracts with production companies to access their catalog of films and therefore secure their dissemination 184 . Canal + has signed agreements with five studios that are the Walt Disney Company , Universal Pictures , Columbia Pictures / TriStar , 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.. They give Canal + important broadcasting rights 184 .

However, the agreements most often concluded with the majors increase the number of American films broadcast, reducing the space of intervention of the national distributors with the television channels , which breaks also the balance between the activity of the independent distributors, the release of films and the sale to television channels 184 .

In France , there are companies for the financing of the film and audiovisual industry (or “Sofica”) and the national center for cinema and moving image that specialize in the audiovisual sector. They are intended to help finance the production of films, and their dissemination. In addition, the Film Library’s mission is to enrich the film’s heritage, to ensure its subsequent dissemination.

Awards ceremonies

A film awards ceremony is a ceremony organized by a public or national film organization, such as academies or foundations. During this ceremony one or more prizes can be awarded. In general it is the next artistic film that is noticed during these ceremonies 185 . It was in 1920 that was the first award in Photoplay , a magazine about film US 186 . However there are some prizes that congratulate the commercial success , like the Goldene Leinwand (the gold cloth) in Germanythat rewarded each film more than 3 million viewers 187 . Nevertheless, it is not only the films that are rewarded: artists and technicians are also rewarded for their contribution to the film. For example, there is the Academy Award for Best Director in the United States . These ceremonies are generally of a monopoly nature on their territory and primarily reward national artists and technicians.

The ceremony rewards the best known around the world is that of the Oscars that rewards through countless awards the American films and foreign annually in Los Angeles 188 . A few weeks before, the Golden Globes ceremony , which is run by the Hollywood Association of Foreign Press since 1944, takes place . In contrast the ceremony Awards Razzie award instead the worst movies or artists 189 . Only films that have been filmed in the country can usually compete. So unlike festivals, which take place before the distribution , the awards ceremonies are organized after the distribution of all the films selected.

Some of the best-known film awards ceremonies include Oscars ( USA ), Caesars ( France ), Goyas ( Spain ) and BAFTA ( UK ). In addition to academies and foundations, other organizations, such as film critic associations, also distinguish certain films.



The technique used to create the image on cinematographic film is borrowed from photographic shooting 190 . The impression is made by exposure to light using a camera through a lens at the typical rate of 24 frames per second, regulated by a quartz integrated into the camera. Initially 16 frames per second (one foot per second), the tempo was increased with the arrival of sound cinema 191 . Indeed, the quality of his ( bandwidth , wow , noise …) depends on the film frame rate 192.

The principle of this printing is based on a redox reaction which shows the silver halide coated in the emulsion transform into metallic silver upon exposure to light 193 . After development, the insolated areas have a black and very opaque appearance. The unexposed areas are rendered translucent after the fixer has cleared the support. The different shades of gray are due to the density more or less silver salts disclosed 194 . So we get a ” negative ” impression, hence the name of the element.

The color reproduction on film is done in two phases: the color film is made of three layers of silver halide superimposed and coupled to dyes . These dyes absorbing their complementary color, they are yellow, magenta and cyan, so that these three layers are thus sensitive to the three primary colors : respectively red, green and blue . This produces a trichrome analysis 195.

In the development process, silver salts are discarded to keep only the dyes of the emulsion . The negative, once developed, is shot on a positive emulsion. At the draw stage, realized with an additive lantern, equipped with three sources Red, Green and Blue, adjustable in intensity, the colored layers of the negative realize the synthesis of the colors to reproduce from the only 3 primary components present in the negative. The positive of projectionitself consists of three monochrome layers and therefore behaves like a colored filter in front of the projection lantern. He thus made a subtractive synthesis of this “white” light, the color temperature of daylight to which the human eye is accustomed 196 . The colorimetry is the science of measuring colors 197 . There are different ways to measure colors but the most common is to use a thermocolorimeter , which makes it possible to define in a non-arbitrary way the color temperature of a light source 198 .

The first issue of shooting is to make a properly exposed image, density and color. To control the amount of light, the cinematographer used a cell photo-sensitive – most commonly to measure incident – and adjusts the aperture based on that measure 193 . The contrasts are adjusted to the reflected cell on the objects, most commonly at the spot meter 199 . The choice of sources and the adjustment of light is consistent with the sensitivity of the emulsion used and the possible use of filters in front of the camera .

