Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Social Origins

When a specific media type surfaces it is initially viewed by people with different cultural levels as sub-standard or inferior than existing types, this is evident in the motion picture production more than in any other media form. When photography arose, painters looked at it as the inferior media used by those that could not paint.

Film was affected in a different way in that in order for it to reach a large public sphere the short movies had to appeal to a specific target market. Initial movies main appeal was to the uneducated public that made them so popular depicting things they could easily enjoy.

“The social origins of motion pictures were a critical early influence on their path to development. Whereas newspapers and magazines had begun among the elite and evolved in a more popular direction, movies acquired a lowbrow image at an early point in their history and faced challenges in achieving respectability.” Starr P. 296

In the late 1800’s the elite were concerned with symphony orchestras, museums and other cultural events that they were directly involved in or were able to control. Cultural distinctions were apparent and deeply marked in society. Initially movies were considered a “low culture” activity and in order to make a profit they had to appeal to the “low culture” masses creating the basis to the path to the Nickelodeon.


At 7:48 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post and nice use of youtube.

You have chosen a key quotation from Starr. The origin of the movies as low or popular culture with its roots in the business of entertainment shaped the path of development. The content of these early films reflected the interests of the audience.

Movies were looked down upon and viewed with suspicion by the cultural elites.


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