Auguste and Louis Lumière

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    The Tree of Life is a subtle film that intricately links together the world while discussing vast concepts. One such concept, the way of nature, is personified through Brad Pitt’s character; he is a man who acts in primal animalistic ways, and consistently lets these emotions get the better of him. This motif has been explored in many films prior to Terrence Malick’s masterpiece and previous directors’ efforts by no means come close to the beauty of Malick’s film. Many of the films of the past relied on caricatures of actual people in order to depict the primal nature of mankind and two films in particular, D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation and Robert Day’s Tarzan and the Great River, rely solely on non-white characters to get this point across, and reserve the way of grace, a theme where characters rely more on logic and compassion, to the white characters. Few films have had as much of an impact on the history of film as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. It was one of the first films in history that had a score designed specifically for the film, it was one of the longest films ever made upon its release, it was the highest box office grossing film at the time of its release and it arguably helped create a film grammar which has lasted to this day. Unfortunately, this film is also one of the most unabashedly racist films that has ever been produced. The way of nature in this film, at least as it was portrayed in The Tree of Life, is entirely reserved for…

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    The featured documentary ‘Side by Side’ was an enjoyable, informative documentary that discussed the history of the film industries use of emulsion film and the cautionary switch-over to the new digital movie format. Beginning in the late 1800’s with continued development of emulsion roll film by Eastman and the pioneering photography work of Edweard Muybridge and Louis Le Prince the advent of capturing and projecting moving images was at hand. The documentary covers the important developments…

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