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

By Charlie Keil, Ben Singer

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

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Within just a few months, Pickford’s popularity (and her hardnosed business acumen) yielded another successful salary renegotiation: a January 1915 contract gave her $2,000 a week and half the profits of her productions (ten films a year). That deal would soon be dwarfed by another one signed in mid-1916: Pickford would earn a guaranteed minimum of nearly $16,200 a week (or, if more lucrative, about a third of a million dollars plus half the profits of her contracted six films per year). Additionally, she would be given her own studio, her own production and releasing company (Paramount Artcraft), total choice of cast and crew, top production budgets, and a host of other perks.

Second, producers had to set a film’s rental charge so that, relative to its subsequent box office performance, it was neither too high (creating angry exhibitors) nor too low (throwing away profit). Studios came to rely upon stars as the most reliable predictors of a film’s possible and probable gross, based upon records of past performance. Expensive as they were, stars provided fiscal rationality. They were not actually expensive if they enabled outlay and income to be properly attuned. Losing money through inaccurate calibration was much more damaging to the bottom line.

As is not unusual among the year’s films, the female lead is the emotional pillar, and Ramona survives after her husband is driven mad and murdered. The film’s final shot, in which Ramona is comforted at Alessandro’s gravesite by her stepbrother Felipe (Francis J. Grandon), only hints at the mitigation of the tragedy—and the political critique—in the conclusion of the novel, where Ramona and Felipe marry and abandon the United States to move to Mexico. In the transition from novel to film, most of Jackson’s social protest was lost, and movie reviewers went out of their way to deny that any lingering protest might hit home.

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