Once this technical aspect is mastered, it is necessary to compose a light that, aesthetically, will serve the purpose of the film, its scenario and the atmosphere of the different scenes, as the actors play while integrating many technical and economic constraints. We can easily distinguish the contrasting and dense light of a detective film , the soft and homogeneous light of a comedy , for example 200 . If the general aesthetic of a film owes a lot to light, its coherence can only be achieved on the condition of a close collaboration between the various artistic leaders: director , in the first place, but alsodecorator , costume designer , or makeup artist .

The second issue concerns the frame: composition of shots , movements of devices, cutting scenes into shots. This work, performed by the cameraman 201 is also the result of a close collaboration with the staging . Finally, the cleanliness of the plans and their sharpness is the responsibility of the first assistant operator 202 .

Laboratory work

A cinematographic laboratory proposes a set of technical services to the film industries 203 . In particular, film producers use their services to develop the original negative, transfer it to magnetic or digital media, draw the working copies, make the negative at the editing point, make the serial copies and calibrate them, duplicate them. elements, perform some special effects, transfer a video document on film 204 … This work is done by technicians mastering these various techniques 203. The film, when it is shot on silver, is entrusted daily to a photographic laboratory which is responsible for developing it (a multi-step chemical process consisting of stopping, revealing, bleaching, fixing, cleaning and drying the negative ) 205 . This step gives rise to a negative which is no longer photosensitive , that is to say that it can be exposed to light without the risk of losing the rotated images 205 .

The development is a critical phase and depends on a large number of parameters and their accuracy: constant and imposed temperature, strict development times, precise concentrations of chemical components. The work of interaction between the chemicals of the photographic bath with the film takes place at a level close to the size of the atoms 206 . The positive is then drawn in an additive printer (while the photograph is drawn as a subtractive) and this positive is itself developed in a chemistry similar to negative chemistry.

Calibration consists of precisely adjusting the flows of the three channels (red, green, blue) of the printer to obtain the color and density renderings desired by the director of photography . The “first positive”, drawn by the laboratory as and when production, and which constitutes the ” rushes “, is presented to the production and the technical team in the laboratory, in screening room 207 . These presentations take place at the very moment of the shooting, if possible daily.

Currently, it is increasingly common to simply transfer the negative on video, telecine . This is particularly relevant for the filming of a TV movie but also for a future digital postproduction (virtual editing, digital special effects , tape to tape calibration …).

For the drawing of the operating copies, two solutions are possible from the mounted negative. The first is to draw the copies directly, but it involves running on very fast machines this negative, which has collages and is therefore fragile. Thus, this method is only used for movies pulled few copies 208 . As soon as a film is shot at more than a dozen copies, a second solution is used, including two additional steps in the laboratory operations: the drawing of an interposer , from the negative mounted, which will provide an internegative , kind of carbon copywithout gluing the mounted negative, from which the positive copies will be drawn. After this step, the film is ready for projection 208 .

When the master of the film is digital, it can be transferred to master type negative or intermediate (internegative, interpositif). Every operation in a film lab is expensive. The question of payment by the distributors is rather complex because of the working time that takes a reel of 60 m (or 2 minutes of film in 35 mm ), time which turns out identical to a reel of 305 m (or about 11 minutes ). Indeed, employees must, for both films, prepare the same number of parts and machines, so that the duration of the film has little influence on the work involved in processing the film 209 .


Cinema is first and foremost an art of montage 210 . Marcel Martin , in Le Langage Cinématographique , said that it was “clear that montage (vehicle of rhythm) is the most subtle and at the same time the most essential notion of cinematographic aesthetics, in a word, its most specific element. 211 , 212 “. The assembly has acquired, over time, an aesthetic autonomy 213 . It rests on the sequence of spaces and time , to make the work fluid . The editing is therefore audiovisual summary assembly of severalplans to form sequences that in the end make up the film.

At the beginning of the cinema the films made little use of editing. Most films of the Lumière brothers or Méliès were clips 214 . The few connections were clumsy 214 . It is with David Wark Griffiththat the montage really appears in Birth of a Nation in 1915 215 . During the 1920s it was the Russian film that will bring the greatest contribution to the theory of montage, especially with Lev Kuleshov and his Kuleshov effect 216. The assembly will then allow the birth of tricks 217 .

