- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - D
- Photography and cinema contributed in large part to the secularization of history, to fixing it in its visible, "objective" form at the expense of the myths that once traversed it. Today cinema can place all its talent, all its technology in the service of reanimating what it itself contributed to liquidating. It only resurrects ghosts, and it itself is lost therein.
- Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (1981), p. 48
- The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation.
- Walter Benjamin, “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction,” Illuminations (1968), p. 239.
- But films . . . it’s funny. People buy a ticket. That ticket is their transport to a fantasy which you create for them. Fantasyland, that’s all, and you make their fantasies live. Fantasies of love or hatred or whatever it is. People want their fantasies over and over. People who masturbate usually masturbate with, at the most, four or five fantasies. By and large. Most people like the same food and they like the same kind of music, they like the same kind of sexual fantasy for a period of time, then maybe it changes. As it is in children. Who is it? Bruce Lee. That’s the hero. Then you grow up and grow out of your Bruce Lee period, or your Picasso Blue Period, and go into another period.
“But with kids, because they outpower us, because they have no representation, because they are so dependent, all they think about is power. Dinosaurs or the Million Dollar Man, because they feel so helpless, because they have no way out of it, except fantasy. Because they are only that tall.
“And that’s all films are. Just an extension of childhood, where everybody wants to be freer, everybody wants to be powerful, everybody wants to be so overwhelmingly attractive that there’s just no doing anything about it. Or everybody wants to have comradeship and to be understood.
- At the outbreak of war in 1939, the power of the feature film, as a means of communication and persuasion rather than just a vehicle for entertainment, was already well established. One of the earliest programmes of study into the effects of the moving image upon the mind had been carried out by the Payne Fund between 1929 and 1932. The experiments that it carried out concentrated on such issues as the extent to which children learnt from film and how well they retained what they learnt; the possibility that exposure to film affected attitudes; and how moral standards might be affected by what was viewed. The findings of these studies showed that the human mind could be shaped and moulded by persons in positions of influence; and, in this context, the film maker was in an almost unique position of influence.
- British Board of Film Classification, "War is Hell...but how much can you show?"
- The Government controlled the film stock supply at this time and all film scripts for films to be made in the UK had to be submitted to the Ministry of Information. If a film was not approved then no film stock would be supplied.
In 1939 the BBFC still operated under the broad guiding principles of former President TP O’Connor’s list of ‘grounds for deletion’ which were first published in 1916. These essentially barred:
* References to controversial politics
* Relations of capital and labour
* Scenes tending to disparage public characters and institutions
* Realistic horrors of warfare
* Scenes and incidents calculated to afford information to the enemy
* Incidents having a tendency to disparage our Allies
* Scenes holding up the King’s uniform to contempt or ridicule
* The exploitation of tragic incidents of the war
The aim of all these constraints was to try and ensure that the kinds of films that came out during this period dealt with war in ways that were unlikely to be particularly upsetting or challenging for audiences.
- British Board of Film Classification, "War is Hell...but how much can you show?"
- While people are always quick to take up the cudgels against censorship of the press, or radio, any crackpot can advocate new forms of censorship for the movies, and not a voice is lifted in protest. There's something illogical about this indifference to censorship of the movies. After all, it's just as much a medium of public expression as are the radio and newspapers.
- Humphrey Bogart, “Censorship: Jimmy Walker Never Heard of a Book Seducing a Dame but Bluenoses are Still on the Trail of our Films”, Hollywood Reporter, (Oct 1941); republished in “When Humphrey Bogart Tackled Movie Censorship in 1941”, Hollywood Reporter, (2/27/2018).
- I have never heard of any youngster going wrong, turning to crime, because of the movies. It simply isn't possible. Our relation to crime is, in a sense, the same as the prison warden's. We don't create it. We deal with it after it has happened, and we always make the criminal look bad.
- Humphrey Bogart, “Censorship: Jimmy Walker Never Heard of a Book Seducing a Dame but Bluenoses are Still on the Trail of our Films”, Hollywood Reporter, (Oct 1941); republished in “When Humphrey Bogart Tackled Movie Censorship in 1941”, Hollywood Reporter, (2/27/2018).
- Sometimes watching a movie is a bit like getting raped.
- Luis Buñel in "The Last Sigh"
- In all, markets outside the United States accounted for roughly $25 billion of $35.9 billion in worldwide box-office sales last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Precisely what share of international sales was captured by American-based companies is unclear, but they remained dominant.
Still, Jonathan Wolf, the American Film Market’s managing director, has been watching what he calls “a global shift away from U. S. product over the last 25 years.”
Government subsidies for local film have changed tastes in some regions of the world. That shift, and a new generation of television-trained international filmmakers, Mr. Wolf said, have slowly undermined American-based film in ways that will again be apparent at this year’s market.
Over a decade, he noted, English-language film exporters have dropped to about 63 percent from 73 percent among those at his event, while United States-based exporters now account for roughly 47 percent of the American Film Market’s pool, down from 53 percent 10 years earlier.
- Michael Cieply, “Hollywood Works to Maintain Its World Dominance”, (Nov 3, 2014).
- According to Rentrak, American studio titles accounted for 39 percent of Chinese ticket sales in 2013, down from 44 percent a year earlier. Speaking in October, Rob Cain, a producer and consultant with considerable experience in China, said the American share was back to almost 44 percent.
Of nine films to take in more than $100 million at the Chinese box office at that point, five were Chinese films. But an expected strong performance by Paramount’s “Interstellar” will probably keep the American share relatively high through the year’s end, Mr. Cain said.
China, aside from a deeply rooted, action-oriented Hong Kong movie culture, has yet to become a powerful exporter of film. To date, it has been more like India, a prolific producer whose wares are mostly viewed within its borders, and among a vibrant diaspora around the world.
- Michael Cieply, “Hollywood Works to Maintain Its World Dominance”, (Nov 3, 2014).
- A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
- Jean Cocteau Esquire, (Feb. 1961).
- I'm going to leave you with this machine, pay attention, she's going to ask you a bunch of questions.
- From an unfinished documentary titled How to buy Mountain dew in the mid of the midwest (1921) min 57
- A message I’ve been telling myself: the cinema is very conservative, and unless you have a story that satisfies you, that is within the unchallenging zone, but you love it, you can’t do it as cinema. Otherwise, you better go do it for television, which is more daring now.
- Jane Campion "Ten Questions for Bright Star’s Jane Campion: “I’ve Never Made a Crap Film”, IndieWire, Anne Thompson, Dec 10, 2009
- The easiest way to inject a propaganda idea into most people’s minds is to let it go through the medium of an entertainment picture when they do not realize that they are being propagandized.
- Elmer Holmes Davis as quoted in Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits and Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies by Clayton R. Koppes and Gregory D. Black (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990) p. 64.
- I can no longer think what I want to think. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images.
- Georges Duhamel, Scènes de la vie future (1930), p. 52.
- … a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries, … a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence,… which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.
