The Influence of the Cinema on Children and Adolescents: An Annotated International Bibliography

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1. GENERAL WORKS

(a) INTRODUCTORY STUDIES,
REFLEXIONS AND ASSESSMENTS
1. Begak, B. and Gromov, J. Bolsoe iskusstvo dija malen'kih. /A great art for the young/ Moscow, State Film Publications, 1949.Problems of films for children are treated in the following nine chapters: (1) Specific characteristics of films for children; (2) Films for children; (3) Film biographies; (4) Filmed fairy tales; (5) Adventure films; (6) Film comedies for children; (7) Children's literature and films for children; (8) The dialogue in children's films; (9) Perspectives of children's films.In chapter one the educational value of the cinema and the particularly powerful influences of the cinema on children are studied. The conception of a children's film is defined, age limits are established and various opinions of educators on these subjects are discussed.The authors define the specific characteristics of children's films according to age groups. They consider that the child's perception is empirical and final, and that this dictates the particular character and form of children's films: situations requiring a certain maturity of judgement bythe spectators must be treated with discretion; special precision is required in the representation of moral values, and there should be a maximum of action. The choice of subjects is not limited; the authors feel that children's literature differs from general literature in the manner of telling a story and not in what it tells .In the second chapter the authors examine the historical development of children's films with clearly-defined contemporary subjects, and analyse the best films of the past and the present.The third chapter is devoted to films concerning great men. Their educational value, based on example, is enormous. Different aspects of biographical films -biographies of real or fictitious persons, historical or contemporary-are examined. In addition to ideological content, stress is laid on the problem of invention and fiction which bears a close relation to the recreational qualities and the interest of the spectacle.In the fourth chapter the filmed fairy tale is defended. This type of entertainment is accessible to all ages; such films differ, of course, as to the complexity of conception, plot structure, pictorial realization and the verbal texture of the story. A detailed analysis of a cartoon is given.The fifth chapter deals with adventure films citing several examples. Their special success with children is attributed to their presentation of uncommon and vivid events, and easily surmounted difficulties, and to the fact that they contain more "crowded" action than any other type of film.The authors are also of the opinion that the hero must always win.For the production of films of phantasy based on scientific facts, documentation, archives, and works of popular science should be used.The sixth chapter is devoted to comedy which should normally have a place in the children's film repertoire. Reference is made to classic comedies, adapted for different age-groups and dealing with clearly defined social problems. The method of constructing a comic situation for a children's film is examined and the educational role of laughter is stressed, whether as a reaction to simple good‐ heartedness or to satire.The seventh chapter discusses the close relationship between children's literature and children's films and analyses the problems of adapting literary works to the screen. The cinema does not always take the best advantage of experience gained in the field of children's literature.In selecting literary works for adaptation to the screen, the literary interests of children, and their reading ability and problems of literary studies at school should be considered.The eighth chapter analyses the characteristics of film dialogue for children, the dialogue being one of the elements in the construction of the character. The authors comment on the precision and persuasive force of the dialogue in the best children's films.In the final chapter, the development of children's films according to an ideological and artistic plan, and the need to train personnel for future productions, are discussed.2. Charters, W. W. Motion Pictures and Youth: A Summary. In one volume with Holaday, P.W. and Stoddard, George D., Getting Ideas from the Movies, New York, Macmillan, 1934, 66 p. (Payne Fund Studies).Gives a summary survey of the "Payne Fund Studies", which are dealt with separately in this bibliography. See also under:
Holaday, P. W. and Stoddard, George D., Getting Ideas from the Movies (no. 259) ;
Peterson, Ruth C. and Thurstone, L. L., Motion Pictures and the Social Attitudes of Children (no . 195);

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