What is Film History?

  • What is Film History?

Film history spans the decades from early 16th century to around 1906 and this period experimented with optical toys such as camera obscurers and dioramas. The second phase dates from 1906 and specialises in one minute films. Transitional later emerged from 1907 to the late 1910’s which featured pre classical narrative conventions and arguably laid the groundwork for Hollywood which dominated cinema from then on. It is studied in both academic or popular interest. Its creation allows people to see the history of culture and politics.

  • What are your expectations about this kind of academic study?

We would expect to study the key components that make up a film and how these develop over time such as style, mediums and external influences.

  • Is there film ‘history’ or are there ‘histories’?

Winston Churchill – “History is written by the victors”.

There is no single or simple history of film. Historians explanations often take the form of stories, a concept called ‘narrative history’ answering the how and why questions by tracing circumstances which lead to developments over time.

  • Do you think you need to examine your own standpoint/identity when you start to ‘do’ film history? What might this involve?

We believe that we should view our own standpoint before studying film history as we have grown up to watch and admire very modern films, so this will involve thinking about how we look at the history of film from personal perspective. Also what our opinion is on films were made in the golden age. We believe that we should do this because when it comes to studying the history of film, we can collect our own view and opinions on how far film has come and how we think it is today.

One thought on “What is Film History?

  1. This post is succinct, but responsive to the task at hand. As a group you have taken care to respond specifically to the questions asked, although the history itself is a little breezy and you run the risk of providing a truncated history instead of questioning what history itself is. To be fair, this is mitigated by an awareness of the pitfalls of narrative history by way of Churchill’s infamous maxim that history is written by the victors.

    Awareness is also shown of our modern standpoints which no doubt shape our reaction to films, but this could be fleshed out further by questioning how history develops across the globe and how audiences themselves are multiple.

    One further suggestion is that the piece could be improved further by including images, gifs, videos and/or links. There are also some typos that can be avoided.

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