Film 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.
Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating — or indoctrinating — citizens. The visual elements of cinema gives motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.
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 an effect 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 perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement.
The origin of the name “film” comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) had 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. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while the Europeans prefer cinema. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies.
Derivative academic Fields of study may both interact with and develop independently of filmmaking, as in film theory and analysis. Fields of academic study have been created that are derivative or dependent on the existence of film, such as film criticism, film history, divisions of film propaganda in authoritarian governments, or psychological on subliminal effects of a flashing soda can during a screening. These fields may further create derivative fields, such as a movie review section in a newspaper or a television guide. Sub-industries can spin off from film, such as popcorn makers, and toys. Sub- industries of pre-existing industries may deal specifically with film, such as product placement in advertising.
Education and Propaganda
Film is used for education and propaganda. When the purpose is primarily educational, a film is called an “educational film”. Examples are recordings of lectures and experiments, or more marginally, a film based on a classic novel.
Film may be propaganda, in whole or in part, such as the films made by Leni Riefenstahl in Nazi Germany, US war film trailers during World War II, or artistic films made under Stalin by Eisenstein. They may also be works of political protest, as in the films of Wajda, or more subtly, the films of Andrei Tarkovsky.
The same film may be considered educational by some, and propaganda by others, such as some of the films of Michael Moore.
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