Screen Studies & Film History


The Associated Press, in partnership with the newsreel archive British Movietone, is releasing over one million minutes of video footage posted to YouTube. It’s a treasure trove of iconic milestones in history and some rarely seen and quirky moments as well. Some of our favorite finds, the eruption of Italy’s famed Mount Vesuvius in 1938, a 1935 elephant race through the streets of Chicago, and a home exercise machine for dogs from 1937.

You can now watch a century of historic newsreels on YouTube

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life Official Trailer

Interview with Jo-anne McGowan: the making of David Stratton: A Cinematic Life

The Experts Series: Korean Film

Pixar’s Tribute to Cinema

Six secrets you didn’t know about The Handmaid’s Tale.  There’s a good chance you may have read it in school but just like many other books over the past few decades, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has seen a fresh surge in popularity thanks to a TV adaptation of the same name. The show recently cleaned up at the Emmy Awards with 13 nominations and 8 wins.

THE  MOSCOW  ART  THEATRE   –   МХТ им. А. П. Чехова

Stanislavsky in Focus, by Sharon Marie Carnicke brilliantly examines the history and actual premises of Stanislavsky’s ‘System’, separating myth from fact with forensic skill

The History of Cutting – The Birth of Cinema and Continuity Editing

The Haunted Castle 1896 George Melies Silent Film

Le Voyage Dans la Lun (A Trip to the Moon) by Georges Méliès (1902)

Georges Melies – 1898 – Un homme de têtes – The Four Troublesome Heads with the use of Travelling Mattes

Georges Melies – 1898 – La lune à un mètre – One meter to the moon

Life of an American Fireman (1903) – Edwin S. Porter | George S. Fleming | Thomas Edison

Edwin Stanton Porter: The Great Train Robbery (1903)

Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest-1908- The first D. W. Griffith’s film appearance as actor- Early cinema

Adventures Of Dollie 1908

D.W. Griffith

The Lonely Villa (1909) D.W. Griffith

The Birth of a Nation (1915 film by D.W Griffith)

The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in America (FULL Audiobook)

Intolerance Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) long version

The History of Cutting – The Soviet Theory of Montage

Battleship Potempkin – Odessa Steps scene (Einsenstein 1925)

Battleship Potemkin (1925) – Full Movie; English

October: Ten Days That Shook the World – Sergei M. Eisenstein

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau: Sunrise – A Song Of Two Humans (1927)

The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells 

Kong climbs The Empire State Building ( King Kong 1933 )

The Last Days Of Pompeii (1935) Movie[HD]

The Thief Of Bagdad 1940

Ten Commandments Part 1 ~ Full Movie

The Old Man and the Sea

The Parent Trap

The Absent-Minded Professor

Mary Poppins

Ben Hur

Escape from New York

The Empire Strikes Back.

Hollywoods History of Faking It | The Evolution of Greenscreen Compositing

52 Films by Women

12 Best Long Takes in Film History

Restoration: Samantha Lang’s The Well

As part of Sydney Film Festival’s Restoration program, Samantha Lang’s Cannes nominated film, The Well, returns in stunning form. This vivid and vital Australian film, that boasts a strong female cast and crew, offers more than ever 20 years on. Ahead of its screening at the festival we spoke with Samantha Lang.

FILM NOIR  (literally ‘black film or cinema’)



Film Timeline  1878 – 1919

Aussie Female Feature Filmmakers

These feature films are made by Australian female filmmakers and have been recently released or are coming soon. Support women in film and check out these Aussie titles now at cinemas and online!