- Georges Duhamel, describing cinema, Scènes de la vie future (1930), p. 58.
E - H
- I always say a screenplay is the big plain pizza, the one with tomatoes and cheese. And then the director comes and says, “You know, it needs some mushrooms.” And you go, “Put mushrooms on it.” And then the costume designer throws peppers on it, and – and pretty soon, you have a pizza with everything on it. And sometimes it’s the greatest pizza of your life and sometimes you think, “Well, that was a mistake. We should have left it with only the mushrooms.”
- Cinema is an old whore, like circus and variety, who knows how to give many kinds of pleasure.
- Federico Fellini, Atlantic Dec 1965.
- The public has lost the habit of movie-going because the cinema no longer possesses the charm, the hypnotic charisma, the authority it once commanded. The image it once held for us all, that of a dream we dreamt with our eyes open, has disappeared. Is it still possible that one thousand people might group together in the dark and experience the dream that a single individual has directed?
- Federico Fellini [on the Decline of Cinema], a Fellini Lexicon, (1992).
- A good opening and a good ending make for a good film provide they come close together.
- Federico Fellini, [Recipe for a Good Film], a Fellini Lexicon, (1992).
- Frivolity, sensuality, indecency, appalling illiteracy and endless platitude are the marks of the degenerate American Theater under Jewish control. [...] it is quite possible that many who read this are not interested in the theater, and are, in fact, convinced. that the theater and cinema are a menace. But, what principally makes these things a menace? This-that the stage and cinema today represent the principal cultural element of 90 percent of the people. What the average young person absorbs as to good form, proper deportment, refinement as contrasted with coarseness, correctness of speech or choice of words, customs and feelings of other nations, fashion of clothes, ideas of religion and law, are derived from what is seen at the cinema and theater. The masses' sole idea of home and life of the rich is derived from the stage and the movies.
- Henry Ford, "The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem" (1920)
- Nooo! Leave that to George Lucas, he' s really mastered the CGI acting. That scares me! I hate it! Everybody is so pleased and excited by it. Animation is animation. Animation is great. But it's when you're now taking what should be films full of people, living thinking, breathing, flawed creatures and you're controlling every moment of that, it's just death to me. It's death to cinema, I can't watch those Star Wars films, they're dead things.
- Terry Gilliam on CGI from IMDB profile
- [Steven Spielberg's films] are comforting, they always give you answers and I don't think they're very clever answers. … The success of most Hollywood films these days is down to fact that they're comforting. They tie things up in nice little bows and give you answers, even if the answers are stupid, you go home and you don't have to think about it. … The great filmmakers make you go home and think about it.
- The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn’t.
- Jean-Luc Godard, Quoted in Richard Roud, Godard, introduction (1970).
- Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.
- Jean-Luc Godard, Le Petit Soldat (film) (direction and screenplay, 1960)
- [variation] Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second.
- A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.
- Samuel Goldwyn Quote (Sept. 9, 1956)
- Watching movies, but we ain't seeing a thing tonight.
- If you want to be a storyteller, be an author, be a novelist, be a writer, don't be a film director. Cinema is not the greatest medium for telling stories. It is too specific, leaves so little room for the imagination to take wing other than in the strict directions indicated by the director. Read "he entered the room" and imagine a thousand scenarios. See "he entered the room" in cinema-as-we-know-it, and you are going to be limited to one scenario only.
- Peter Greenaway, "105 Years of Illustrated Text" in the Zoetrope All-Story, Vol. 5 No. 1.
- If you want to do a film, steal a camera, steal raw stock, sneak into a lab and do it!
- Werner Herzog Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980).
- Film is not the art of scholars, but illiterates.
- Werner Herzog Herzog on Herzog.
- As you see [filmmaking] makes me into a clown. And that happens to everyone – just look at Orson Welles or look at even people like Truffaut. They have become clowns.
- Werner Herzog Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980).
- I feel that peace has hardly been imagined. It is rarely dramatized in the theater, in the movies, even in books.
- 1993 interview in Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin (1998)
I - L
- Some 20 years after Lumière’s film, a Harvard psychologist named Hugo Munsterberg challenged researchers to figure out the depth of, and reason for, cinema’s influence: “For the first time the psychologist can observe the starting of an entirely new esthetic development, a new form of true beauty in the turmoil of a technical age, created by its very technique and yet more than any other art destined to overcome outer nature by the free and joyful play of the mind,” Munsterberg wrote in The Photoplay: A Psychological Study, considered by many to be the first important behavioral look at film.
But though the research gauntlet had been thrown down, what followed is what one would expect when looking for artistry in a Pauly Shore flick: nothing. Or, at least, very little, says Stuart Fischoff, founder of the Journal of Media Psychology, who in 2003 retired from the psychology department at California State University, Los Angeles. Between 1916, when Munsterberg wrote The Photoplay, and the 1950s, perhaps the most influential psychological research on cinema was L.L. Thurnstone’s 1928 Payne Fund report — a study whose purpose was to indict, not investigate, the role of film on behavior, Fischoff says. In fact, for much of the 20th century, the psychological study of film was considered “lightweight stuff,” says Dolf Zillmann, University of Alabama, one of the field’s pioneers. Film study was approached with a Freudian mindset, and few empirical studies took place. But in the past decade or so, such research has experienced a resurgence — the rare sequel that outperforms the original. “There’s really a new psychology of film in the making,” says Zillmann. Film study from a psychological perspective now takes place in campuses around the country, combining interdisciplinary approaches from several areas, with an increasing focus on the neuroscience of viewer response.
- Let's face it, motion pictures are sausages. But that doesn't mean you can't make artful sausage.
- L.Q. Jones, as quoted in Halliwell's Who's Who in Movies (2003) by Leslie Halliwell (ed. John Walker), p. 252
- The culture is unchallenged as the standard setter, and the child’s sense of right and wrong and his priorities in life are shaped primarily by what he learns from the television, the movie screen and the CD player.
- In the world we live in - and the system we've created for ourselves, in terms of it's a big industry - you cannot lose money. So the point is that you're forced to make a particular kind of movie. And I used to say this all the time, with people, you know, back when Russia was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and they'd say: "Oh, but aren’t you so glad that you're in America?" And I'd say: "Well, I know a lot of Russian filmmakers and they have a lot more freedom than I have. All they have to do is be careful about criticizing the government. Otherwise, they can do anything they want".
- The words "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies. This appeal is what attracts us, and ultimately what makes us despair when we begin to understand how seldom movies are more than this.
- Pauline Kael, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".
- Dedicated enforcement campaigns have become relatively common sights in developing countries as part of the release strategies for major domestic films, with notable examples including The Irony of Fate 2 (2007), in Russia, Tsotsi (2005) in South Africa, Tropa de Elite 2 (2010) in Brazil and Lagaan (2001), in India. Police mobilization in these situations is generally geared toward the suppression of street piracy during the initial release window for the film, when the majority of profits are made.
