Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Motion Pictures And A Better Society

The average daily attendance at the motion pictures of the country is
estimated at five million.....this immense audience is reached more easily through the motion picture than by any other http://cinematreasures.org/theater/1209/medium.

In this reading by author Boyd Fisher, he gives a description of how the "motion picture" became used as a tool in order to make "model citizens" (civic usage of film). Boyd uses examples of the motion pictures usage from issues like abolishing child labor, contract prison labor, city planning records, accurate historical records (to name a few). This quote that I chose to use is an example of the power that this new media had across the nation. It also gives me an understanding of how this "ulterior motive" would work during this period of early 20th century (1912). Films are new, they capture the imagination. Why not the mind? Boyd also points out the political power of this type of motion picture as he describes a film entitled "votes For Women", where there are actually scenes of women doing just that (includes Jane Addams).

Civic motion pictures have also been used as a device by the law in its attempt to catch criminals. Boyd explains:

Another use of the films has been made in the city Prague, where criminals are put in front of the camera...and in case of escapes...the pictures are used in effecting the public cooperation in capture.

Although this is an uncommon way to capture criminals (or potential criminals), again at this point in history this is somewhat of a "breakthrough" idea and it shows the many uses of not only civic film, but of motion pictures in general.


At 8:49 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post (but delete excess empty space) What does this photo have to do with the topic?

You have presented a key point. Reformers quickly realized the power of film to persuade and they began to advocate the use of film for reform and education.


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