  • ALL ABOUT E – writer/director Louise Wadley / producer Jay Rutovitz
  • AMBROSIA – writer/director Rhiannon Bannenberg
  • BEIJING BEING – writer/director/producer Emma Jaay
  • BERLIN SYNDROME – director Cate Shortland / producer Polly Staniford / novel by Melanie Joosten
  • BLUE – writer/directer/producer Karina Holden producers Sarah Beard and Sue Clother
  • CALL ME DAD – writer/director Sophie Wiesner producers Rebecca Barry, Madeleine Hetherton.
  • CASTING JONBENET – writer/director/producer Kitty Green
  • CHASING ASYLUM – director/producer Eva Orner
  • CONSTANCE ON THE EDGE – director Belinda Mason / producer Marguerite Grey
  • CRUSHED – writer/director/producer Megan Riakos / producer Sarah Bishop
  • DAMAGED – director/producer Maha Wilson
  • DEFIANT LIVES – writer/director/producer Sarah Barton / producer Liz Burke
  • DESTINATION ARNOLD – writer/director Sascha Ettinger Epstein /
    Producer Michaela Perske
  • DRAMA – writer/director/producer by Sophie Mathisen / producer Dominique Mathisen
  • EMBRACE – writer/director/producer Taryn Brumfitt / producer Anna Vincent
  • FOR NOW – writer/producer Katherine Du Bois / writer/director/producer Hannah Barlow
  • FRISKY – writer/director/producer Claudia Pickering
  • FUN MOM DINNER – director Alethea Jones / writer Julie Rudd / producer Naomi Scott
  • GAYBY BABY – Maya Newell
  • GIRL ASLEEP – director/co-producer Rosemary Myers
  • IN MY OWN WORDS – writer/director Erica Glynn
  • INNER DEMON – writer/director Ursula Dobrowski / producer Sue Brown
  • INNUENDO – writer/director/producer Saara Lamberg
  • JASPER JONES – director Rachel Perkins
  • LOOKING FOR GRACE – writer/director Sue Brooks / producers Lizzette Atkins, Sue Taylor, Alison Tilson
  • LOST GULLY ROAD – writer/director/producer Donna McRae / producer Liz Baulch
  • LOST IN PARIS – writer/director/actor Fiona Gordon / producer Christie Molia
  • MOUNTAIN – writer/director Jennifer Peedom / producer Jo-Anne McGowan
  • PAULINE HANSON: Please Explain! – writer/director Anna Broinowski
  • RIP TIDE – writer Georgia Harrison / director Rhiannon Bannenberg
  • ROLLER DREAMS – writer/director/producer Kate Hickey producers Cecilia Ritchie and Diana Ward
  • SKIN DEEP – writer Monica Zanetti / producer by Rosie Lourde
  • SHERPA – writer/director Jennifer Peedom / producer Bridget Ikin
  • SPOKE – writer/director Em Baker
  • STRANGERLAND – director Kim Farrant / writer  Fiona Seres / producer Naomi Wenck
  • THAT’S NOT ME – writer/actress/producer Alice Foulcher / producers Anna Kojevnikov, Sally Storey
  • THE CONNECTION – Shannon Harvey
  • THE DRESS MAKER – writer/director Jocelyn Moorhouse / producer Sue Maslin / novel by Rosalie Ham
  • THE LAST GOLDFISH – writer/director/producer Su Goldfish
  • THE OPPOSITION – director/producer Hollie Fifer / producers Rebecca Barry, Madeleine Hetherton
  • THE PINK HOUSE – writer/director Sascha Ettinger Epstein / producer Claire Haywood
  • THE WILL TO FLY – writer/director Katie Bender
  • WIDE OPEN SKY –  writer/director/producer Lisa Nicol / producer Anna Craney
  • WHAT IF IT WORKS? – writer/director/producer Romi Trower
  • WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED – director/producer Gillian Armstrong / writer Katherine Thomson

Have you recently released a film and not on the above list?  Email us at to be added to next month’s e-news.

