Sunday, 2 October 2011

A History of Film

I'm very much enjoying A History of Film, An Odyssey by Mark Cousins, currently being aired on More4 on Saturday evenings.  It's an eye opener for me to see the whole story laid out from the earliest beginnings of flickering images on a screen, the first footage of a moving train causing its audience to panic that they were about to be crushed when it entered the auditorium.  Hard to imagine now.  These days moving images are everywhere.

The interesting aspect of this series for me as a writer is the way film developed as a story telling form, probably the main story telling form of the past century.  The techniques of filmmaking can be used in novels too; the close-up, the scene cutting.  Because of the influence of movies novels have become more cinematic, more visual.  But the advantage novels have is fiction needs practically no budget and can be even more powerful because it engages the reader's imagination as the setting for its scenes.  That's why everyone's idea of how a film adaptation of their favourite book is different, and of course why it can be disappointing.  

If you haven't seen any of it, I've linked to the latest episode on the Channel 4 website.  It's worth a look.

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