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When Editing Began: The Cut that Launched a Filmmaking Craft

By the time film pioneer Georges Méliès made this only slightly exaggerated claim, the making and exhibition of narrative film was establishing itself as a business separate from the variety stage and lecture circuit. As more people visited storefront theatres to see moving picture stories, they watched the art and craft of editing evolving on screens right before their eyes. […]

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There’s More Than a Riot Going On!

Prisons are not visually attractive. That may be why prison movies were not a significant genre during the silent era. But after the introduction of talking pictures and as sound technology was refined, the 1930s saw the studios turn out over 60 movies set in penitentiaries. […]

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More Than Just Another Fine Mess

Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his 1976 novel ‘Slapstick’ “to the memory of Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy” — better known as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. In the novel’s prologue, the author explains, “I have called it Slapstick because it is grotesque, situational poetry, like the slapstick film comedies, especially those of Laurel and Hardy… […]

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Fear of a Black Planet

Over the decade leading to 1973, with the progress achieved by the civil rights movement, a greater awareness emerged in the African-American community of its own history and culture. Despite this growth of self-worth, pride and initiative giving strength to the idea of Black Power, the systemic practice of inequality and oppression of minorities continued to afflict American society. […]

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Celebrity Crush

In ‘The King of Comedy’ (1983), directed by Martin Scorsese from Newsweek film critic Paul D. Zimmerman’s script, fledgling comic Rupert Pupkin wants to be a star. Obsessed with celebrity itself, he emerges from the subculture of fandom to take a shot at fame by kidnapping late night talk show host Jerry Langford. […]