The editing is done from the first positive, called rushes , which serves as a working copy 218 . The cuts of the film are done with the “glue”: with the chisel and with the adhesive tape 219 . Once the assembly is finished, the negative is cut and stuck to the laboratory .

Nowadays, thanks to computer science , virtual (or non linear) editing has developed . The work is done from a digital copy of the negative 220 scanned or transferred to telecine 218 . The entire post-production can, thanks to this method, be entirely realized on computer. Via a magnetic tape output, or directly from the editing machine, the result is transferred to film.

The first stage of editing is preparation: it is during filming that all shots are collected. Thus, one speaks of “deruse” these plans: one must select those which are good, according to the director 221 . Then you have to split the rushes and put them one after the other, depending on the scenario . This step allows a first visualization of the film, and facilitates thereafter the assembly. However, with the development of virtual editing, this logging tends to disappear, to make way for a first editing, also called “first cut” 222. At this point, the film is a small audience, forced to keep secret the film, for advice on the conduct of pictures 222 . Final assembly, or “final cut” has a major impact on the film and understanding 223 . It also determines its commercial success 223 . This stage can be the occasion of conflicts between the various producers and the director , as during the montage of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil 224 . In the United States , the directors’ union, the Directors Guild of America , allows artists to sign their films with the pseudonym ” Alan Smithee “when the production imposes its point of view on the montage 225 . Otherwise sometimes two versions of the editing are done, one for the production and the other from the director (we are talking about the director’s cut ). But this possibility is reserved for major films. One of the most famous examples is the Blade Runner of Ridley Scott released in 1982 , where the director could not impose its opinion during assembly and release of 1991 made according to the wishes of the director 226 , 227 .



During the pre-production , at the stage of the locations , the sound operator can be consulted on the sound constraints inherent to the chosen sets (if the decor is noisy, the consequence on the sound level will be the need to consider postsynchronizing the dialogues.

In addition to the post-synchronization, other measures are possible for the sound operator to ensure optimal sound quality. In agreement with different departments, he can install various sound attenuation devices (sound covers, non-reverberant materials). It can also, in special cases, ask to obtain a better control of the sound environment of the shooting place (to close the ventilations, refrigerators, to put out the sources of parasitic waves).


Main article: Sound operator .


Toward the end of editing , the sound editing starts. This is a separate step from the editing, it is besides, since the appearance of the stereo in cinema 228 often performed by a different team 229 . It consists in conforming and refining the editing of the dialogues, adding sounds recorded during the shooting to the images, enriching the emotional climate of the film by adding sound effects, possibly the sound design of the ambient sounds 229 . This is an important step artistic installation: it plays a major role, but the editor should not indent the composition 229 .

Historically, traditional French cinema has had an ambiguous relationship with music . The Nouvelle Vague invented, just like the impressionists in painting, the filming in natural settings ( the cinema leaves plateaus ). The soundtrack was summed up ( in principle and by constraint ) to the only recorded sound on the set. The sound elements added in postproduction had only a functional role (to plug the holes). The cinematographic narrative excluded any sound narration other than that of realism, including the Cahiers du cinémathey made themselves apostles. The poor mono reproduction reduced the soundtrack to dialogue and music only. If we compare, statistically, the duration of the music of French films to American films of the time, we arrive at an average of 15 minutes of music for French films against 50 minutes for American films. In the mid-1980s, the first crisis of cinema generated the appearance of a new genre: the Blockbuster , a spectacular cinema with effects (visual and sound) whose qualities can only be appreciated in a movie theater ( and not at home in VHS or DVD).

We also find the sound effects , the post-synchronization , the audio mix performed by a mixer in an auditorium . Finalization is a step similar to mastering . After the actual mixing, the next step will be its, or its, formatted according to the various modes of exploitation ( diffusion ) like the analogue optical stereo cinema, and multichannel on photochemical support, digital cinema , television Stereo, DVD and HDTV, and Cinema and TV in relief. The production of the film being finished, the next stage for the image and for the sound, will be that of the laboratory (s): the formatting for the diffusion (s) and, possibly 230 , duplications.


