Most people use “film” and “movie” interchangeably. “Film” is more often used when considering artistic, theoretical, or technical aspects, as studies in a university class. “Movies” more often refers to entertainment or commercial aspects, as where to go for fun on a date. For example, a book titled “How to Read a Film” would be about the aesthetics or theory of film, while “Lets Go to the Movies” would be about the history of entertaining movies. “Motion pictures” or “Moving pictures” are films and movies. A “DVD”, “videotape”, “video” or “vid” is a digital reproduction of an analogue film, or a product with all of the elements of an analogue film but made in an electromagnetic storage medium. “Film” refers to the media onto which a visual art is shot, and to this end it may seem improper for a digital originating work to be referred to as a “film” and the action of shooting as “filming,” and yet these terms are still used. “Silent films” need not be silent, but are films and movies without an audible dialogue, though they may have a musical soundtrack. “Talkies” refers to early movies or films having audible dialogue or analogue sound, not just a musical accompaniment. “Cinema” either broadly encompasses both films and movies, or is roughly synonymous with “Film”, both capitalized when referring to a category of art. The “silver screen” refers to classic black and white films before color, not to contemporary films without color.
The expression “Sight and Sound”, as in the film journal of the same name, means “film”. The following icons mean film – a “candle and bell”, as in the films Tarkovsky, of a segment of film stock, or a two faced Janus image, and an image of a movie camera in profile.
“Widescreen” and “Cinemascope” refers to a larger width to height in the frame, compared to an earlier historic aspect ratios. A “feature length film”, or “feature film”, is of a conventional full length, usually 60 minutes or more, and can commercially stand by itself without other films in a ticketed screening. A “short” is a film that is not as long as a feature length film, usually screened with other shorts, or preceding a feature length film. An “independent” is a film made outside of the conventional film industry.
A “screening” or “projection” is the projection of a film or video on a screen at a public or private theater, usually but not always of a film, but of a video or DVD when of sufficient projection quality. A “double feature” is a screening of two independent, stand-alone, feature films. A “viewing” is a watching of a film. A “showing” is a screening or viewing on an electronic monitor. “Sales” refers to tickets sold at a theater, or more currently, rights sold for individual showings. A “release” is the distribution and often simultaneous screening of a film. A “preview” is a screening in advance of the main release.
“Hollywood” may be used either as a pejorative adjective, shorthand for asserting an overly commercial rather than artistic intent or outcome, as in “too Hollywood”, or as a descriptive adjective to refer to a film originating with people who ordinarily work near Los Angeles.
Expressions for Genres of film are sometimes used interchangeably for “film” in a specific context, such as a “porn” for a film with explicit sexual content, or “cheese” for films that are light, entertaining and not highbrow.
Any film may also have a “Sequel”, which chronologically portrays events following those in the film. Film sequels may even be released first, e.g. Star Wars Episode IV.
A preview performance refers to a showing of a movie to a select audience, usually for the purposes of corporate promotions, before the public film premiere itself. Previews are sometimes used to judge audience reaction, which if unexpectedly negative, may result in recutting or even refilming certain sections (Audience response).
Trailers or previews are film advertisements for films that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema, on whose screen they are shown. The term “trailer” comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a film programme. That practice did not last long, because patrons tended to leave the theater after the films ended, but the name has stuck. Trailers are now shown before the film (or the A movie in a double feature program) begins.
Film, or other art form?
Film may be combined with performance art and still be considered or referred to as a “film”. For example, when there is a live musical accompaniment to a silent film. Another example is audience participation films, as at a midnight movies screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where the audience dresses up in costume from the film and loudly does a karaoke-like reenactment along with the film. Performance art where film is incorporated as a component is usually not called film, but a film, which could stand-alone but is accompanied by a performance may still be referred to as a film.
The act of making a film can, in and of itself, be considered a work of art, on a different level from the film itself, as in the films of Werner Herzog.
Similarly, the playing of a film can be considered to fall within the realm of political protest art, as in the subtleties within the films of Tarkovsky. A “road movie” can refer to a film put together from footage from a long road trip or vacation.
“This article is brought to you by Gus Woltmann”.