Perhaps more than any other art form, film relies heavily on technology. On one level, the history of cinema is the history of technological innovations. In this session, we will begin by asking what the term "film" means and then trace the technological history of film from the magic lantern to the birth of cinema. We will view and discuss examples of Early Cinema - the first films that were made.
Assignment Due for this Session
A simple question to get us started thinking about what film is: What do you need in order to make a film? Which of these elements are either essential or most important? Please post a comment below.
Materials for Further Study of Early Cinema and Film Technology
Early Lumiere and Edison Films
An explanation of the concept of persistence of vision from 1938.
Most of the science is outdated, but this still emphasizes the importance of human vision to film spectatorship.
A 30,000 Year Old Movie?
An interesting theory that the first "movie" was actually made 30,000 years ago. Whether or not we want to accept this as film, it does show that humans have always desired cinema.