The Oxford History of World Cinema

By Geoffrey Nowell-Smith | Go to book overview

the field of animated special effects took on new significance. Many special effects had been animated since the silent film days. Willis O'Brien animated models of prehistoric animals for The Lost World ( 1925), King Kong ( 1933), and Mighty Joe Young ( 1947); Warren Newcombe painted mattes (for hundreds of films, including The Wizard of Oz, 1939) that allowed actors to appear in imaginary surroundings; Linwood Dunn optically printed actors together with models, paintings, or other film strips ( Citizen Kane, 1941; The Birds, 1963). In many films these effects are compiled together in scene after scene-in the Ray Harryhausen mythological Jason and the Argonauts ( 1963), a live-actor Neptune rises up out of the sea in slow motion to push apart two cliffs (one a matte painting, one a model) so that a model ship can sail through, narrowly missed by falling boulders (a real-time live-action film strip). The success of Kubrick's 2001 ( 1968) depended heavily on the brilliance of its special effects including intricate models and slit-scan motion-control camera work, and a staff of more than twenty-five technicians.

George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic company integrated all forms of animation, from models and make-up to computer effects, to provide comprehensive service not just for the Star Wars films, but also for an increasing number of science-fiction, horror, fantasy, and action films dependent on dazzling visual magic to sustain them. The introduction of computer scan and morphing modification allowed frames of film to be altered (including combining two or more image elements from different sources) on computer-video, then transferred back in the enhanced form to a final film negative. This process can be used for individual special effects in pure live-action features, like Terminator 2, and as a continuous liveaction/animation meld (as in the 1988 Disney feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit, for which the animated characters were shaded to correspond with their equivalent liveaction movements while being printed together with the actors), or as an integral part of the creation of all-animated features, like Aladdin (for which, for example, the magic carpet was designed as a flat object, and the computer 'animated' all the curves and ripples in its pattern as it flew). Today, through the wonders of Industrial Light and Magic's computer animation, Tom Hanks's Forrest Gump can walk and talk with John Kennedy and John Lennon; soon Tom Hanks will be able to star in a new film of Chekhov's Three Sisters with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Tyrone Power, and Laurence Olivier . . .


Bendazzi, Giannalberto ( 1994), Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation.

Edera, Bruno ( 1977), Full Length Animated Feature Films.

Halas, John ( 1987), Masters of Animation.

Noake, Roger ( 1988), Animation: A Guide to Animated Film Techniques.

Pilling, Jayne, (ed.) ( 1992), Women and Animation: A Compendium.

Russet, Robert and Starr, Cecile (ed.) ( 1981), Experimental Animation: Origins of a New Art.

Modern Film Music


Early in the sound era, film-makers established a norm for musical scoring which, by 1960, had changed very little. That norm dictated the use of musical cues kept outside the narrative universe (the diegesis) and specifically tailored to the action of a particular film. It also dictated that the musical styles derive from those of 'classical' music, which might be simply defined as music, generally intended for the concert hall, that stands in opposition to the more popular forms of the art, whether songs, dance tunes, or jazz.

Film composer Miklós Rózsa ( 1983) has described 'the accepted Hollywood style' as being in a 'Broadway-cumRachmaninoff idiom'. However, numerous different classical styles and idioms, some of them quite modern, had begun to manifest themselves as early as the silent era. By 1960 most 'classical' music sounds, from the Romantic period onward, were showing up in some film score or another. Perhaps more significantly, other musical idioms, in particular jazz and pop, formerly used almost exclusively either as diegetic ('source') music or in musicals, played a larger and larger role in background scoring. New ways of envisaging film/music interactions also began to emerge in commercial cinema, due to (1) changes and evolutions in audience taste and profile, (2) greater commercial tie-ins between the cinema and other areas of marketing, such as sound recordings, and (3) a greater aesthetic influence on the part of non-Hollywood filmmaking, particularly from Europe.


In 'classical' idioms, a number of the styles and film/music interactions that prevailed up to 1960 continued to mani-


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The Oxford History of World Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Contents xi
  • Special Features xv
  • List of Colour Illustrations xvii
  • General Introduction xix
  • 1 - Silent Cinema 1895-1930 1
  • Origins and Survival 6
  • Early Cinema 13
  • Transitional Cinema 23
  • The Hollywood Studio System 43
  • The World-Wide Spread of Cinema 53
  • The First World War and the Crisis in Europe 62
  • Tricks and Animation 71
  • Comedy 78
  • Documentary 86
  • Cinema and the Avant-Garde 95
  • Serials 105
  • French Silent Cinema 112
  • Italy- Spectacle and Melodrama 123
  • British Cinema from Hepworth to Hitchcock 130
  • Germany- The Weimar Years 136
  • The Scandinavian Style 151
  • Pre-Revolutionary Russia 159
  • The Soviet Union and the Russian émigrés 162
  • Yiddish Cinema in Europe 174
  • Japan- Before the Great Kanto Earthquake 177
  • Music and the Silent Film 183
  • The Heyday of the Silents 192
  • 2 - Sound Cinema 1930-1960 205
  • The Introduction of Sound 211
  • Hollywood- The Triumph of the Studio System 220
  • Censorship and Self-Regulation 235
  • The Sound of Music 248
  • Technology and Innovation 259
  • Animation 267
  • Cinema and Genre 276
  • The Western 286
  • The Musical 294
  • Crime Movies 304
  • The Fantastic 312
  • Documentary 322
  • Socialism, Fascism, and Democracy 333
  • The Popular Art of French Cinema 344
  • Italy from Fascism to Neo-Realism 353
  • Britain at the End of Empire 361
  • Germany- Nazism and after 374
  • East Central Europe before the Second World War 383
  • Soviet Film under Stalin 389
  • Indian Cinema- Origins to Independence 398
  • China before 1949 409
  • The Classical Cinema in Japan 413
  • The Emergence of Australian Film 422
  • Cinema in Latin America 427
  • After the War 436
  • Transformation of the Hollywood System 443
  • Independents and Mavericks 451
  • 3 - The Modern Cinema 1960-1995 461
  • Television and the Film Industry 466
  • The New Hollywood 475
  • New Technologies 483
  • Sex and Sensation 490
  • The Black Presence in American Cinema 497
  • Exploitation and the Mainstream 509
  • Dreams and Nightmares in the Hollywood Blockbuster 516
  • Cinéma-Vérité and the New Documentary 527
  • Avant-Garde Film- The Second Wave 537
  • Animation in the Post-Industrial Era 551
  • Modern Film Music 558
  • Art Cinema 567
  • New Directions in French Cinema 576
  • Italy- Auteurs and after 586
  • Spain after Franco 596
  • British Cinema- The Search for Identity 604
  • The New German Cinema 614
  • East Germany- The Defa Story 627
  • Changing States in East Central Europe 632
  • Russia after the Thaw 640
  • Cinema in the Soviet Republics 651
  • Turkish Cinema 656
  • The Arab World 661
  • The Cinemas of Sub-Saharan Africa 667
  • Iranian Cinema 672
  • India- Filming the Nation 678
  • Indonesian Cinema 690
  • China after the Revolution 693
  • Popular Cinema in Hong Kong 704
  • Taiwanese New Cinema 711
  • The Modernization of Japanese Film 714
  • New Australian Cinema 722
  • New Zealand Cinema 731
  • Canadian Cinema/Cinéma Canadien 731
  • New Cinemas in Latin America 740
  • New Concepts of Cinema 750
  • The Resurgence of Cinema 759
  • Index 785
  • List of Picture Sources 823


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