Interesting Film History by Emilano Richards

Edison’s Black Maria

The Lumière brothers  ‘Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat’ First silent documentary 1896

Georges Méliès  ‘A Trip to the Moon’

George Albert Smith ‘A Kiss in the Tunnel’

‘The Sick Kitten’

Edwin S Porter ‘The Life of an American Fireman’

Benjamin Christensen ‘The Mysterious X’ 1914

Victor Sjöström ‘The Phantom Carriage’ 1921

Alice Guy-Blaché ‘Falling Leaves’ 1912

D W Griffith ‘Intolerance – Love’s Struggle Through the Ages’ 1916

‘The Birth of a Nation’

Robert J Flaherty ‘Nanook of the North’ 1921

Abel Gance  ‘La Roue’ 1922

F W Murnau ‘Nosferatu’ 1922

Raoul Walsh ‘The Thief of Bagdad’ 1924

Erich von Stroheim ‘Greed’, the last three minutes 1924

King Vidor ‘The Crowd’ 1928

Carl Theodor Dreyer ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc

Otto Preminger ‘A Royal Scandal’ 1945

Forough Farrokhzad ‘The House is Black’ 1963

Jorgen Leth ‘The Perfect Human’ 1967



Mise-en-Scène translates to ‘placing-in-the-scene’ and being interpreted to cover the arrangement of everything that appears in the framing and that takes place on the set.

The importances of the content when making choices with sets, lights, costume, makeup, props, décor, sound, hair styles, film stock, aspect ratio, performance, aspects of camera and movement to create the mood and ambiance of a film contributes to the range of emotional, subjective, psychological, engrossing and engaging experiences.

It is not only about montage, it is an aspect of cinematic storytelling, narrative information conveyed by building various shots, creating sequences and scenes that are modified to create the film. There is the aesthetics of the shots, the stylistic arranged elements being part of the context that is composed with width, depth, space, time and reality to capture the audience, giving meaning to the film and developing the story.

Mise-en-Scène is about the tools that gives the film life, allowing the viewer to participate in the reality created by the shots and the relationship between the shots.


Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. “Film Art: An Introduction.” In Film Art: An Introduction, Ch 4 118 – 166. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2005.

Cook, David A. “A History of Narrative Film.” In A History of Narrative Film, pp 49–50, 182, 365–366, 423–24, 456–57, 486, 513–17. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 1981.

Colman, Felicity. “Film, Theory and Philosophy the Key Thinkers.” pp 9, 23, 37, 102, 106, 108, 116, 118, 141, 172, 174, 208, 222, 228–9, 230–1, 343, 2009.

Monaco, James. “How To Read A Film – Movies Media and Beyond.” In How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond: Art, Technology, Language, History, Theory, pp 193, 205, 461, 456–468. 4th ed., completely rev. and expanded. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

“Wikipedia,” Mise En Scène. <ène>

My Impressions of Two Contrasting Editing Styles

The editing style in the breakfast montage of ‘Citizen Kane’ shows the rapid, acceleration of the passing of time. This is successfully done with quick edits between Kane and Emily at the breakfast table, contrasted with the image wipes, which successfully moves the story along several years in a few minutes. The editing gives the audience an understanding of the development of each of the characters while compressing real and screen time. The editing style having a strong impact on the narrative.

In contrast there are many long takes in ‘The Shinning’ which strongly contributes to the eerie, unsettling and terrifying emotions created in this horror film.

These prolonged shots leave the audience wondering where is the story going and what is going to happen. There is no quick distraction, the slow editing to the next shot or action creates suspense setting the audience up and building the tension.

Gallipoli uses long takes such as when Archy and Frank are running through the trenches. This builds atmosphere and tension as the audience follows the character wondering where they are going, how long will it take and what is going to happen.

Deconstruct a Shot

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 7.11.22 PM
I have chosen a shot from ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’,  the screen shot has been taken from IMDB’s link to the full length trailer.

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 7.06.08 PMThe area defined in this shot gives a sense of distance going back to the three soldiers while conflicting the viewer with the flat area cutting across the shot behind the characters. The viewer’s eyes want to go from the Doctor in the front, left to beyond the soldiers, right and the wall stops the eye bringing it coming back to the emotional face of the doctor and the cycle continues without settling.

The hard edged light behind the Doctor’s head and the shape of the light shadow behind the soldiers highlights their position in the environment. There is the strong, vertical building line between them confirming the conflicting relationship and the distance created between them.