- Joe Karaganis, "Media Piracy in Emerging Economies", (2011), p. 27.
- Since 2002, the US movie industry has been a $9-10.5 billion business in domestic box office revenues, with successive record-setting years in 2007, 2008, and 2009. International distribution brought in some 16.6 billion in 2007, $18.1 billion in 2008, and 19.3 billion in 2009 (MPAA 2009). DVD sales are a separate, massive revenue stream: global sales peaked at $23.4 billion in 2007 before dropping to $22.4 billion in 2008 and falling further in 2009. Licensing of movie-related merchandise is a third revenue stream, estimated at roughly $16 billion per year (Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf 2009). This success is not limited to Hollywood. The Indian movie industry - second in global revenues - has also boomed in recent years and registered 13% growth in 2008, with up to $2.2 billion in box office revenues (seefigure 1.4). Revenues in 2009 dropped slightly to $1.86 billion (Kohi-Khandekar 2010).
- Joe Karaganis, "Media Piracy in Emerging Economies", (2011), p. 45.
- Although US domestic box office revenues have grown 40% since 2000, the real growth markets have been overseas. Bo office revenues have roughly quadrupled in India since 2000 and tripled in Brazil; they have tripled in Russia since 2004. Because this growth took place against low baselines, however, these markets remain very small compared to their US and European counterparts.
- Joe Karaganis, "Media Piracy in Emerging Economies", (2011), p. 55
- White examines the hold of analogical reasoning on the legal imagination by assessing the way courts responded to innovations in the social world. The two examples that are the subject of this essay are the treatment of radio and motion pictures in the early part of the twentieth century. He looks at how law responded to these innovations and, in particular, how courts responded to challenges to efforts to impose a regulatory regime on them. The drive to regulate emerged from a particular awareness of the media’s mass quality and the immediacy of the effects they created; in addition, it was fueled by the Progressive Era’s tendency to approve regulation by experts as a way of addressing social concerns. Yet these regulations, at least from the perspective of today, raise serious First Amendment issues. White examines cases challenging regulation to show that analogical reasoning was used to construct a legal history in such a way as to justify regulation in spite of the First Amendment.
In the case of film, courts constructed such a history by categorizing it as a form of property. Like property, film might be used to do “evil.” Courts then conjured the history of the “police powers” by which states could invoke their powers to protect the morals of the public. In addition, they brought the regulation of film within the history of administrative law and, as a result, focused only on the nature of the legislative delegation involved. Having established framework of analogies, courts then were able to bring to bear the relevant precedents. In their treatment of those cases they tended to anticipate the position of Marshall in “Payne”, insisting on the value of consistency and continuity of law’s doctrinal structure.
- Thomas R. Kearns (August 2002). History, Memory, and the Law. University of Michigan Press. pp.22-23
- As one industry insider argued, "Saving Private Ryan suffers on [video] cassette. If you see it at home, you are by no means as impressed with it as you were in the movie theater. And Shakespeare in Love is a more intimate picture, it plays well on cassette. It may actually be enhanced by watching it at home."" In response, Dreamworks' marketing chief, Terry Press countered: "That goes to a larger issue. You're a member of the Motion Picture Academy, not the television video academy. These movies are meant to be seen in movie theaters, all of them. They're not meant to be stopped and started and paused when the phone rings or to feed the dog."
- Barbara Klinger, “Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home”, University of California Press, 2006, p. 2.
- A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
- Stanley Kubrick, Kagan, Norman (1989), The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, New York: Continuum Books.
- They’re outraged not because of any personal prejudice. They’re outraged because they hate to see any change made on a series and characters they had gotten familiar with. In Spider-Man, when they got a new actor, that bothered them, even though it was a white actor. I don’t think it had to do with racial prejudice as much as they don’t like things changed.
- Stan Lee "Why Fans Are Hating On Michael B. Jordan's Human Torch, According To Stan Lee", Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend, 2015.
M - P
- A motion picture must be true to life. If a picture portrays a false emotion it trains people seeing it to react abnormally.
- William Moulton Marston, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore, p. 136.
- Sound and talking undoubtedly increase the entertainment value of a picture. There is a distinct conflict, however, between a pictorial and sound elements, which cannot be entirely avoided until third dimensional pictures are made.
- William Moulton Marston, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore, p. 139.
- Not even the church is so powerfully equipped to serve the public psychologically as is the motion picture company.
- William Moulton Marston as quoted in Henry W. Levy's, "Professor to Cure Scenarios with Wrong Emotional Content: Dabbled in Movies While at Harvard; Now Sought By Hollywood with Offer of Favorable Contract", New York University News January 1929; The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore, p. 137.
- If I write a crappy comic book, it doesn't cost the budget of an emergent Third World nation. When you've got these kinds of sums involved in creating another two hours of entertainment for Western teenagers, I feel it crosses the line from being merely distasteful to being wrong. To paint comic books as childish and illiterate is lazy. A lot of comic books are very literate — unlike most films.
- Hollywood, television and film is not my prime area of interest. Because I would never have any control, working in those areas. It’s nice to get the money from a Hollywood project, but whatever they do with it, it would be their piece of work, and not mine.
- Alan Moore De Abaitua interview (1998)
- Photography because of its causal relationship to the world seems to give us the truth or something close to the truth. I am skeptical about this for many reasons. But even if photography doesn't give us truth on a silver-platter, it can make it harder for us to deny reality. It puts a leash on fantasy, confabulation and self-deception. It provides constraints, borders. It circumscribes our ability to lie — to ourselves and to others.
- Of course, print will continue to be used, and it is interesting to speculate what kinds of reading matter would survive in a rigidly totalitarian society. Newspapers will presumably continue until television technique reaches a higher level, but apart from newspapers it is doubtful even now whether the great mass of people in the industrialized countries feel the need for any kind of literature. They are unwilling, at any rate, to spend anywhere near as much on reading matter as they spend on several other recreations. Probably novels and stories will be completely superseded by film and radio productions. Or perhaps some kind of low grade sensational fiction will survive, produced by a sort of conveyor-belt process that reduces human initiative to the minimum.
- It would probably not be beyond human ingenuity to write books by machinery. But a sort of mechanizing process can already be seen at work in the film and radio, in publicity and propaganda, and in the lower reaches of journalism. The Disney films, for instance, are produced by what is essentially a factory process, the work being done partly mechanically and partly by teams of artists who have to subordinate their individual style. Radio features are commonly written by tired hacks to whom the subject and the manner of treatment are dictated beforehand: even so, what they write is merely a kind of raw material to be chopped into shape by producers and censors. So also with the innumerable books and pamphlets commissioned by government departments. Even more machine-like is the production of short stories, serials, and poems for the very cheap magazines. Papers such as the Writer abound with advertisements of literary schools, all of them offering you ready-made plots at a few shillings a time. Some, together with the plot, supply the opening and closing sentences of each chapter. Others furnish you with a sort of algebraical formula by the use of which you can construct plots for yourself. Others have packs of cards marked with characters and situations, which have only to be shuffled and dealt in order to produce ingenious stories automatically. It is probably in some such way that the literature of a totalitarian society would be produced, if literature were still felt to be necessary. Imagination — even consciousness, so far as possible — would be eliminated from the process of writing. Books would be planned in their broad lines by bureaucrats, and would pass through so many hands that when finished they would be no more an individual product than a Ford car at the end of the assembly line. It goes without saying that anything so produced would be rubbish; but anything that was not rubbish would endanger the structure of the state. As for the surviving literature of the past, it would have to be suppressed or at least elaborately rewritten.
