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The Film Portal

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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 a combination of physiological and psychological effects. One is 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 also 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.

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Steve Sandvoss
Latter Days is a gay romantic drama released in 2003. Set in Los Angeles, California it portrays the seduction of Aaron Davis, a Mormon missionary, by Christian Markelli, a party animal who falls in love with him. The film, written and directed by C. Jay Cox, stars Steve Sandvoss as Aaron, Wes Ramsey as Christian, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Elder Ryder, and Rebekah Johnson as Julie Taylor. Mary Kay Place and Jacqueline Bisset have supporting roles. Latter Days premiered at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on 10 July 2003. It was released across America over the next 12 months, and was released, mostly at gay film festivals, in a few other countries. It was the first film to openly show the clash between the principles of the Mormon church and homosexuality, and its exhibition in some states was polemic. Various religious groups demanded the movie to be retired from theatres and DVD stores under boycott threats. The movie was not well received by film critics, although it was popular with most film festival attendees. In 2004 T. Fabris made Latter Days into a novel, which was published by Alyson Publications.

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Phenakistoscope animation
Credit: by Eadweard Muybridge (edited and animated by trialsanderrors)

The phenakistoscope (also spelled phenakistiscope) was an early animation device, the predecessor to the zoetrope. It was invented in 1831 simultaneously by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer.

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  • ...that the 1975 film Tubby the Tuba marked the first time that computers were used in the production of an animated feature?

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Preity Zinta at the Jaan-E-Mann and UFO tie-up party (2006)
Preity Zinta (Hindi: ; born January 31, 1975) is an Indian film actress. She has appeared in Hindi films of Bollywood, as well as Telugu and English-language movies. After graduating with a degree in criminal psychology, Zinta made her acting debut in Dil Se in 1998 followed by a role in Soldier the same year. These performances earned her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award, and she was later recognised for her role as a teenage single mother in Kya Kehna (2000). She would subsequently take on a variety of character types, and in doing so has been credited with changing the image of a Hindi film heroine. Zinta received her first Filmfare Best Actress Award in 2003 for her performance in the drama Kal Ho Naa Ho. She went on to play the lead female role in two consecutive annual top-grossing films in India: the science fiction film Koi... Mil Gaya, her biggest commercial success, and the star-crossed romance Veer-Zaara, which earned her critical acclaim. She was later noted for her portrayal of independent, modern Indian women in Salaam Namaste and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, top-grossing productions in overseas markets. These accomplishments have established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema.

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Logo for the National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008. The 1996 law also created the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation which, although affiliated with the National Film Preservation Board, raises money from the private sector. The National Film Registry names to its list up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" each year, showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. However, inclusion on the list is not a guarantee of actual preservation. To be eligible for inclusion, a film must be at least ten years old. For the first selection in 1989, the public nominated almost 1,000 films for consideration. Members of the National Film Preservation Board then developed individual ballots of possible films for inclusion. The ballots were tabulated into a list of 25 films which was then modified by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and his staff at the Library for the final selection. Beginning in 1997, members of the public were able to nominate up to 50 films a year for the Board and Librarian to consider. The Registry includes films ranging from Hollywood classics to orphan films. A film is not required to be feature-length, nor is it required to have been theatrically released. The Registry contains newsreels, silent films, experimental films, short subjects, films out of copyright protection, film serials, home movies, documentaries, independent films, television movies, and music videos. As of the 2009 listing, there are 525 films preserved in the Registry. The earliest listed film is Blacksmith Scene (1893), and the most recent is Fargo (1996). The year with the most films selected is 1939, as 17 films were chosen for preservation. The time between a film's debut and its selection varies greatly. The longest span is 109 years, when the 1894 Dickson Experimental Sound Film was selected in 2003. The shortest range is the minimum 10 years; this span is shared by Do the Right Thing, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Toy Story, and Fargo.


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We in Hollywood say that the script is a blueprint. I think a script is more. I think the director, the actor, the cameraman, have to be servants on the script. I hate to change anything in the script on the stage. I prepare my directions on the desk. Sometimes naturally to change something in the studio, but generally I'm not changing anything.

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Terms - Animation o Beta movement o Camera o Cult film o Digital cinema o Documentary film o Dubbing o Experimental film o Fan film o Film crew o Film criticism o Film festival o Film frame o Film genre o Film journals and magazines o Film industry o Film manifesto o Film stock o Film theory o Filmmaking o History of film o Independent film o Lost film o Movie star o Narrative film o Open content film o Persistence of vision o Photographic film o Propaganda o Recording medium o Special effect o Subtitles o Sound stage o Web film o World cinema

Lists - List of basic film topics o List of film topics o List of films o List of film festivals o List of film formats o List of film series o List of film techniques o List of highest-grossing films o List of longest films by running time o List of songs based on a film or book o Lists of film source material o List of open content films

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