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Portal:Film

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The Film Portal

Portal film-illustration 01
Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.

Film is an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and in turn, affect them.

Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision — whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to psychological effects called beta movement and the phi phenomenon.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, photo-play, flick, and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema, and the movies.

More about Film...


Featured article

The Boondock Saints is a 1999 action crime drama film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as fraternal twins Connor and Murphy MacManus, who become vigilantes after killing two members of the Russian mob in self-defense. After a message from God, the brothers, together with their friend David Della Rocco, set out to rid their home city of Boston of evil. Meanwhile, they are pursued by FBI agent Paul Smecker ( Willem Dafoe). Duffy indicates the screenplay was inspired by personal experience, while living in Los Angeles. The film experienced a limited theatrical release of only five theaters for one week, and was met with poor critical reviews. Nevertheless, it proved divisive among viewers, developing both a large cult following, as well as enmity from viewers and critics who have called it a film undeserving of cult status. The film's cult following was mostly due to the efforts of Blockbuster Video, which made the film a "Blockbuster Exclusive." The ending credit sequence, which features the media asking the people of Boston, "Are the "saints" good or evil", was shot by Mark Brian Smith, co-director of Overnight, a documentary film about the making of The Boondock Saints, and Troy Duffy himself.

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Great Train Robbery still

The Great Train Robbery was a milestone of cinema upon its release in 1903. The short clip shown at the end of the film depicting a bandit shooting his gun at the audience had a profound effect on them, with many allegedly thinking they were actually about to be shot.

Did you know...

  • ...that the 1975 film Tubby the Tuba marked the first time that computers were used in the production of an animated feature?
    Did you know?
  • ...that benshi were the people who narrated Japanese silent films until the 1930's?
  • ...that the phrase " Up to eleven", inspired by a scene from the 1984 film This is Spinal Tap, was entered into the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in 2002 with the definition "up to maximum volume"?
  • ...that Japanese film tycoon Haruki Kadokawa built a full-size replica of Columbus' flagship Santa Maria which sailed from Barcelona to Japan?

Featured biography

Anthony Michael Hall at Creation Grand Slam XII
Michael Anthony Thomas Charles Hall (born 14 April 1968), known professionally as Anthony Michael Hall, is an American actor, producer and director who achieved stardom in several successful teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall began his career in commercials and on stage as a child, and made his screen debut in 1980. His films with director-screenwriter John Hughes, beginning with the popular 1984 coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles, shaped his early career. Hall's next movies with Hughes were the teen classics The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, both in 1985. His performances as lovable geeks in these three films connected his name and face with the stereotype for an entire generation. Hall diversified his roles to avoid becoming typecast as his "geek" persona, joining the cast of Saturday Night Live (1985–1986) and starring in films such as Out Of Bounds (1986), Johnny Be Good (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993). After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, his performance as Microsoft’s Bill Gates in the Emmy-nominated 1999 film Pirates of Silicon Valley put him back in the spotlight. He is now starring in the popular USA Network series The Dead Zone, which has aired since 2002.

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