From Smell-O-Vision to Astrocolor, the Film Industry’s Biggest Innovation Flops

Moviegoers familiarize themselves with the joystick that will allow them to interact with the film ‘I’m Your Man’ during its premiere on Dec. 16, 1992. AP Photo/Richard Harbus        By (left-to-right) Dr. Leo Braudy, Dr. Scott Higgins, Dr. Stephen Groening, and Dr. Thomas Delapa / 02.28.2018 Braudy: Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature, University of[…]

The History of the Hollywood Sign: Public Nuisance to Symbol of Stardom

George Brich/AP Photo By Dr. Leo Braudy / 03.01.2018 Leo S. Bing chair in English and American Literature Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California Every year at the Oscars, the cameras pan to the famed Hollywood sign and its bold white letters. Ask someone today what the sign symbolizes, and the same[…]

A History of Printing and Typesetting in Film

An Intertype Fotosetter, one of the most popular “first-generation” mass-market phototypesetting machines. The system is heavily based on hot metal typesetting technology, with the metal casting machinery replaced with photographic film, a light system and glass pictures of characters. / Photo by Fox Wu, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Rob Banham Associate Professor of Typography and Graphic Communication University[…]

Are Movies a Good Way to Learn History?

Daniel Day-Lewis won the 2012 Academy Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Is Spielberg’s historical drama a good way to learn about the 16th U.S. president? Touchstone Pictures By Dr. Scott Alan Metzger / 05.16.2017 Assistant Professor of Education Pennsylvania State University Hollywood loves history. At last year’s Academy Awards, three nominees for Best Picture (“Fences,”[…]

Philosophy has a Lot to Learn from Film

Machiko Kyō and Toshiro Mifune in Kurosawa’s Rashômon (1951) / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Costica Bradatan / 07.03.2017 Professor of Humanities Texas Tech University Picture this: a man – a samurai – is killed in a grove. One by one, all those involved are brought before a court. The woodcutter talks of the horror that seized him[…]

Metaphors Be With You: A Cultural Analysis of Star Wars

By Dr. Lee Drummond / 03.09.2016 Professor Emeritus of Social and Cultural Anthropology McGill University [The mathematical physicist] von Neumann sometimes spoke of a “complexity barrier.” This was the imaginary border separating simple systems from complex systems. A simple system can give rise to systems of less complexity only. In contrast, a sufficiently complex system[…]