Significant Role of Cinema

Table of Content


I. Introduction

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            Cinema may also pertain to motion pictures. Motion pictures can be define as a series of still photographs, each slightly different from the other, projected in sequence into a screen, giving the illusion of continuous movement. Other names for motion pictures can refer to movies, moving pictures, cinema, and films.

            Motion pictures used as a medium of entertainment, a form of communication, a historical record, an art form, a tool for scientific research, and a money-making enterprise. Schools use motion pictures in educating the learners, and by business and industry for training and sales purposes. Television uses motion pictures in its regular programming and in advertising. Most network television programs produced in movie studios, and television accounts for a large share of motion-picture revenue (Bardèche, 2003).

            Though the audience for motion pictures in theaters has declined steadily since World War II—largely because of television—interest in films has continued to grow, especially among young people. The number of film books published and the amount of serious writing about film in magazines have increased. High schools and colleges offer film appreciation and production courses, and group filmmaking happens sometimes even in elementary schools. Moreover, Hollywood— a part of Los Angeles— got the title as the film capital of the world, but up today no such place that dominates the industry.

            This paper intent to: (1) scrutinize why cinema or motion pictures important and why it attracts people and; (2) know the types of motion pictures.

II. Discussion

A. Importance and reasons why Motion Pictures attract people.

            Motion pictures serve as an entertainment for most people. They go to movies simply to enjoy themselves or to escape from their own lives for an hour or two. Some films, although intended as entertainment, attempt to serve a broader purpose by presenting social problems or posing moral questions, or by trying to influence attitudes. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and Dr. Strangelove (1964) express antiwar sentiments. On the Waterfront (1954) examines labor corruption. Days of Wine and Roses (1962) studies alcoholism. Guess who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) talks about prejudice. Children of a lesser God (1986) examines the problems of the deaf.

            The value of motion pictures for instruction had not fully recognized until World War II, when large numbers of military personnel required to train in the least possible time. New teaching methods had devised and new equipment had developed (Dale, 2000).  After the war, instructional film production increased in volume and in quality.

            As an art, a creative form of expression, movies have considered unique in that they can incorporate aspects of other media. A successful film, however, has more than a mere patchwork of borrowings. It combines such elements as visual images, spoken language, acting skill, and music into a whole that makes it a separate medium a character of its own. Cinematic expression provides the viewer with a special kind of experience unlike that evoked by any other art form.

B. Types of motion pictures.

a)      Feature Films

            A feature film designed for entertainment and that runs for more than 75 minutes. Features usually run for 90 to 120 minutes and have distributed to commercial theaters or shown on television. They primarily categorize as fictional story films using professional actors, but some fall into animated films or documentaries. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a Walt Disney animated film, and Woodstock, a documentary about a rock music festival; these belong to feature-length films that had shown in commercial theaters.

            Although story films mostly and primarily fictional, they usually based on the lives of real people or on actual events—either contemporary or historical. The Life of Emile Zola (1937), and The Loves of Isadora (1982) are biographical films. The variety of subjects in fictional story films has almost endless. Some of these films usually put into general classifications—westerns, gangster films, musicals, comedies, epics, romances, suspense films, horror films, and science-fiction films (Quigley, 2001). Other categories include spy movies, teenage films, black films (thus, films aimed primarily at black audiences), and adventure films.

b)     Documentaries

            The documentary pertains to a film that based on fact and uses ordinary people and real places and events, rather than actors, sets, and staged events, in its story line. John Grierson, father of the British documentary, coined the word “documentary” to describe Robert Flaherty’s Moana (1926). It comes from documentaire, a term used by the French for travel pictures.

            In a broad sense, the word documentary used as a term which applied to all nonacted films, and in this sense the earliest films—which showed activity but had no story line—which considered as documentaries. A true documentary, however, has more than a newsreel or a travelogue in that the filmmaker attempts to interpret his subject for his audience, rather than just showing a pictorial record of things, people, and places of interest (Bardèche, 2003).  Analysis plays as the object of a documentary. As the presentation of actual events, a documentary presents a kind of truth—but the truth as shaped by the filmmaker through his approach to photography, editing, sound recording, and the other skills of his trade.

c)      Short Subjects

            In addition to feature films, commercial theaters often show short objects. Traditionally a short subject refers a cartoon, a travel film, or a sport film. Before television, newsreels had included on programs. Rising production costs, changing tastes, and the outlawing of block booking (whereby film distributors would require theater owners to rent shorts along with features) have greatly reduced the use of traditional shorts in the United States (Bardèche, 2003).

d)     Underground Films

            Underground film used as a term that became popular in the 1960’s for a type of film that at other times had called avant-garde and experimental. These films mostly considered as innovative, usually independently produced films, which generally stress the self-expression of the filmmaker over either content or narrative considerations. They have made at least since the early 1920’s when Luis Bunuel, Man Ray, and others began making surrealistic movies in Paris (Quigley, 2001).

e)      Educational and Scientific Films

            In schools, educational films served as tools to teach physical, mental, and social skills, and in business; they served as instruments to train employees. Increasingly, however, schools and businesses utilize the videotape in place of film. In science, films served as research tools.

            Schools use educational films in several ways. In social studies classes, for example, the customs, living standards, and work activities of peoples of other countries explicitly shown. Instruction for drivers’ training often includes the use of a film that shows what a driver would see from a moving car; the student, sitting in a simulated car, learns how to brake, steer, and accelerate in reaction to the situation shown in the film. Similar devices serve as tools to train airline pilots and locomotive engineers (Bardèche, 2003).

f)       Propaganda Films

            Governments make films for propaganda purposes. Some of these intend for domestic audiences (to instill patriotism during wartime, for example) while others merely used for foreign viewers but mostly factual, although usually favorably slanted.

g)      Films for Television

            Although videotape has widely used in the television industry, many of the dramatic shows and situation comedies belong to motion pictures. Old feature films—originally made for theaters—became popular late-night programs since the very beginning of commercial television. Most films made for exhibit in theaters, however, suffer on over-the-air television because it has always shortened so that it would fit the time schedule or to delete material considered offensive. Cable television, on the other hand, can present films in their original form (Dale, 2000).

h)     Sales Promotion and Advertising Films

            The television commercial serves as the widest use of motion-picture film for advertising purposes. Because a commercial must convey its message in a very short time, it often relies on special effects to capture interest. Some critics maintain that, as examples of creative filmmaking, commercials become superior to the shows they interrupt (Dale, 2000).

i)        Amateur Films

            Amateur filmmaking, using Super-8 (and, to a lesser extent, 8-mm and 16-mm) film, became a popular hobby after World War II. Many families made home movies of celebrations, vacations, and other family events, and serious enthusiasts made underground films (Quigley, 2001).

III. Conclusion

            The cinema or motion pictures play a significant role to every individual. It does not only entertain but delivers important information. However, the industry has faced with a series of court orders forcing studios to relinquish ownership of theaters; such ownership has considered violating antitrust laws. Studios no longer had a guaranteed outlet for films; each film had to be good enough to sell itself.


Bardèche, Maurice. The History of Motion Pictures. W. W. Norton/Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2003.
Dale, Edgar. How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students. Macmillan. New York, 2000.
Quigley, Martin Jr. Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures. Georgetown University Press. Washington, DC. 2001.

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Significant Role of Cinema. (2016, Aug 11). Retrieved from

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