28 aprile 1906. LEsposizione internazionale (Italian Edition)
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France sought to reaffirm its pioneering role in the discovery of cinematography by organizing public exhibitions in Paris. On a circular screen that was 18 meters high and 21 meters wide, around small films were shown in more than three hundred sessions to a public estimated at one million four hundred thousand spectators p.
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Apart from this highlight the event was also registered by foreign film-makers. On 6 September, White and other workers from the production sector of the Edison Company were accompanying the visit of President William McKinley to the exhibition, on the so-called Presidents' Day. The next day they were waiting for him outside the Temple of Music, where he happened to be. However, McKinley was shot there by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz, "and the camera crew filmed the stunned and angry crowd.
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These scenes were an Edison exclusive. Apart from filling "cinema's promise as a visual newspaper" Musser, , p. One of the highlights in this way was A trip around the Pan-American Exposition Edison Company, , a work that was approximately ten minutes long in which the camera was positioned in front of a moving gondola, allowing viewers to make a tour of the canals that were spread around the exhibition. Cutting through time and space, "a trip around the fair grounds was seen as the substitute for a trip around the world, a compressed and timesaving educational experience," as Tom Gunning tells us , p.
In addition, there is also Pan-American Exposition by Night , filmed by Edwin Porter for the Edison Company, within a "popular stereopticon convention - day-to-night dissolving views" Musser, , p. Finally, according to Robert Rydell, the Education section of the US pavilion in exhibited Biograph films about military maneuvers in what the author sees as "the government's first public use of this new medium.
After the films came to be shown more frequently in exhibition spaces. According to Tom Gunning,. Cinema had no official recognition or high profile presence at the St.
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Louis Fair. Its main role was that of a backstage technology for other attractions which offered mechanical illusions more vivid and sensational than the rather feeble experience offered by motion pictures alone. According to Musser, Biograph sent one of its staffs to Washington with the aim of filming "United States Post Office Department employees sorting letters, loading cars, and delivering mail. Biograph also produced works about large industries, such as those photographed by Billy Bitzer for the Westinghouse Electric Company, a large competitor of Edison in that sector.
Considered by Gunning to be one of the inaugurators in the genre p. Three films were shown per day, with great public interest, filling the seats in the auditorium. In the following exhibitions until , 21 the place of cinema does not seem to have modified much, with its status remaining practically unaltered.
However, in cinema gained another dimension among exhibition spaces.
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Indicative of this change was the creation of a production company, Exposition Players Corporation, by the organizers of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition San Francisco to guarantee the continuous flow of films in the different exhibition spaces and to publicize the event. Promotional works circulated in more than cinemas throughout the United States and Canada.
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Many national, state, private company or public agency pavilions made a cinema theater available to the public in order to show through the intermediation of the moving image the advances of their culture and economy. According to the official exhibition guide cinema played "an important part throughout the Exposition, and their possibilities for usefulness in the cause of education is fully shown in the education displays.
Even with these highlights, the orientation followed the perspective coined by the representative of the Smithsonian Institute in the organizing commission of many international fairs held in the United States between and For George Brown Goode, "to see is to know. As is well known was a landmark in the history of cinema due to the launch of Birth of Nation by David Griffith. This film represented the consolidation of a certain type of language, called classical narrative cinema. It is necessary to highlight this aspect, since it involved one of the existing aesthetic possibilities.
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Pastrone, for example, constructed another form of visual configuration and narrative structure, centered on slow panoramas that describe the film space, full of the monumental scenery that evoked ancient Rome and Carthage. The histories of cinema and the exhibitions intercross in these years. Cabiria , along with other monumental Italian epics, was imported in to the US market by the distributor George Kleine, and shown "at advance prices in opera houses, legitimate theaters, and the biggest, most deluxe downtown cinemas in major cities and then were sent to the ordinary circuits.
The Italian film was much compared by critics with Birth of a Nation at the time it was released. During the same period, another decisive influence marked the director's artistic trajectory. In search of location for the project to follow Birth , namely The Mother and the Law , a story based in the contemporary United States, with a more intimate nature and a lower budget in comparison with the previous film, Griffith visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition San Francisco, In addition to the data mention above, there is also Rydell's reference, based on documentation from the time, to a Universal Films' production entitled The World to Come , a story in which we watch the attempts of a count to transform the world into something better.
The concrete result of its action was materialized in what corresponded to the exhibition space of San Diego - 'his paradise in earth. Griffith, in an interview given at the time, say he was impressed with the Exhibition - 'the grandest thing the world has known. According to Mirian Hansen, the exhibition also encouraged the director to "to take advantage of the vogue of Orientalism" and "spurred Griffith's ambitions for the Babylonian set - in terms of sheer size, grandiosity, and feasibility - far beyond the scope of any film, including Cabiria.
He decided to expand the scope of his work, inserting it into a film with a monumental work, a project that gained the appearance of a super-production, a historic reconstruction whose apparent fidelity was manifested in the grandiose scenarios and luxurious scenarios, with a multitude of extras and in an epic dimension in the events represented. On the other hand, this ambition was also materialized from the point of view of language. In relation to the production, Griffith resorted in an unprecedented manner to parallelism to deal with the question of incomprehension in the film that came to be known as Intolerance Although Griffith did not make the film about the exhibition as promised in the interview given to the newspapers that covered the event, this was certainly because the director intended to aesthetically and sensorially overcome the experiences given to fair goers while moving between exhibition spaces.
