Film genre that offers dark or fatalistic interpretations of reality. The term is applied to U.S. films of the late 1940s and early '50s that often portrayed a seamy or criminal underworld and cynical characters. The films were noted for their use of stark, expressionistic lighting and stylized camera work, often employed in urban settings. The genre includes films such as John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941), Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past (1947), Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945), and Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). The trend was on the wane by the mid-1950s, but the influence of these films is evident in many subsequent ones, including classics such as Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). More recent examples include L.A. Confidential (1997) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001).
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Series of still photographs on film, projected in rapid succession onto a screen. Motion pictures are filmed with a movie camera, which makes rapid exposures of people or objects in motion, and shown with a movie projector, which reproduces sound synchronized with the images. The principal inventors of motion-picture machines were Thomas Alva Edison in the U.S. and the Lumière brothers in France. Film production was centred in France in the early 20th century, but by 1920 the U.S. had become dominant. As directors and stars moved to Hollywood, movie studios expanded, reaching their zenith in the 1930s and '40s, when they also typically owned extensive theatre chains. Moviemaking was marked by a new internationalism in the 1950s and '60s, which also saw the rise of the independent filmmaker. The sophistication of special effects increased greatly from the 1970s. The U.S. film industry, with its immense technical resources, has continued to dominate the world market to the present day. Seealso Columbia Pictures; MGM; Paramount Communications; RKO; United Artists; Warner Brothers.
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Fact-based film that depicts actual events and persons. Documentaries can deal with scientific or educational topics, can be a form of journalism or social commentary, or can be a conduit for propaganda or personal expression. The term was first coined by Scottish-born filmmaker John Grierson to describe fact-based features such as Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North (1922). Grierson's Drifters (1929) and Pare Lorentz's The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) influenced documentary filmmaking in the 1930s. During the World War II era documentary filmmaking was a valuable propaganda tool used by all sides. Leni Riefenstahl contributed to the Nazi propaganda efforts in the 1930s; the U.S. made films such as Frank Capra's series Why We Fight (1942–45); and Britain released London Can Take It (1940). Cinéma vérité documentaries, which gained notoriety in the 1960s, emphasized a more informal and intimate relationship between camera and subject. Television became an important medium for documentary films with goals that were more journalistic (such as CBS's Harvest of Shame ) and educational (such as Ken Burns's Civil War ).
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Process of giving the illusion of movement to drawings, models, or inanimate objects. From the mid-1850s, such optical devices as the zoetrope produced the illusion of animation. Stop-action photography enabled the production of cartoon films. The innovative design and assembly techniques of Walt Disney soon moved him to the forefront of the animation industry, and he produced a series of classic animated films, beginning with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The Fleischer brothers and the animators at Warner Brothers offered more irreverent cartoons that often appealed to adult audiences. In Europe new animation alternatives to line drawing were developed, including animation using puppets (sometimes made from clay). In the late 20th century computer animation, as seen in the first fully computer-generated animated feature, Toy Story (1995), moved the art to a new level.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 action-comedy-horror film about "valley girl" cheerleader Buffy (Kristy Swanson) chosen by fate to fight and kill vampires. The movie is a light parody which plays on the clichés of typical horror films. It also led to the darker and much more popular TV series of the same name, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was created and executive produced by screenwriter Joss Whedon. Whedon often detailed how the TV series was a much closer rendering of his vision than the movie, which was compromised by commercial concerns and differences in interpretation. The film is now considered a relatively minor chapter in the broader Buffy legacy. When the film was first released, it was moderately successful and received mixed reviews from critics.
After a brief training, she is drawn into conflict with a local vampire king called Lothos (Rutger Hauer), who has killed a number of past Slayers. Lothos kills Merrick. In a climactic battle set at the senior dance, Buffy defeats the vampire and his minions, primarily by being true to her own contemporary style and ignoring the conventions and limitations of previous Slayers. This is an early version of the allegory of female empowerment which would form the cornerstone of later versions of Buffy.
I finally sat down and had written it and somebody had made it into a movie, and I felt like -- well, that's not quite her. It's a start, but it's not quite the girl.
The soundtrack was released on July 28, 1992.