John Mundy and Glyn White

The addition of synchronised sound to mainstream film between 1927 and 1930 required expensive changes in the technology of both production and exhibition, but the novelty of sound film brought box-office income on a scale that not only allowed the American industry to afford the rapid conversion of its studios and cinemas but also to make substantial profits in the early years of the

in Laughing matters
Christophe Wall-Romana

5 Documentaries and sound films Epstein’s filmography contains roughly an equal number of films that can be labelled fiction and documentary – a little over twenty in each category. This will likely come as a surprise to the many cinephiles who know him only as the filmmaker of La Glace à trois faces and La Chute de la maison Usher. Unfortunately, only two of Epstein’s documentaries are accessible outside of archives, and very little critical attention has been devoted to this substantial part of his œuvre.1 Indeed, in-depth research on the documentary work of

in Jean Epstein
A history of cinema exhibition in Britain since 1896
Author: Stuart Hanson

The exhibition of films has developed from a lowly fairground attraction in the 1890s to the multi-million pound industry of today. This book charts the development of cinema exhibition and cinema-going in Britain from the first public film screening in February 1896 through to the opening of 30-screen 'megaplexes'. It recounts the beginnings of cinema and in particular its rapid development, by the eve of the Great War, as the pre-eminent mass entertainment. The book considers developments of cinema as an independent entertainment, the positioning of cinemas within the burgeoning metropolitan spaces, the associated search for artistic respectability, the coming of sound and a large-scale audience. The period from 1913 to 1930 was one in which the cinema industry underwent dramatic restructuring, new chains, and when Hollywood substantially increased its presence in British cinemas. Cinema-going is then critically analysed in the context of two powerful myths; the 'Golden Age' and the 'universal audience'. The book also considers the state of cinema exhibition in Britain in the post-war period, and the terminal decline of cinema-going from the 1960s until 1984. It looks at the development of the multiplex in the United States from the 1960s and examines the importance of the shopping mall and the suburb as the main focus for these cinema developments. Finally, the book discusses the extent to which the multiplex 'experience' accounts for the increase in overall attendance; and how developments in the marketing of films have run in tandem with developments in the cinema.

Abstract only
Don Fairservice

End of an era The event that traditionally marks the beginning of the sound era occurred on Friday 6 August 1926. On the evening of that day the very first commercially released synchronised sound film made by a major studio was premièred at the Warner Theatre on Broadway. The film was Don Juan , but it was really no different than many other ‘silent’ films made during the previous decade. Like them

in Film editing: history, theory and practice
John Mundy and Glyn White

sound film unleashed an influx of new comedians to supply verbal comedy and required silent film comedians to adapt, the new technology of the 1930s renewed and transformed the romantic comedy film into one of Hollywood’s staple forms. In some linear narratives of the history of film comedy, the romantic comedy arrives in the mid-1930s to supersede the anarchic, vaudeville-inflected sound comedy of the

in Laughing matters
Abstract only
Andy Birtwistle

◂◂ Back to the future II 1935, 1937, 1940 The model of sound–image relations proposed by Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Alexandrov in The Sound Film: A Statement from the USSR (1928) was formulated as a reaction to the introduction of synchronous sound – a post-hoc theorisation offered in response to the

in Cinesonica
Abstract only
Tom Ryall

in Britain. Like a number of British titles from that year it incorporated some synchronised sound, ‘6% dialog’ according to its review in Variety,33 and is sometimes regarded as British MUP_Ryall_02_Chap 2 38 7/26/05, 10:05 AM the formative years 39 Instructional’s first sound film.34 It was made during an uncertain period for the British industry with some commentators forecasting the shift to all-sound production that was to come whilst others considered the sound film to be a novelty or, less dismissively, as a form best suited to the short subjects

in Anthony Asquith
Abstract only
Martin O’Shaughnessy

transition to sound Renoir’s early sound films were literary adaptations. In this, they followed the predominant pattern of French cinema of the period. Three brought hit boulevard comedies to the screen (On Purge bébé , Boudu sauvé des eaux, Chotard et cie). Two derived from successful novels (La Nuit du carrefour (1932), La Chienne). Madame Bovary partially broke the pattern by

in Jean Renoir
Abstract only
Sound, signification and materiality
Andy Birtwistle

1920s. In The Sound Film: A Statement from the USSR, 6 Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Alexandrov wrote of the power of editing, ‘It is known that the basic (and only) means that has brought the cinema to such a powerfully affective strength is MONTAGE’ (Eisenstein, 1977b : 257), thereby celebrating the affective impact made on the spectator by film editing. Running through Eisenstein’s writing on cinema is a concern with the

in Cinesonica
Abstract only
Don Fairservice

-dissecting practices that had been in place for many years. Framework for dialogue The shooting and editing principles that evolved through the 1930s, particularly with regard to the editing of dialogue, determined very largely how sound films would be edited internationally from that point on. Before considering the principles that underlie those practices with which we are now so familiar, it will be valuable to chart how shooting and

in Film editing: history, theory and practice