- The talkies are the only art that would attract Leonardo da Vinci were he alive to-day. It is the only art that excites a scientist's curiosity, the only art that challenges the engineer, the only art that offers the great artist a medium capable of expressing every human thought and emotion, as well as the pure aesthetic effects of color and music.
It is a baby giant, as clumsy as all babies are. Its noises are, we grieve to admit, often as inartistic as the squalling of a baby. But squalling babies have a way of growing up into soft-voices women and great singers. This is why we, the authors, have gladly played the role of nursemaids.
We don't know what the baby will be doing and saying when it grows up. But we are sure it will make its mark in the world.
- The literary story is hard enough, heaven knows. It calls for a thorough understanding of the kinds of people you set out to depict. It cannot be of high quality unless the author can plot well. And, of course, it must be cast in distinctive style. The picture of the silent screen does not demand literary abilities, but it does require insight into character as well as drama; furthermore, it is founded upon a high order of visual imagination. The stage play, in a certain sense, calls for all the chief abilities of literary stories and silent pictures; and, in addition, it must be managed with dialogue, which is some thing very different from literary language. But the sound picture goes beyond all of these other art forms. To invent a good one, you must grasp character, drama, settings, and dialogue. But you must go beyond these. You need a fanciful ear. The backgrounds of your story now cry out. The tale is filled with noises. And every least sound adds a unique quality to the total effect.
- People go to moving pictures to be made to weep or laugh, to be happy or unhappy as they watch what hap pens to the screen characters before them. They become completely absorbed in the screen action. They follow the story, willy-nilly. And in so doing, they are forced to feel the emotion/ aroused by the dramatic situations.Pictures makes millions of people, day after day, feel glad or sad, courageous or fearful, righteous or angry. He, can do this, that is to say, within limits, and these limits largely depend upon the story of the picture. If the producer has a powerful enough story, these millions for get themselves and their little joys and woes and escape into the scenes on the screen before them. Small wonder then, that, with such stupendous power over the thinking and feeling of myriads of men, women, and children, the moving picture producer is willing, even eager, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars — or even a cool mil lion or so — to secure and produce a picture for this world of movie-goers.
But the story selected must itself have power enough to arouse the emotions of an audience. Excellent photography and good acting can help to carry successfully any story, but they can never put emotional meaning into a story that is built without emotional appeal.
- The task of depicting character in the sound picture is, in one sense, far easier than in the silent picture. The latter, being essentially pantomime clarified with titles, is cruelly restricted as a medium of depicting human nature. Few of us express ourselves in postures and gestures. Our natural manner finds itself freer and surer in spoken words and, most of all, in decisive acts involving such forms of language as promises, commands, prohibitions, and so on, all of which readily lends itself to reproduction in talk and scene combined.
To this extent, character drawing in sound pictures seems to offer pretty much the same opportunities and difficulties as in the drama of the Broadway stage. But a closer study brings out the somewhat startling fact that a sound picture, skillfully handled, can reveal more of a personality than any other device of art or science. The actor on the stage can talk, gesticulate, and move to and fro; but there his powers end. The actor of the talking screen can do all of these things and then carry on his subjective life in the presence of the spectators. We can show pictorially his memories, his fears, his hopes, and his cunning schemes. We can reveal his clenched fist in a close-up. We can show the beads of perspiration on his brow, as he trembles with suppressed rage.
- There is only one thing that can kill the movies, and that is education.
- Will Rogers (1949) The Autobiography of Will Rogers.
Q - T
- Until about the mid-1930s, law in film was an authoritative and neutral process—a formal and almost religious space—in which truth could be revealed or justice done through heavy-handed elites. Starting from the late-1930s until the post-WWII period—the "film noir" period—film depicted an underside of law, corruption, and unreasonable attachment to formality at the expense of justice. There are a lot of films from this time that depict legal heroes that flout the law to make sure the truth comes out and that depict mobs taking over both the legal process and civil society. In the mid-1950s onward, classical Hollywood cinema took over with its brighter depiction of the promise of law to help the everyday person. It is an evolution that sounds in grassroots democracy, the value of juries, and the promise of individuals to make a difference working within the system. From the late-1980s, many law films were ahead of their time in terms of civil rights, depicting African American judges, female litigators, and a legal system that is open and sufficiently self-reflective to incorporate criticism into its pursuit of justice. You might think of Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks and Denzel Wasghinton, as one of these films, or A Few Good Men, with Demi Moore as Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway and J.A. Preston as Judge Julius Alexander Randolf. TV has followed a similar arc, but with more police serials than courtroom dramas. As you can see from these periods, the themes of film track and help constitute U.S. socio-political culture.
- Jessica Silbey, “What can a crime drama teach us about justice?”, Jason Kornwitz, Phys.org, (July 20, 2016).
- Across all the countries examined, females were underrepresented in the film workforce compared to their actual percentages globally. Discrepancy scores were calculated to determine the degree to which on-screen depictions of occupations differ from real-world values (see Table 6). The scores were grouped into three categories based on the size of the discrepancy: small (5-9.9), moderate (10-19.9), and large (20+). India was the only country in which female film jobs revealed a small difference from the real world. Five countries (Japan, Brazil, U.K., China, Korea) showed moderate differences between movie and actual workforce percentages and five countries (France, Russia, U.S., Australia, Germany) showed large differences. Once again, women are underrepresented on screen. This time they comprise less than a quarter of the workforce in international films, which is well below their share in the real world of work. Given that movies can set an agenda for the next generation entering the workforce, the lack of females in the labor market is a concern. Perhaps even more troubling is the types of occupations women are shown possessing, the topic of the next section.
- Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Katherine Pieper, "An Investigation of Female Characyers in Popular Films Across 11 Countries", Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, p.9
- Well, Jack Warner may have been celebrated for calling writers "Schmucks with Underwoods," but 20 years earlier, Irving Thalberg … said that "The most important person in the motion picture process is the writer, and we must do everything in our power to prevent them from ever realizing that."
- From the 1960s, cinema was one of the most important aspects of the alliances between Cuba, the USSR and African liberation movements.
Filmmaking - both documentary and fiction - in support of rebellious causes were emerging across the world, from Palestine to Latin America, and young members of guerrilla movements such as the PAIGC's Flora Gomes and Sana Na N'hada were sent to Cuba to learn the language and techniques of Third Cinema, the values of revolution and social justice of which echoed the early, utopian ideals of African anti-colonial struggles.