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 7.10.21 PM

The simple and harsh, vertical and horizontal lines of the building’s structures are part of the emotion created in the scene.  Colour adds to the mise-en-scène, the shades of blue combined with the rain and mud leave a cold and miserable feeling.

‘….a film can manipulate space to communicate information or convey a feeling.”

Dick, Bernard F. “Anatomy of Film.” In Anatomy of Film, p 49, Boston, Mass.: Bedford St. Martins, 2005.

Sound Assisting the Narrative in Film

How Can Sound Assist the Narrative in Film?

The sound in film assists the narrative by shaping the viewers perception of the story and being a subliminal driving focus of the film.

le_fils_de_l_autreIn the opening sequence of ‘The Other Son’ the exchange of music and strong location effects introduces and establishes the mood of the film. The on and off screen paper stamping sounds in the background during the medical examination has an unconscious influences on the atmosphere in this scene.

In the shower scene from “Psycho” the sound makes it impossible for the viewer not to become emotionally involved in the characters actions. The sharp contrast between the musical sounds and the focus on particular sound effects together with the exaggerated film shots work to build the emotional tension.

The sounds which include foley, ambience, effects and music or lack of, give life to the vision and manipulate audiences. This includes telling them how to feel while evoking feelings, creating moods, influencing the pace, making changes in time, establishing locations, drawing attention to details and making connections between characters, places, images and moments to suggest a few.

Basic Structure of a Story


ACT ONE – setup, the trip

imagesThe scene is set with the girls preparing to get away for a week-end get away having some freedom away from the routine of their lives. Thelma is married with an abusive husband and Louise is a waitress both bored with their lives, they want change, time away from their tedious lives. Thelmaʼs relationship is not very comfortable and she leaves without letting her husband know and for some reason packs the gun.

They leave and disaster happens when they stop to have some fun at a bar/club on their way. Thelma gets into trouble when a guy she meet at the club gets aggressive in the car park. Louise appears with the gun and shoots Harlam. Now they have to figure out what to do and unknown to them the police have become involved. Louise phones Jimmy for money as they have none and they decide to go on the run.

ACT TWO – confrontation, the runaway

They discuss running away as they figure no one saw them. They have a chance of escaping with the possibility of going to Mexico but not through Texas and need go via Oklahoma to pick up the money.

They pick up DJ after some initial reluctance. Jimmy arrives with the money and proposes to Louise. DJ makes his way back to Thelmaʼs room while Louise and Jimmy are catching up. When Thelma meets up with Louise, Louise realises the money will be gone. When the go and check the money is gone.

This leads to Thelma robbing the store and when the police see the security video they are building up more and more information on what they are doing. The men are wondering about what is going on.

Thelma and Louise phone the boys and work out they know and the police are there. Louise asks to speak to the police and finds out they know about them going to Texas. They are becoming fugitives.

They drive towards Mexico and pass a sexist truck driver who Thelma finally ignores. A policeman pulls them over, possible speeding and Thelma shoots the car radio and puts

the policeman in the boot of the car. Louise calls Hal, the police and they are being charged with murder. They are not giving

up, not making any deals – dead or alive. Their fate has been sealed.

ACT THREE – resolution, the escape

They see the macho truck driver again and ask for an apology, when he does not give it to them they shoot the truck tyres and the truck explodes.

A stoned bicycle rider finds the policeman in the boot of the car and the police helicopters are closing in. There hare lots of police cars chasing them, they are out numbered. They go off the road and temporarily lose them under the bridge and pull up close to the edge of a cliff. The police continue to close in until Thelma and Louise can choose, surrender, fight or keep going. They are not giving up and they drive off the cliff.

