grammes in the native tongue is a better means to this end.
An important effect of the new technology was the revival of film production in many countries in response to the sudden demand for talking pictures in native languages. French cinema peaked with 157 feature films in 1932 after an all-time low of 52 in 1929, though the introduction of dubbing would bring the number down again. Small nations like Hungary, the Netherlands, and Norway, formerly dependent on film imports altogether, enjoyed an unexpected renaissance of national film production in their own languages. Most impressive, however, was the recovery of Czech cinema. Protected by language barriers and import restrictions, Czechoslovakia witnessed a boom in film-making, cinema attendance, and theatre-building. Czech talking pictures were received enthusiastically in the home market, and the new demand for films would lead to the recruitment of authentic talents like Martin Frič and Otakar Vávra. The success of Czech cinema was surpassed only by India, where local film production benefited immensely from the transition to sound, integrating musical numbers with action scenes, thus reconciling cinema with long-standing popular traditions. Without sound, India might not have become the world's largest producer of motion pictures.
The initial fear that the introduction of sound might cause a catastrophe aroused a greater sense of film history. Silent film art was discovered as an endangered heritage worth preserving for future generations. The importance of film archives was recognized, as a source of historical evidence and for aesthetic reasons. Nostalgia for the silent era came into being. Special cinemas were opened where one could see the masterpieces of the past, and the first histories of film as art were written: early attempts to define the canon of silent film, evaluating what belonged to the classical heritage and what did not. Here also begins the selection process that is typical of every historical enterprise: the tendency to forget what one did not want to see or hear in the past. For example, it was fifty years before it became possible to show a silent film as it had been presented originally in the cinema: accompanied by a live orchestra.
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Bazin, André ( 1967), "The Evolution of the Language of Cinema".
Geduld, Harry M. ( 1975), The Birth of the Talkies.
Neale, Stephen ( 1985), Cinema and Technology: Image, Sound, Colour.
Salt, Barry ( 1992), Film Style and Technology: History and Analysis.
Walker, Alexander ( 1987), The Shattered Silents: How the Talkies Came to Stay.
Weis, Elisabeth, and Belton, John (eds.) ( 1985), Film Sound: Theory and Practice.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Oxford History of World Cinema. Contributors: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 219.
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