- Ana Naomi de Sousa, “Between East and West: The Cold War's legacy in Africa”, Al Jazeera, (22 Feb 2016).
- Watching violence in movies or in TV programs stimulates the spectators to imitate what they see much more than if seen live or on TV news. In movies, violence is filmed with perfect illumination, spectacular scenery, and in slow motion, making it even romantic. However, in the news, the public has a much better perception of how horrible violence can be, and it is used with objectives that do not exist in the movies.
- Steven Spielberg, in an interview by the Brazilian magazine Veja (1993).
- I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?
- Sharon Tate Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders (2000) by Greg King
- A film is a boat which is always on the point of sinking - it always tends to break up as you go along and drag you under with it.
- Francois Truffaut, interview in Peter Graham's The New Wave (1968).
- To make a film is to improve on life, to arrange it to suit oneself, to prolong the games of childhood, to construct something which is at once a new toy and a vase in which one can arrange in a permanent way the ideas one feels in the morning.
- Francois Truffaut, as quoted in Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies (2003) by Leslie Halliwell (ed. John Walker), p. 468
- I make films that I would like to have seen when I was a young man.
- Francois Truffaut, op. cit.
- Data from 93 countries and territories cover film production, exhibition and distribution for countries at various levels of economic development for the 2015 reference year.New data show the growing importance of developing countries in the cinema industry. In 2015, developing countries, accounted for 59% of global movie production (see the figure). Booming cinema industries in India and Nigeria, known as Bollywood and Nollywood, are driving growth.
In India, for example, film production has nearly doubled since 2005 when just over 1,000 films were produced. With the introduction of digital technology, production started to ramp up in 2012, and in 2015 India reported that 1,907 feature films had been produced.
- But you just don't know where any film is going to go, or how it's going to end up. Films so often don't get the love and attention needed to get to the right festival, or find the right distributor, or get seen by the world.
V - Z
- As I now move—graciously, I hope—toward the door marked Exit, it occurs to me that the only thing I ever really liked to do was go to the movies. Naturally, Sex and Art always took precedence over the cinema. Unfortunately, neither ever proved to be as dependable as the filtering of present light through that moving strip of celluloid which projects past images and voices onto a screen.
- To write a script today means working for a committee of people who know nothing about movies, as opposed, say, to real estate or the higher art of bookkeeping.
- Gore Vidal, op. cit.
- A film is a ribbon of dreams. The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world that is not ours and that brings us to the heart of a great secret. Here magic begins.
- The percentage of people who actually go to a movie theater has declined from a high of 65% of the population in 1930 (before television) to about 10% over the last several decades.
- S. Mark Young, James J. Gong, and Wim A. Van der Stede, “The Business of Making Money with Movies", Strategic Finance, February 2010, p. 37.
- By 1990, movies were either rented or sold at much more reasonable prices directly to consumers (known as sell-through). Video rentals reached a plateau, but video sell-through sales continued to grow. By 1992, the value of video sell-through sales exceeded the domestic theatrical box office for the first time. Home video caused a significant downward shift in the box office; for instance, the domestic box office represented 80% of studio revenues in 1980, but by 1992 it decreased to no more than 25%.
- S. Mark Young, James J. Gong, and Wim A. Van der Stede, “The Business of Making Money with Movies", Strategic Finance, February 2010, p. 38.
"Diversity and the film industry An analysis of the 2014 UIS Survey on Feature Film Statistics" (March 2016)
Luis A. Albornoz, "Diversity and the film industry An analysis of the 2014 UIS Survey on Feature Film Statistics", Information Paper No 29, (March 2016)
- With the exception of large U.S. companies whose feature films are distributed and seen on the five continents, production from the other four leading countries generally have geographically more restricted circulation. Feature films produced in India, for instance, are popular with the Indian diaspora, as well as Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan.
- The international co-production of feature films, which involves companies from two or more countries that finance and produce films, can be considered a gateway to diversity of cultural expressions as it enables the exchange of human resources –both technical and artistic–across countries and,undoubtedly,facilitates the circulation of films across two or more film markets. In this regard, for instance, the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production(CE, 1992) considers international co-production as “an instrument of creation and expression of cultural diversity”. It is worth noting that international co-production is a practice that started in the mid-20th century among companies from countries with major historical, cultural and/or linguistic ties. Furthermore, since the late 20thcentury, governments from wide political spectrums have been encouraging co-productions with other countries through international programmes, such as the Ibermedia Programme introduced in 1996 for the Ibero-American area. In a highly competitive and globalised market, international co-production is a way for film production companies to broaden their markets of operation.
- A key sector for analysing the diversity of the film industry is distribution. Distribution companies are directly linked to the diversity offered to potential spectators, acting in many markets and reaching diverse audiences through cinema complexes. Focusing on the distribution of feature films in theatres, the world’s most successful films were distributed and promoted by companies belonging to the U.S.majors: Buena Vista (an affiliate of the Walt Disney Company), Sony Pictures Releasing, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Warner Brother and Paramount Pictures. These companies have a dominant position in several countries of the world (in Latin America and Western Europe, for instance) and rule the distribution of both Hollywood blockbusters and locally-produced films that are likely to become commercial hits in their respective markets.In addition, often the U.S. majors operate in foreign markets in a coordinated fashion, to the detriment of local productions and independent distributors, as can be seen in Spain (TDC, 2006). This has a negative impact on the diversity of feature films that the markets can offer to local audiences. Thus, many feature films do not access screening slots in the theatres of their country of origin.
- In contrast with the wide-ranging dissemination at the international scale reached by U.S. productions, the distribution of feature films beyond the borders of the countries that produce them is a serious problem in regions such as Europe and Latin America. As mentioned by the European Commission when launching its ‘European Film in the Digital Era’ strategy in 2014, “the number of movies made in Europe went from 1,100 in 2008 to 1,300 in 2012, but for the most part they are only screened in the country of their production and rarely reach distribution across borders”. Therefore, the European Union has a new strategy aimed at the“need to take full advantage of the new distribution methods to drive cultural diversity and competitiveness” (EC, 2014).
- The goods and services derived from cultural industries are, by nature, vehicles of the expression of values, customs, languages, gastronomies, etc. This is the view of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which states that “cultural activities, goods and services have both an economic and a cultural nature, because they convey identities, values and meanings” (UNESCO, 2005, Preamble). Since its inception, cinema has been a major vehicle for the cultural expression of nations. This has been complemented from the middle of the last century by television. Feature films –the main industrial product of the sector –can be analysed based on various characteristics: film genres, aesthetics, languages used, ideas expressed, social sectors represented, patterns of behaviour, etc.