The film is in the form of a film (called “copy”) on which are linked photographs their scrolling giving the impression of a movement 231 . Slightly different, the video film is in the form of a magnetic tape or a digital medium that includes coded images 232 . In both cases the images are projected on a screen . Two phenomena are at the origin of the illusion of movement: the retinal persistencethat hides the blacks between the images and the phi effectgiving the impression that the succession of images finally forms one and the same image that changes 231 . The phenomenon of retinal persistence and the limited processing speed of the visual system makes it possible to maintain the perception of the light received by the eye during the masking of the photogram change which is projected motionless 231 . The eye thus perceives the succession of images presented as a scene unfolding before it, interspersed with the fluttering of the eyelids. The illusion of a moving image results from a tendency of the brain to consider that similar images are views of the same object that has changed or moved: this is the phenomenon of the phi effect.231 .

In the cinema the vast majority of cinemas use film support 233 , 234 , where the projector has the defect of deteriorating over time, but it is universal 235 . For George Lucas , the future lies in digital cinema : the operator would receive or would download the support which would significantly reduce the costs of producing and distributing 233 . It is therefore a positive filmwhich passes in front of a source of white light (called “lantern”), at the rate of 24 images per second, in the case of sound projections. The lens of the projector then makes a sharp image, usually on a white screen 236 .

In the case of vertically loaded projectors , the older models, two devices were needed for the projection of different coils. For the spectator, it is possible to identify the change of coil, by the appearance of a circle, at the top right of the image. Now, with the horizontal platen devices, it is possible to mount all the coils on the same device 237 . In digital cinema , the film is recorded on hard disks. The first sonorized film goes back to the gramophone , which was operated by hand, and that posed a major problem, that of the synchronization with the image 238 , 239 . The soundwas thus very quickly integrated, optically, on the edge of the film 240 . It is a lamp that illuminates this optical track: the intensity of the light passing through the film is measured by a photoreceptor cell which in turn transforms it into an electrical signal sent to a conventional amplification system. On 70 mm film , the sound is encoded on the film next to the image.


We distinguish the animated film of the cartoon. Indeed, the animated film uses various techniques to animate real elements in three dimensions such as models, clay characters, etc. However, like the cartoon , some animation films use the image-by-image technique. The shooting frame by frame using the same techniques as the shooting classic and the successive images each representing an instantaneous phase of the movement. In the projection these images also give the subject the illusion of movement 196 .

Émile Reynaud , a French cartoonist, is the precursor of the art of animation because it was in 1892 , before the appearance of the cinematograph , that he began to project on screen, using a praxinoscope , his own drawings made and colored by hand 242 . All that remains today of her that very few works because he himself destroyed because of the harm that caused him despair the appearance of cinema 243 .

The best known of the “animated” is the character of Walt Disney , Mickey Mouse , who, from his appearance, the, Obtained a huge success 244 . In the case of the cartoon, the camera is generally fixed vertically above the cartoon that is placed horizontally on a table 245 .

This device, called bench-title also allows the reproduction of still image in general. It is then that the camera photographs the drawings one by one so as to match the parts that must remain fixed. Of course the images are not taken at the same rate as for a regular movie. On the other hand, during the projection the images scroll well at the rate of 24 images per second 246 . For a film of 250 meters , or 9 minutes of projection, it takes a hundred hours for shooting only 196 . The animated part is photographed in superimposed position on the immobile part, because it is on another support called “celluloid”.

For the realization of the drawings two kinds of cartoons are used. The backgrounds, that is to say, the landscapes, the decorations, are made on opaque sheets whereas the rest, the characters for example, are on transparent sheets called “celluloïds” because of their major component, the acetate of cellulose 247 . The drawing on these cellulos is made with Indian ink for outlines and gouache for colors 196 . For tracking , two different methods can be used. In general, it does not use zoom ( lens to focusvariable) or optical tracking. The bench-title camera is mounted on a column and can go up or down at will. The focus is slaved to the vertical movement to ensure the constant sharpness of the image. The second is to make drawings on different scales 196 .

Other techniques are used as shadow, paper cutting, as in The Adventures of Prince Ahmed by Lotte Reiniger , made in 1926 , the technique of the ” pins screen ” of Alexandre Alexeieff in Night on bald mount ( 1934 ), the animation of puppets, dolls as did Jiří Trnka and Ladislas Starewitch . One can also attend shooting techniques of living people photographed in pixilation like automatons 244 .

Today, these traditional techniques have almost disappeared and give way to computer and computer graphics techniques .