Ingredients of a Story

What are the essential ingredients of stories. SCHOOL of ROCK is a

musical comedy, a fell good movie when you leave the cinema and the power of music. Dewey Finn : Protagonist Antagonist : ’ can be a threat of obstacle to the main character’ from Wikipedia I was thinking this could be society represented by the teacher, parents, flat mates/friend


images-2Dewey : On the surface he is a fraud and ill-equipped to be a teacher. The film shows how his role effects the students and they gain confidence and self-esteem. He is a slob rocker, self-absorbed, passionate and incapable of complying with any authority. Being motivate by the need for money, only knowing rock he is not concerned about the interest of the kids. Later it unfolds that he cares for the kids or does he? Is he only interested in rock success thus manipulating his students to follow his interests.

All the kids are includes and if they are not happy with their roll he works it out eg Summers from groupie to manager, Billy from security to band stylist. Tomika from security to singer and Dewey shares his eating habits with her also supports her when she lacks confidence before the concert.

Ms Mullins : the uptight principal Repressed school kids

Summers : determined to please and succeed

Zac : shy with large and overbearing father and uses music to show him other responses ‘step off’

Freddy : rebel, troublemaker drummer and provides the vehicle for Dewey to prove that he cares for the kids

Lawrence : keyboardist, transformed to a rockin’ keyboardist

Tomika : body issues. Does not want to be a security detail or roadie and is a singer. Also needs support before the concert.

Billy : security to band stylists Gordon : roadie to computer lighting the show


images-1Is shown from the social side between conservative and band lifestyles. And in the characters by not fitting in, not succeeding in the traditional ways and society expectations. to the desire to succeed in socially acceptable ways and how the story unfold between the two. Dewey goes from being only interested in himself to being concerned about the kids.Including them all in the project to changing their roles, protecting Freddy, playing the kids song at the concert. The kids and his friend change as well as the principle and the parents at the end.


With the success of the band and the development of the relationship between Dewey and the kids the parents and principle see the value and talents of the children and there is room for it all.

The children find themselves and what they can do. Dewey finds success and his place in the world.


Paying your way, socially acceptable behavior, body issue of being fat, bullying.

World (rules)

Dewey is scruffily dressed and slept in a mess on the sofa, the school environment is neat and tidy, Dewey takes the principle to his pub for coffee and she is uncomfortable, Freddy rolled up his shirt sleeves.


almost famous, rebellious attitude, norms and deviance, piety and blasphemy, right and wrong.


fictional school

Beginning : Dewey is a slob rocker who is self-absorbed, problems with authority and not capable of taking responsibility. He is at the end of the line.

Middle : He finds a job teaching kids continuing in his devious ways. He finds out the kids have musical talent and they form a bond. Dewey and the kids learn from each other and their journey makes this part of the story.

End : Dewey gets exposed when the paycheck arrives for Ned. Following this the he is asked questions at the parents evening about what has been going on. His real identity is revealed and he is fired from the school. The next morning the kids come looking for him and push him and they all head to the ‘Battle of the Bands’. The principal and parents realise the kids are missing, head to the concert and their outrage changes to support.

CHINESE  FILMS – Films to 1991

1931 first Chinese talkie was released

A bible for Daughters

A Spring River Flows East

Along the Sungari River

Army Nurse (1986)

At Middle Age

Before the New Director Arrives  1956

Bitter Love (or Sun and the Moon, The) ( 1981)

Black Cannon Incident, The

City of Sadness

Come On China

Crows and Sparrows

Diary of Returning Home

Dr Norman Bethune  (Bethune: The Making of a Hero?)

Early Spring (and Serfs)

Eight Thousand Li of Cloud and Moon

Elder Sister

Evening Rain  (1980)

Far From War

Fascinating Musical Band

First Sino-Japanese War, The

55 Days at Peking (1963)

Girl from Hunan

Heading For Home

Hibiscus Town (1987)

Horse Thief (1986)

In-Laws, The (1981)

Intimate Friends

In the Wild Mountains

Kids Canteen

King of the Children

Last Sun, The

Last Day of Winter, The

Leg End of Titanium Mountain, The

Legend of Tianyun Mountain, The (1980)

Li Shuangshuang (1962)

Life (1984)

Life of Mine, The  (1950)

Life of Wu Xun 1951?