- The Preamble of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions reads, “Linguistic diversity is a fundamental element of cultural diversity” (UNESCO, 2005). Albornoz and García Leiva (2016) state that advocating linguistic diversity is an imperative for the international community, as every language reflects a one-of-a-kind vision of the world, with its own value system, its specific philosophy and its particular cultural characteristics. A language provides support to an identity and is an essential element of an irreplaceable cultural wealth. Feature films, as well as other cultural expressions, provide a channel of expression and dissemination for approximately 6,000 languages which are spoken in the world.11Asseveral studies have pointed out (Ranaivoson, 2007; UIS, 2011), diversity is a multidimensional concept. Stirling’s definition (1998, 2007) of diversity includes a combination of three components: variety, balance and disparity. Variety refers to the number of different categories defined; specifically for films, we may ask, how many languages can be identified in the cinematographic production of a country? Balance refers to the extent to which these categories are represented: what percentages of each language are used in films? And disparity refers to the degree of dissimilarity that exists between the different categories: how different are the languages used? Thus, the larger the number of categories and the more balanced and disparate the categories, the more diverse the system.
- As mentioned extensively by film industry experts, most of today’s film consumption is outside the traditional cinema circuit. Televisions, streaming media players, computers, tablets and smartphones are popular platforms for watching and enjoying feature films for a major portion of the world’s population. However, the theatrical release of a feature film continues to be a major effort vis-à-vis commercial exploitation in the rest of the film consumption windows (free-to-air and pay television, DVD, online platforms).
- In 2012, the number of feature films greatly increased throughout the world, and the following year a new production record was hit: 7,610 movies. However, the sustained growth of global production during the 2005-2013 period has not undermined the weight of the main production countries: India, the United States, China, Japan and most Western European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain. This finding, in the attempt to analyse the diversity of sources, reveals a high degree of concentration of production in the economic superpowers and in some of the most heavily-populated countries of the world. A special case in point is India, the country with the second-largest population, and the number-one film making country, which is experiencing a major growth in production. India produced 1,041 movies in 2005 to 1,724 movies in 2013. The number of feature films produced in 2013, mostly with digital technology and at multiple sites, represented over one-fifth of worldwide production. International feature film co-productions, driven by the public sector and private production companies, were common in some countries of Western Europe and the United States. France had the largest number of co-productions in the 2012-2013 biennium. Production companies view co-productions with companies from other countries as a means of taking advantage of the film making grant programmes of various countries and of extending the reach of films. Increased production does not necessarily lead to a better and larger dissemination of films. The dominant positions of the U.S. majors in many markets directly impact the diversity offered,i.e.what content reaches the screens and how. For instance, the European space, comprising countries with a prominent tradition for production, repeatedly expresses the lack of reach of its feature films across borders .
Most countries have monolingual (in their respective official languages) or bilingual film production. Again, India stands out for the wide spectrum of local languages in its movies, none of which has a share over 17%. In countries with multilingual film production, there are one or several drivers for this: a historical presence of different social groups within the country and/or large migrant groups, geo-cultural proximity with companies speaking other languages, and the development of strategies for commercial penetration in new markets, among others. Dubbing policies implemented by countries are unfavourable for the recognition of languages other than those of the place where foreign films are screened.
- According to the three categories in the UIS 2014 Questionnaire on Feature Film Statistics, there is a clear pre-eminence of fiction feature films versus documentaries and animation movies. Additionally, all countries offering information on the production of fiction, animation and documentary feature films show a clear imbalance among the categories.
There is a strong geographic concentration of the revenues from the commercial screening of feature films in theatres. The top 10 markets, led by the United States/Canada, China and Japan, held three-fourths of global revenues during the 2012-2013 period. China, the most heavily-populated country in the world, is seeing a sustained increase in its gross box office for feature films in theatres (in 2013, it exceeded US$3.6billion). It appears that the world’s second film market in terms of gross box office is ready to overcome, in the near future, the stagnated market of the United States/Canada. India, with average ticket prices well below those prevailing in the top revenue markets, is the top country in terms of volume of tickets sold. In 2012, Indian theatres received more theatre goers than the United States, China and Japan together. Even though there are noticeable differences between countries and inside countries at the global level during 2012 and 2013, the average price of theatre tickets continued to grow. The 2005-2013 period saw an increase of 40% in the average ticket price. The most popular feature films watched in theatres in 2012 and 2013 confirm a very high concentration of consumption of blockbusters produced (or co-produced) and distributed by U.S. majors. They are mostly action/adventure movies, some with animation techniques, targeting children and adolescents, supported by multi-million budgets and international advertising campaigns. As has been the case in recent years, mass consumption of feature films in theatres has favoured the [[w;Media franchise|franchises of various series and bringing to the big screen stories that were originally created as comics.
- The international filmmaking industry faces some shortcomings regarding diversity in its sources, some of the characteristics of films made and the majority consumption of feature films. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen and renew some public policies and civil society strategies with the aim to strengthen diversity in (and of) the filmmaking industry. Policies should address the complex and changing relationship of the film industry with the audiovisual sector and cultural industries in general. The principle of equitable access upheld by the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions states: “Equitable access to a rich and diversified range of cultural expressions from all over the world and access of cultures to the means of expressions and dissemination constitute important elements for enhancing cultural diversity and encouraging mutual understanding.” (UNESCO, 2005: Article 2.7). Making this principle a reality involves diversifying and strengthening the fabric of feature film production centres, changing the structures governing the distribution of films at international scale, and implementing policies to encourage diversified film consumption.
"Emerging Markets and the Digitization of the Film Industry An analysis of the 2012 UIS International Survey of Feature Film Statistics" (August 2013)
Roque González, "Emerging Markets and the Digitization of the Film Industry An analysis of the 2012 UIS International Survey of Feature Film Statistics", UIS information paper #14 (August 2013).
- [T]here is little diversity in film consumption in Latin America, where movies produced in the United States account for at least 80% of total market share of attendance. National films in the global Top 10 are almost nonexistent in this region, with the exception of Brazil, where locally-produced films account for a 10% share of attendance. The same situation prevails in Australia and Canada, where more than 80% of the audience share views American films. Although for most countries the share of the audience viewing national films is quite low, there are notable exceptions. The Republic of Korea is the only country where the audience share of national movies accounts for the majority (54%). This could be explained by national policies that impose a quota on the distribution of national films.
- Examples of countries with diverse film markets include Morocco and Georgia. In Morocco, films from the United States represent approximately one-third of audience share. Interestingly, the audience share for foreign films (excluding American films) is 42%, which is significantly higher compared to any other country for which there is data. A similar pattern is seen in Georgia, where 50% of films viewed are foreign (non-American), followed by 27% of audience share for national movies and 24% for American movies. In some countries, the audience for national films approaches similar levels as for films produced in the United States. This is the case in France, where 41% of films viewed are national and 46% are from the United States. In the United Kingdom, the share of national movies is 36%, which is relatively high for Europe. This can be partially explained by several sequels, including the Harry Potter series, being in the national and global Top 10.
- The digitization of movie production and their exhibition in multiplexes has been one of the primary reasons that cinema has continued to attract audiences to theatres in many parts of the world. At the same time, the cinema sector has had to face the impacts of the financial crisis of 2008, which slowed down growth in many sectors of the economy.