” Audiodescription ” (also known as “audiovision”) is a process that makes films accessible to people who are blind or have low vision through voice-over text that describes the visual elements of the work. The voice of the description is placed between dialogues or important sound elements so as not to harm the original work. It can be broadcast in wireless headsets so as not to disturb other viewers.

Audio description was invented in the United States by Gregory Frazier, a professor at San Francisco State University ( School of Creative Arts ) and the dean of the university, who was none other than August Coppola, brother Director Francis Ford Coppola . In 1988 , the first audiodescription film presented to the blind was Tucker by Francis Ford Coppola. In 1989 , thanks to the support of the Valentin Haüy Association for the blind and visually impaired , the process is introduced in France.

The process of a cinematographic audio description is divided into four parts:

  • The translation :
    • image analysis (extracting meaning),
    • de-verbalization (forgetfulness of words and conservation of meaning),
    • prioritization, that is to say, selection of audiodecrit elements according to the time allotted,
    • reformulation (concise and precise word choice);
  • The recording in soundproof booth;
  • The mixing (adjust the soundtrack, audiodescriptions place at the right time, etc.);
  • The pressing (before trade-up or before provision in specialized libraries).

Audiodecrit films can be distributed in different ways:

  • in cinemas that have adequate equipment (headphones) that can be permanent or temporarily installed by a mobile unit;
  • by certain television channels that can offer an additional audio stream (mixing sound of the film and audio description, or offering only the audio description alone);
  • by the video distribution circuit (DVD).

End of the film debut of digital cinema

“The film industry is today on the threshold of the greatest change in its history: the transition from film to digital” writes Eric Le Roy 248 . What seemed unlikely, if not impossible, it was twenty years ago, is now a reality 249 .

Yesterday, when the cinema, following the audiovisual in general, is about to cross the digital age, it is still industrialists of international stature who take the risk of investing colossal sums, without any equivalent so far in the research of various silver formats. In 1999 , Texas Instruments , experienced in the manufacture of integrated circuits, launched its technology, the DLP Cinema 250 . The first public screenings in digital cinema are made 251 : 18 June 1999 in the United States (Los Angeles and New York) 252 and 2 February 2000 in Europe (Paris) 253 by Philippe Binant 254. The resolution was 1280 pixels per line and 1024 pixels per column (the 1.3K ) 255 .

Today, the DLP Cinema has a resolution of 2,048 pixels per line and 1,080 pixels per column (the 2K ) or the resolution of 4096 pixels per line and 2160 pixels per column (the 4K ).

Digital cameras have spread, editing systems have already existed for a quarter of a century thanks to television, the digital cinema park follows massively. Would silver film be experiencing its last moments? For now, it would be wrong to say so, because the various decision makers are not yet aware of the conditions in which the digital medium (static memories) is preserved. In France, the legal deposit of films, received by the CNC is still mandatory as a copy 35 mm traditional photochemical.


During the first half of the xx th century , as’ folk art , cinema has become increasingly important in society 256 . Some, attributing to it an ability to influence the spectators, then called for a control of creation (through censorship ) 257 . Others, attributing to him the same capacity to convince, saw in it a remarkable tool of propaganda . Several lobbies States and then tried to benefit 258 .

First influenced by the theater and the circus , the cinema has, in the course of its history, in turn influenced the literature , the contemporary art , but also the advertising language 259 . Beyond the influence of techniques and cinematographic language, cinema has also, to its extent, reshaped the uses and the imaginary of our societies.

Political and social impact

First cultural industry xx th century 260 , because it appeals more to the emotions of spectators at their reflection, film interested, from the beginning, manufacturers of Propaganda 258 . In their opinion, it was a remarkable tool for rapidly reaching large populations, including the illiterate. The movie quickly becomes the object of contradictory tensions 261 . In the United States , the film Birth of a NationThe Birth of A Nation , 1915 ), directed by David Wark Griffith , presenting the Ku Klux Klan in a favorable light pushes theNAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to try to prohibit the dissemination 262 . A reflection is then initiated on the notion of public censorship .

The power Soviet , after Lenin ( ” Cinema is for us, of all the arts, the most important ” 263 ) develops a state theater, both well funded and exposed to censorship 264 . Paradoxically, this state cinema will give birth to the innovations of the Soviet avant-garde, and filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein , Vsevolod Pudovkin and Alexander Dovjenko . The relationship between these great creators and the Soviet power, however, always keep an ambiguous character 265 .