Life and Old Well

Lin Family Shop, The (1959)

Lonely Murderer, The

Lower Depths, The

Love and Inheritance 

Loyal Partners (1957)

Make Believe Couple, The

Man Unconcerned with Details, The 


Me and My Class Mates

Missing Girl Student, The

Moon Reflected on Second Spring (1979)

My Memories of Old Beijing

Jia wu feng yun (AKA The Naval Battle of 1894) (1962) (English Subtitles)

New Doctor, The (1975)

New Year’s Sacrifice  (1956)

Night Lodging

Number Thirteen Haunted Residence

Old Well, The

On the Docks (1972)

On a Small Street

On the Hunting Ground

One and Eight (1984)

Opium War, The

Our Demobbed Soldier

Our Tabby

Out On Parole

Popular Film

President Extraordinary

Red Sorghum

Red Detachment of Women, The (1960)

Regret for the Past

Reverberations of a Life

River Without Buoys

Romance on Lushabn Mountain (1980)

Sacrificed Youth

Savage Land (1981) 

Season for Love, The

Secret Decree

Spring in a Small Town 小城之春 1948

Stage Sisters (1965)

Spring River Flows East 一江春水向東流 (1947) part 1 with English subtitles

Song at Midnight 夜半歌聲 (1937) with English subtitles

Soul of a Nation, The

Stars are Bright Tonight, The

Sungari river


Swan Song

T Province

Taking tiger Mountain by Strategy

Third Sister Liu

Trapped on a Frozen River

Travelling Players

Tribulations of a Chinese Gentleman, The

True Story of Ah Q, The 

Twins Come in Pairs (1979)

Unfinished Comedy, The (1957)

University in Exile

Wild Torrents

Yellow Earth (Huang Tudi) (1984)

Youth (1977)

Zhenzhen’s Beauty Parlour 


BBC Soul of a Nation : The Royal Family of Thailand (1979)


Beautiful Cigarette Girl, The

Camel Dance, The (1935)

Catch the Turtle in a Jar (1948)

Citizen (1932)

Conceited General, The (1956)

Democratic North-East, The

Dream of the Emperor, The (1947)

Father of Miss Lu, The

Fisher Boy, The (1959)

Flute and Cowherd, The (1963)

Golden Conch, The (1963)

Hunger of the Old, Stupid Dog

Intelligent Little Darling, The (1960)

Journey to the West

Little Heroes, The

Magic Paintbursh, The (1955)

Monkey King

Motherland is Saved by Aviation

Painful Story of the Nation, The

Posters of Anti-Japanese War, The

Price of Blood, The (1930)

Princess Iron Fan  (1941)

Rebellion of the Paper Man, The

River is Red with Blood, The

Scenes of Urban Life

Smiling Monkey, The 

Songs of Anti-Japanese War

Spring of Ginseng, The (1962)

Turmoil in a Workshop (1927)

Typewriter for Chinese

Uproar in Heaven  (1964)

Wake Up (1972)

Where is Mama? (1960)

World of Insects, The

Year of Chinese Goods, The

Zhou Bajie East Watermelon (1958)


A Chinese Ghost Story

A Hearty Response

Aces Go Places (III)

An Autumn Fairytale


City of Fire

Dan Quan Cun Pian

Eastern Condors

Easy Money

Fifty Years of Sunrise and Sunset

Flaming Brothers

Home from the Hill

Imitation of Life

Killing Fields, The

Lady in Black

Legend of Wisely, The  (1987)

Long Arm of the Law:  ll

Modern Security Guard


Project A:11

Road Warriors


Story of Hay Bo, The

Underworld Friendship

Written in the Wind

Yingxiong Pian


After Midnight

Aunty Chin-Shui

Daughter of the Nile

Flag is Flying, The

Growing Up

Legend of Dr Sun Yatsen, The

Love is Grown With Flowers

Missing People

My Father is Not a Thief 

Split of the Spirit, The


We Went to See the Snow that Year

White Teeth and Black Skin

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