- As has been the case throughout the 2000s, in almost all countries feature films from the United States of America (USA) (or USA coproductions in conjunction with primarily European countries) dominated the Top 30 (see Table 1) in 2010 and 2011. Almost all of these films were distributed by the six major Hollywood studios (with 50% of them released in 3D). Furthermore, the number of animated releases aimed at child-youth audiences was significant, in addition to sequels, prequels and adaptations. The rise and importance of 3D films evident between 2005 and 2011.
However, many of the films that are ranked from No. 15 to No. 30 are typically nationally-produced or non-USA-produced films,mostly distributed by local companies.
- World film production continued to grow from 2005 to 2011,with a 39% increase. During this period, about 100 countries produced professional feature films for theatrical release, with an average of 5,987 feature films being produced per year, as shown in Table 3. The figures also show that there has been stagnation in the world film production since 2008, with total film production remaining at around 6,500 releases per year over the last four years for which data are available.
- When analysed at the country level, the increase in the world film production is highly dependent on the Top 10 producers which represent around 65% of world production,as shown in Table 4. The countries with the highest increases in production between 2005 and 2011 were: China (260to 584, 124.6%), the United Kingdom (106to 299, 182.1%) and the Republic of Korea (87to 206,148.3%). Other countries with significant increases were: Germany (45.2%), Spain (40.1%) and Italy (58.1%). Outside of the Top 10, several countries showed important increases although the level of production was smaller, including: Brazil (42 to 100 films, 136%), Iran (26 to 76 films, 192%), Turkey (28 to 70 films, 150%), Viet Nam (12 to 75films,525%in 2010), and Mexico (71 to 111 films, 56.3%). The level of production for the rest of the world grew at a smaller rate between 2008 and 2011.
- Nigeria has a very high number of audiovisual productions (see Map 1)–on average releasing 966 films per year between 2005 and 2011 –but they are semi-professional/informal productions, most of them almost artisanal with limited or no theatrical release. While 1,074 films were produced in 2010 in Nigeria, national movies sold only 117,563 tickets (26% of market share of that year), in a country with a population of about 160 million inhabitants.
- Countries which do not have the facilities and resources to produce films for theatrical release are using video format to reach their audiences. As shown in Table 6, Nigeria–with an average production of 1,000 movies per year –is the third largest producer in terms of volume. As a result of new technology and video production, the emergence of new film producers, such as Mauritius, has been possible. While the country did not produce any feature films before 2009, Mauritius increased its production from 19 to 30 films between 2010 and 2011.
- Analysing all films, regardless of their format of production (theatrical release or video production) provides an overview of the cinema sector worldwide. Table 7 shows that global film production has increased significantly in recent times, with total production rising from 5,735 movies in 2005 to 7,442 in 2008. Production continues to grow but at a slower pace since 2008.
- There were 7 countries that had “very high” annual film production (more than 200 feature films) between 2005 and 2011, producing on average 3,561 films yearly and representing 57% of the world’s feature films. There were 11 countries that had a “high” level of film production (between 80 and 199 feature films per year), producing on average 1,259 feature films annually. The very high-and high-level groups together accounted for 78% of global film production on average over this time period, representing the production of 4,820 films annually. The “average” production category (between 20 and 79 feature films per year)accounted for an average annual production of 16% of the world’s films. (1,013 films on average per year). Finally, one-half of countries were classified in the “low” or “very low” levels of film production. They accounted for 6% of total average annual feature films produced.
- Other countries with important increases in their box offices overthe period 2006 to 2011 include: Belarus, Romania,Ukraine and Venezuela. Several Latin American, East European and Asian markets doubled their box office during this period. Nevertheless, the majority of these countries represent small markets and the increase in some of them is explained by high inflation rates, as is the case for Argentina,Belarus and Venezuela.
- Although it may appear that ticket prices in developing countries are low, when compared with the average income and the cost of living, ticket prices in these countries are relatively high compared to developed countries: one trip to the movies with friends or family can represent almost 10% of monthly income (González, 2012).
- As Iberoamerican expert Octavio Getino said, “Never have people watched so many movies... but mainly not in theaters” (Getino, 2012).
- [O]ver the last several years the exhibition market in India has changed, possibly accounting for variations in the film market. The main change in the exhibition market is the multiplex (Pendakur, 2012). In India, there still is a plethora of mono screens in the southern half of the country, with an average ticket price of US$ 0.50. These screens are still the most popular for Indian moviegoers. Around 1,000 multiplexes have emerged in large Indian cities, with a ticket price of around US$3.30. These multiplexes account for most of the Indian revenues generated for Hollywood blockbusters. Nevertheless, films from USA account for no more than 7% to 10% of the Indian box office (Ernst & Young-India Film Council, 2012). Additionally, no Hollywood films are in the Indian Top 10 films.
- The difference between box office and admissions is even clearer when analysing BRIC countries (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China). While BRIC countries accounted for 9% to 17% of world box office, the rate for admissions was impressive, between 49% and 56%: BRIC countries accounted for one-half of global admissions (mainly, because of India) between 2006 and 2011.
- [C]ountries that had the fewest number of screens in 2007 were almost exclusively from Africa. Nevertheless, some countrieswith fewscreensin other regions still had important markets,such as China, India and the Russian Federation. Latin America also generally has a low number of screens, but two countries stood out: Bolivia (2005) and Paraguay (2006). This is a more recent situation, because until the 1970s Latin America had many screens distributed all over its territories (Getino, 2005).
- In 2007, the USA accounted for 70% of all digital screens; by 2001, the share had dropped to 46%. The greatest growth occurred in Europe. In the 2000s, the mainstream film industry (Hollywood and multinational companies) declared that digitization of screens would reduce copy fees and other related costs, opening more theaters, penetrating territories with a low level of screens, allowing national film producers and filmmakers in developing countries to increase their market share and reinforcing cultural diversity (De Luca, 2004, 2009).
- Over the few last decades, the rate of economic growth of the Chinese economy has been enormous compared to most,if not all,economies in developed countries. As a result, this growth has been evident in the film market, where by 2012 China became the second largest consumer of feature films in the world in terms of box office.During the same period, the USA market has faced stagnation or experienced little increase in terms of admissions. If this trend continues, China will surpass the USA as the world’s Number 1film market by 2020.The film market in China has grown four to five times faster than its GDP over the last decade (and its GDP is one of the fastest growing in the world)and the growth in the film market has been even more impressive. In fact, between 2005 and 2011, box office in China grew on average by 43% per year (50% over the 2008-2011 period), while the cinema market box office of the USA grew on average by just 2.2% annually (see Figure 5). The difference in the number of admissions is remarkable: while admissions grew on average by 15.6% annually in China between 2005 and 2011, in the USA market there was an annual average decrease of -1.4% (see Figure 6). This growth occurred despite the dramatic increase in ticket prices that occurred in China during this period. The average admission price in China multiplied 3.5 times, an increase of 253% between 2005 and 2011, whereas the average ticket price in the USA increased by only 23.8%.