In Germany , particularly through Triumph of the Will ( Triumph des Willens , 1935 ), the filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl puts his talent to the regime Nazi 266 . At the beginning of xxi th century , censorship and propaganda seem to have disappeared from the cinematic landscape. In Iran , for example, the filmmakers faced censorship have long preferred the films featuring children 267 . This “trick” allowed them both to pretend to have a naive look at society and to avoid filming the faces of adult women.

Part of the contemporary Chinese cinematographic creation is, it, covered with a will of hagiographic reading of the history of the country. Some have seen in the movie Hero ( Chinese : 英雄 , Ying xiong, 2002 ), directed by Zhang Yimou , a justification of the centralizing politics led by Beijing today.

In other democratic countries, censorship and propaganda are also present, but in a more diffuse way. Noam Chomsky and states that “Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to a totalitarian state” 268 . In fact, according to Sébastien Roffat, notably author of ” Animation and Propaganda “, we find no less propaganda (that is, a desire to promote ideas and values) in the animated films of Walt Disney only in Leni Riefenstahl’s film The Triumph of the Will , yet often cited as a model of propaganda cinema 269. In democratic countries, more than the states, it is the different moral or religious lobbies and especially the dictatorship of the ratings that are at the origin of the censorship. During the xx th century , religious authorities (such as the Catholic Church ) are regularly raised against movies hitting front their values or their speech. This is particularly the case of La dolce vita ( 1960 ), a film by Federico Fellini 270 , Viridiana ( 1961 ), a film by Luis Buñuel 271 , and La Tentation du ChristThe Last Temptation of Christ , 1988), by Martin Scorsese 272 .

In the United States , during the first half of the xix th century , a code was written by Senator William Hays , as the Hays Code . This code was developed by the American studios themselves, not to be subsequently censored by an outside agency. The code provided for the sensitive treatment of sensitive subjects, such as rape , hanging , prostitution or religion .

In France , officially, censorship hit relatively few films, especially during the second half of the xx th century : Paths of Glory ( Paths of Glory , 1957 ) by Stanley Kubrick , The Maverick ( 1972 ) of Jean Max Causse , 1974, a part of the campaign ( 1974 ) by Raymond Depardon , or almost all of René Vautier’s filmography … It is assumed that The Trails of Glory and The Maverickwere censored at the request of veterans 273 . But beyond this state censorship, relatively rare and striking films, once they are completed, is now developing censorship at the level of film projects. In France, the choice to make a film gradually escapes producers and decision-makers in the film industry. It is then the commissions of the film and especially the televisions which choose which projects must be carried out. Indirectly, the cinema thus passes from state censorship to censorship set by the audience 274 .

This dependence of the film industry on television is mainly valid in France and the United Kingdom . The American cinema , better funded than the French cinema , is thus less dependent on the television industry, which does not prevent an influence of artistic, including from series such as 24 hours flat .

The cinema is thus a major example of a Soft Power 275 tool . For example, the latest film from the American Kathryn Bigelow – the first director to win the Oscar for Best Picture for The Hurt Locker in 2010 – says the hunt, and death, the leader of Al Qaeda , Osama bin Laden , started by the Americans after the attacks of September 11, 2001 . While the release of the film in the United States was scheduled on October 12, 2012, in time to participate in the Oscars, but also three weeks before the presidential election that saw Barack Obamain the race for a second term, US conservatives have polemicised on the timing of a film that ends with the presidential decision of a victorious raid by Navy Seals and the death of terrorist 276 . Certainly, the Pentagon has a long tradition of working with Hollywood filmmakers, for example for the movie Top Gun . The military is used to providing advice or war material. For the filming of The Black Hawk ( Black Hawk Down ) of Ridley Scott in 2001 , showing another side of American soldiers in Somaliathe army even lent its helicopters and pilots. But sometimes, the army refused to provide assistance as was the case for Apocalypse Now of Francis Ford Coppola , who then had to find other financial and political support: the shooting was carried out in the Philippines with the assistance material of the Philippine army.