In another key, specific to the means of communication that he helped to consolidate, Griffith, more than a 'drama film' about the event, constructed a cinematographic epic that was intended to be more encompassing, entrancing and sensational than those of the large international fairs: Intolerance is not just a film translation made by the director of this experience, but his principal estravaganza , a characteristic that would be the mark of the large productions of the cinema industry from then on.
What is significant is the convergence between the celebration space and the cinema-spectacle. By being consolidated as a means of mass communication cinema came to be used ever more as a 'shop window' in which each nation projected, before itself and before others, the national virtues in a scenario marked by imperialism. It was the obvious will of countries with a structured cinematographic industry that certain films be seen as an expression of national pride, due to the condensation of economic strength, technical advances, artistic talents and administrative competence in works such as those by Griffith, Pastrone and others.
In the initial decades of the twentieth century, even more so than nowadays, technical and discursive competence in terms of mastery of specific cinematographic narrative techniques signified national progress and superiority in a competition that transferred to the new art the role eminently performed by the universal exhibitions during the nineteenth century.
Like the national pavilions and advanced machinery, the new large visual spectacle supported by advanced technology was projected onto screens to assume the dimension of a monument, a type of national allegory even of the content of human experience focused on for its representations. During the First World War, the cinema, due to its institutionalization process, came to be an object of concern of states interested in symbolically winning over an increasing number of people to their cause. An important indication of this is the British government's invitation in of Griffith to direct a work that would persuade the US government to enter the conflict.
This and other factors allowed him to make what became known as Hearts of the World , which was very popular at that time. For Russell Merritt, apart from the political recognition which was then unprecedented for a film maker, what the English state intended revealed "an entirely new technique in international diplomacy, reflecting the increasingly propagated belief in the importance of public opinion for government action" p. In relation to the use of the cinema as a propaganda instrument, the period brought about this change.
The International Exhibition of the Centenary of the Independence of Brazil, held between and in Rio de Janeiro occurred within this scenario, and had a very close relationship with the global tendency mentioned above. Its importance within the global context was that it was the first universal exhibition after the First World War.
The classification of cinema proposed by the organizers of the exhibition says a lot about the concept that the cultural elite at that time had, especially of the cinema made in Brazil until then: neither art nor an information vehicle. This fiction film did not have any educational purpose, only to shown the eternal struggle of good against evil, as the cinematographic producers preached to sectors of society already concerned about the effect that cinema had on the moral formation of individuals. From what seems to be the case, their presence reflects the vocation these films had in assuming the role of a representative of modernity intended by the society that produced them.
In relation to the universal exhibitions that occurred later, including those held in Paris in , and , there is little information about the question our research is concerned with, especially due to the absent of sources and bibliography in Brazil. Constructing the history of the cinema from the French perspective - 'cinematography is a French discovery' -, the authors of the report, in harmony with the theoretical perspective of the text, called another pioneering achievement: 'it is worth noting that for the first time cinema was mentioned in the Exhibition report.
Leaving aside the exaggeration, in the report there is a detailed discussion about the specificity of the cinema, in accordance with the theories on which the so-called artistic vanguards of that time were based, which did not appear in the other reports. Nevertheless, as we have seen, the projections and other activities linked to the field were mentioned in the official documents to which we have had access. Apart from the preoccupation with explaining the so-called 'visual alphabet' of the cinema, the report marks the incorporation of modern cinema as it had been made until then as an expression of the vitality and diversity of French culture, seen as one of its original aspects: 'no country has as many divergences, so many opposing schools.
What were certainly original were the conference cycles that discussed 'the history, evolution and tendencies of silent art. Sweden, Italy Great Britain, Denmark, Germany and the United States, countries with either consolidated cinematographic industries or a filmography of reference at that time, did not send their apparatus or their films to the exhibition. Jean Renoir was hired for the Exposition Coloniale Internationale to make the 'centenary film,' a long feature film that became known as Le Bled , meant to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the French invasion of Algeria.
The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la vie moderne was held two years before the outbreak of the Second World War. This exhibition became known however for the 'dramatic architectonic confrontation' between two pavilions which were placed facing each other: on the one hand that of the Soviet Union; and on the other the Nazi one designed by Albert Speer.
The outline traced here is completed by the contribution of the American cinema industry to New York World's Fair Its president, Will Hays, best known for having implemented in the moral of conduct to be observed in films by member companies, was its coordinator. In turn, he gave the task to one of the best known directors of that period, Cecil B.
At the beginning the team included a professor of the history of international relations in Columbia University, James Shotwell, a man very close to the government and who had been part of the American committee at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in , as well as having actively participated in the creation of the International Labor Organization, a year after the end of the First World War. Shotwell was at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la vie moderne Paris, at the invitation of IBM to organize cinema sessions with documentaries that showed aspects of American life and industry.
II: pp. Vol III: pp. Very scarce. Amighetti, Claudio. Cremona: Turris, In English and Italian. Anderson, H.
Stuttgart, n. Angeloni, Domenico. Milano, Musical Instruments. Lyle Publications, Apel, Willi. Indiana University Press, Apian-Bennewitz, P. Arakelian, Sourene. Precepts and Observations of a Luthier. My Varnish, Based on Myrrh.