Monthly Archives: September 2010

Musical Interlude

Categories: READING

I take bathroom breaks during song and dance numbers… or refill my drink… or check my email. It might as well say “interlude” on the screen because that’s what these musical performances are—breaks in the narrative. I cannot stomach this … Continue reading

Let’s Just Say, “It’s Complicated”

Categories: READING

The film industry and its audiences had a complex, one can even go out on a limp and say abusive, relationship since cinema’s inception. Here the term “relationship” is specifically used to highlight that the engagement of these entities is … Continue reading

Un-defining Stars

Categories: READING

Sometimes we cannot help but develop a relationship with a film star. We’ve seen them on the big screen dozens of times and depending on the star, they take on a different role in each flick. Thus, it can so … Continue reading

Music?…Well That’s Complementary.

Categories: READING

“You know where this song is from?” says my friend as we lay out on the grass on the last of Middlebury’s spring days. I knew I heard the song; it was definitely from an epic movie.  I could see … Continue reading

Filmeater?

Categories: READING

I could never really get into theater. I find seeing characters at a distance disengaging and would often struggle keeping myself awake through the performance. I understand that actors feed off the crowd’s energy and there is something truly magnetic … Continue reading

Why Vaudeville?

Categories: READING

“Vaudeville: light entertainment…that consisted of 10 to 15 unrelated acts, featuring magicians acrobats, comedians, trained animals, jugglers, singers and dancers.”[1] Peter Kramer, in his piece A Slapstick Comedian at the Crossroads, traces comedy star Buster Keaton’s beginnings in vaudeville to … Continue reading

Rowdy Theaters

Categories: READING

I hate when people talk during movies. But this is a nuisance that has been going on since cinema’s infancy.  Theater managers, studios, producers have no way of controlling this, let alone me. During the Nickelodeon era (1905-1915), audiences conversed … Continue reading

From Traveling Theaters to Nickelodeons

Categories: READING

It is 1905. You leave work and grab a newspaper on the way home. You skim through the headlines: an earthquake in Iowa, cigarettes barred in Wisconsin, Virginia University gets a gift from Rockefeller. And then on the left hand … Continue reading

Cinema of Attractions, Then and Now

Categories: READING

One myth film students will always hear, or should always hear, is that of the alarm early audiences shared when first seeing the Lumiere brothers’ Arrival of a Train at a Station. The reactions range from viewers leaning back, screaming, … Continue reading