Relations with other arts and techniques

In the beginning, cinema borrowed much from other popular arts such as circus or theater 259 . The influence of the latter is evident, for example, in the films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz , including in his last film, Le Limier , produced in 1972 278 . After the generalization of sound in cinema, some adaptations of operas were also made, the most famous probably remaining the Don Giovanni of Joseph Losey in 1979 279 . In turn, the film show influenced the theater (theatrical staging mixing special effects , music, dance , even projections of images) and especially literature . Throughout the xx th century , a number of novelists have adopted images and a “montage” close to the cinematic language.

But with the television as film maintains even closer relationship of mutual influence 280 . A certain number of directors and actors thus go from the big screen to the big screen, or in the opposite direction, carrying with them the techniques and the language from one universe to another. Punctually, in France and in the United Kingdom, television influence is today like an invisible censorship, as with the relations between cinema and authority . Conversely, American cinema , better funded and therefore more independent of television is better able to digest this relationship of mutual artistic influence with television. The television series24 hours flat has probably accelerated the renewal of the style of the series James Bond in films ( Casino Royale by Martin Campbell in 2006), and led to the film adaptation of the series of Jason Bourne (character created by Robert Ludlum in 1980 ).

The advertising techniques heir language propaganda industry is experiencing significant growth from the second half of the xx th century 281 . Initially influenced by the cinematic language, it takes up innovations (propaganda techniques) of it, he in turn influence from the very end of the xx th century .

A number of creators in the field of contemporary art have taken the media of cinema to divert or explore the limits. The experimental film , narrative or not, and maintains successful relationships with the scene of contemporary art 282 .

The adaptations of comics on the big screen are multiplying in the countries where this art is the most developed, whether in animated version or not. In the United States , Hollywood adapts comics featuring superheroes, as in Men in Black by Barry Sonnenfeld and the adaptation of V for Vendetta by James McTeigue , while the independent film is more interested in graphic novels or adult comics, such as From Hell adapted by Albert and Allen Hughes. More recently, the licenseMarvel of the Avengers was at the origin of several feature films. In Japan and South Korea , the respective adaptations of manga and manhwa are favored by producers and directors, among them Mamoru Oshii and his version of Ghost in the Shell in 1995 . In France , the Franco-Belgian comic also knows many adaptations, as Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra which was, in 2002, one of the biggest hits of the French box office. Several commentators now suggest that some comics, as a sequential art, would be “home-made” cinema, with less means but more freedom . The reciprocal influence between the two arts is a fact if only by the technique of storyboard (or storyboard) .

The emergence of virtual culture ( video games and Internet ) at the end of the xx th century changed cinema environment again. Video games and the Internet are occupying an increasing part of the young audience’s leisure, making these virtual worlds new competitors for the cinema. The influence of video games on film, relatively recent, is still small but growing 283 . We see some adaptations of video games in the cinema , like Final Fantasy or Tomb Raider (both in 2001 ), as well as video games inspired by video games in the background, from Tron en1982 or more recently with eXistenZ ( 1999 ), or in the form, as in Matrix ( 1999 ), Fulltime Killer ( 2001 ) or Cloverfield ( 2007 ).


Cinema, as a popular art , accessible to the greatest number, without any notable cultural barrier, saw its attendance rate increase and its influence grow. For example, 95% of the French have gone at least once in the cinema in their lives 284 . Thus, to express or defend an idea, man now refers to a scenario , an actor or a film generally 285 .

The sociology of cinema studies several aspects of film culture with questions such as: “Who makes the films and why? ” , ” Who sees the film, how and why? ” , ” What do we see, how and why? ” And ” how are movies assessed and by whom 286 ? ” So many sociologists have analyzed the history of cinema . At the same time, cinema attendance is analyzed and studied.

For example, the CNC conducted a study on attendance in France , and it appeared that women go a little more often to the cinema: 5.6 times a year, while men go only 5.2 times a year. 287. To the question “Why? “Some sociologists have highlighted the different tastes of each, and their emotional capacity: the female audience generally prefers to see a dramatic film , while the male audience is more willing to go to an adventure movie . In the same way, the number of people in the cinema over the age of 35 has been increasing for over 10 years, reaching 51% in 2006 287However, the share of French between 20 and 34 years is the one that goes to the cinema most often. On the question of “who sees the films? It has been shown that men and women do not see the same types of film. The look of the spectator is different. Most movies offer a male hero, thereby placing women in a secondary position, asking him somehow forget her feminine identity 288 .



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