- One of the reasons for the sharp increase in the number of cinema admissions in China has been the prodigious growth of its economy and the increase in the standard of living and disposable incomes of the middle class. These newly wealthy citizens can now afford to go to the cinema to enjoy both national and foreign movies. This growth has spurred the continual and rapid construction of theatres: “China is building something like 10 screens a day”, said Christopher Dodd, MPAA chairman and CEO on March 2013 (The Hollywood Reporter, 2013). And despite the tremendous increases in average ticket prices, Chinese spectators continue to fill theaters.Although the number of new multiplexes has risen steadily, China is still lacking screens (as seen in Section 3.3) in comparison to its population and market. In 2011, China had approximately 2,000 theaters and 9,286screens across the country –making it the second largest national exhibition market in the world. However, this represents only one screen per every 136,000 people. In contrast, the USA had approximately 40,000 screens in 2011,with a population of approximately 280 million, representing one screen per every 7,000 people. China will need to construct some 170,000 screens to reach the same level of screen density as in the USA.
- The Latin American film market shows contrasting situations between countries. On the one hand, there are countries that in the last decade have more than doubled the number of screens, admissions and/or box office (i.e.Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). Brazil entered the world Top 10 list with the highest admissions of any Latin American country during the last decade, while Mexico has the fifth largest number of screens in the world. On the other hand, some countries encountered modest growth or even stagnation in the number of screens available (i.e. Argentina and Uruguay).
- Viewers in Latin America have access to about 9,756 screens. On average,there are 210 commercial releases per year. Depending on the country, between 5 and 130 national films are produced a year, primarily as a direct result of the national support received by the governments of the region over various decades. During the first decade of the 21st Century, Latin American countries produced 2,400 feature films (see Figure 8), with growth throughout each decade (on average 350 films were produced per year between 2005 and 2011). This is a sharp increase from the 1980s, when on average 230 films were produced annually or the 1990s with 90 films per year (Getino, 2005). Film production in Latin America increased partly as a direct result of the public policies developed to support the field (with the exceptions of Paraguay and a few Central American countries). These policies have been present in most of the subcontinent since the 1930s (mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru). The subsequent decades saw further support in the form of subsidies, tax incentives,soft loans, prizes for quality and screen quotas (there were even state producers, state distributors and state exhibitors, mainly in Mexico from the 1940s to 1970s and in Brazil in the 1970s).
In the early 1990s, most countries in the region experienced a drastic reduction in public support, affecting the national film sectors negatively. Nevertheless, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a re-emergence of public policies favorable to the film sector, mainly in relation to production. The three major film-producing countries, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico,resumed their growth. During the 2000s, most Latin American countries implemented national legislation supporting the film sector.
Argentina and Brazil returned to maximum production peaks with over 100 films produced annually, surpassing records set in the earlier “golden years”. Mexico also increased film production, but the country is only just reaching the number of films produced during its golden years (between 1940 and 1980), which was also about 100 annually. Other Latin American countries showed more modest increases in the number of films produced. Due to new national film policies in some of these countries, they have begun regular production of films for the first time in their history.
- Within Latin America, there is an important and hidden level of semi-professional, almost artisanal, production of feature films,especially in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. Like “Nollywood”, these films which are not released in theatres but rather circulated via street vendors or streaming on-line (mainly YouTube) are viewed by large audiences,with some titles becoming popular “hits”.
- The cinema market in Latin America has faced drastic changes over the last few decades. Up until 40 years ago, national private companies dominated the Latin American film markets, especially exhibition. Through globalization, film distribution and exhibition are now mainly controlled by Hollywood studios and the multinational companies associated with them (Guback 1969, Getino, 1984-1987,Rey, 2005).
In Latin America, there are fewer numbers of movie goers: the frequency of attendance in the region is on average 0.8 movies per year per person, except in Mexico (1.7), a country that has the fifth largest exhibition market of the world. Nevertheless, box office showed an increase of 127% during the 2000s, due mainly to the constant increase in cinema ticket price: prices doubled during the last decade (due primarily to the cost of 3D screening which typically is at a premium price).
- The number of screens in Latin America grew on average by 65% in the 2000s. This percentage was led by Mexico and to a lesser extent;Brazil and Colombia (see Figure 11). This growth took place in a context of high geographic and class concentration, in addition to the high cost of tickets –in Latin America just one family outing to the family represented the equivalent of 10% of average local monthly income. Nevertheless, Latin America still remains “under screened”, including the giant Brazil, which has only around 2,500 screens fora population of almost 200 million inhabitants,representing only 1.1screens per 100,000 inhabitants. Regardless of whether one country has more or fewer screens, the geographic concentration of the screens is extremely important in all Latin American countries. In Mexico, only 7% of cities had a screen, and in Brazil, the second largest Latin American exhibition market, only 10% of cities had a theater (González, 2011). These patterns are especially acute in digital cinema through its flagship: 3D (the vast majority of Latin American digital screens are 3D). In 2007, 19 screens were digitized in Latin America. Since 2008, especially 2009, many digital screens opened in the entire region. Nevertheless, the rate of digitization in the region remains one of the lowest in the world (22% in 2011) (see Figure 12).
- This analysis has highlighted some unique trends in the global cinema sector. First, there is a tendency for the “global film industry” (dominated by Hollywood productions) to produce sequels, prequels and adaptations (non-original ideas) that are targeted to mass media, children and youth, resulting in a concentration of world production. Second, film production is highly concentrated with 7% of the countries with regular film production making 55% of all feature films globally. India itself produced 20% of all films worldwide. Blockbusters outside of the USA have mainly been USA-produced comedies, breaking records all over the world. National productions or coproductions that are not distributed by Hollywood major studios have had almost no circulation beyond national borders. In the period 2005-2011, world admissions dropped by 12.8%, while box office revenues rose by 27.8% (average ticket price increased by 46%, especially since the 3D boom). Market concentration is still very high; Top 10 countries represented around 75% of world box office and 85% of world admissions. The concentration for admissions slowly increased from 85% to 90% between 2005 and 2011. Similar to patterns in the world macro-economy, the BRIC group (Brazil,the Russian Federation, India and China) is increasing its market share of the world film market (both production and admissions). China is the main star of this story: based on conservative estimates, by early 2020 the Asiatic giant will surpass USA as the main film market in the world. Other regions, like Latin America , have improved their film market indicators, but they are still low (except for Brazil and Mexico) in comparison to other regions. There are many individual countries that had impressive box office growth (21 countries with increases from 102% to 556%), in comparison with admissions rises (10 countries increasing from 100% to 156%). In other words, the world film screen market is losing spectators but increasing revenues–mainly due to increased ticket prices. In the context of many large countries,such as China, the Russian Federation and India,“lacking cinema screens, the development of their cinema infrastructure could give a push to the world film market”(Miller, 2008).