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  • Motion Pictures That Changed The Genre

    I thought something a little different might be a change of pace. This thread is intended to discuss those seminal films, directors or others that forever changed the way motion pictures were made. Here are a few examples from my own personal collection:

    Birth of a Nation: the first film to utilize camera motion to enhance action.

    Bullitt: the birth of the quintessential car chase sequence.

    Hitchcock: introduced new techniques of editing and pacing to increase suspense in the audience, and the concept that what the audience imagined was far worse than anything that could be filmed. This technoque was used to tremendous effect in Jaws and Alien. He also introduced himself in every film, a technoque used by Stephen King.

    Peckinpah: introduced slow-motion violent action sequences, now common throughout the industry.

    Kubrick: his central theme was always Man's own self-destructiveness. 2001, Dr. Stranglelove, Barry Lyndon, etc.

    Star Wars: big break for CGI and lifelike special effects, after which every other film had to measure up and Industrial Light and Magic became household words.

    The Matrix: created a whole new level of special effects and gravity-defying action.

    Hans Zimmer: beginning with films like The Rock and Titanic, Zimmer introduced a new style of musical score based on slower, powerful rhythms overlaid simultaneously with faster rhythms to create intense background music that almost seems to drive the action.

    Name escapes me for the moment, (something Canut?) but the Indian stuntman that pioneered many of the action stunts in the early days of film, such as driving a wagon and horses off a cliff.

    All of the horror films of the 50's, responsible for the blood-and-gore B movie horror film industry that persist to this day.

    That should start off the discussion; I know I have left out a lot and hopefully others will fill inthe worst of the gaps.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

  • #2
    "Name escapes me for the moment, (something Canut?) but the Indian stuntman that pioneered many of the action stunts in the early days of film, such as driving a wagon and horses off a cliff."

    I believe the gentleman you are speaking of was "Yakima Canut". Quite a innovator in Hollywood, somewhat well known here in WA.
    My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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    • #3
      Nice thread...

      The ones that easily come to mind:

      Walt Disney: Truly breakthrough stuff. Also 1st to tie in other commercial angles.

      Stanley Kubrick: The string of Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, and 2001 is as good as any such string ever made. Each was a breakthrough in its own right. My personal favorites.

      The 1st two Star Wars movies: Again, truly ground breaking.
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      • #4
        The Lord of the Rings, in my opinion, sets a new standard for the epic. Essentially it's one BIG 9hr plus film that is packed with some of the most elaborate sets and best CGI creations ever (Gollum makes Jar Jar Binks look like a hand puppet). Also it doesn't hurt that the story itself, as created by JRR Tolkien, is considered one of the best ever . Whether you loved them or hated them it's hard to ignore them.


        Toy Story I also was a ground breaking film. The first of a great line of Pixar/Disney productions that pioneered computer animation. Not only did they try a new medium in film making but they also turned out good stories as well, that, while geared towards kids, had an added level of humor that adults can appreciate.
        Last edited by Kurt Steiner; 03 Jun 07, 13:45.
        "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else."

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        • #5
          Scream - The first part comedy/ part jumpout movie- Spawned an entire new category of films

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          • #6
            I recall Tron was quite inovative in it's day.

            Off the normal beat

            I have the documentary series Crusade that Ike produced. It was if I am correct the first of it's kind ie TV series documentary I believe.

            I also have Carl Sagan's Cosmos, which along with his book has gotten further than most science based shows.

            Imax anything.

            I think the camera equipment that has greatly allowed film makers to film from a moving platform (plane helicopter etc) with almost no evidence the camera is in motion ie jostling, was a Canadian creation. It greatly increased how good what we film looks.

            I'm at a loss for any other ideas though.
            Life is change. Built models for decades.
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            I didn't for a long time either.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Biscuit View Post
              Scream - The first part comedy/ part jumpout movie- Spawned an entire new category of films
              I'd disagree with this a tad, Scream was nothing but a parody (albeit slightly more serious than a pure parody) of the 70's slasher films. It wasn't a breakthrough movie at all, but rather just an amalgamation of countless other films (including Wes Craven's own films). It didn't really create a new category, as much as revive them.
              “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Overseer View Post
                I'd disagree with this a tad, Scream was nothing but a parody (albeit slightly more serious than a pure parody) of the 70's slasher films. It wasn't a breakthrough movie at all, but rather just an amalgamation of countless other films (including Wes Craven's own films). It didn't really create a new category, as much as revive them.
                I figured someone would say something, but its my opinion and I am stickin' to it!

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                • #9
                  QUOTE Hitchcock: introduced new techniques of editing and pacing to increase suspense in the audience, and the concept that what the audience imagined was far worse than anything that could be filmed. This technoque was used to tremendous effect in Jaws and Alien. He also introduced himself in every film, a technoque used by Stephen King. QUOTE

                  We should also remember Bernard Herrmann's music really helped raise Hitchcock's films to the greatness they deservedly have. I have read that several scenes Hitchcock wanted originally without music, until he heard Herrmann's score. It's a shame he never did win an oscar.

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                  • #10
                    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Not the first (that would be Gene Kelly and Jerry's dance routine in Anchors Aweigh I believe. View here), but one of the smoothest blends of live action and animation.
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                    • #11
                      More food for thought:

                      Disney as mentioned, especially for Fantasia, the first fully animated movie length feature and the introduction to stero sound.

                      Todd for the Todd-A-O process similar to Cinerama, and especially to Cinemax, which pioneered the wide screen, POV cameras and surround sound.

                      Dolby, for a quantum leap in sound quality.

                      Cecil B. DeMille for the big budget, huge cast epic.

                      Funny...we have topns of opinions elsewhere about "best" and "worst" films, but most of those folks don't seem interested in how movies got to be the way they are. I would have thought otherwise.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                      • #12
                        To be fair MM, you covered a lot of the biggies (or others did). The only thing I really see missing that I can think of off the top of my head:

                        Citizen Kane


                        I'd also probably list Night of the Living Dead as while there were zombie movies before it, it was the birth of the modern zombie movie, and more importantly from a stand point of film as art, despite being a horror movie - was focused on social/political commentary in a number of ways. Romero was one of the earlier directors to actually feature strong black leads in his movies.

                        I'll have to go through my DVD shelf at some point and see what other contributions to film I can find in there.
                        “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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                        • #13
                          "Cecil B. DeMille for the big budget, huge cast epic."

                          Ahh yes, the biblical proportions films. Scads of actors, great acting, and occasionally even remotely connected to history hehe.

                          But I still love watching them.
                          Life is change. Built models for decades.
                          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                          I didn't for a long time either.

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                          • #14
                            I wish to nominate: Rough Riders which turned mini-series into high quality movies shown over days instead of hours instead of the normal dreck they were up to that point.
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                            • #15
                              In the "War" movie genre, I think credit is due to "Platoon." Not for anything but the sheer "technical" effort. It raised the bar, using the greatest technical advisor (and only one to ever get a front end credit I know of) ever, Captain Dale Dye. Thanks to "Platoon," we recieved a whole slew of war movies that had amazing "technical" properties for the last 20 years. Dye has a new "WWII Marine Corps" project with HBO, I bet it makes "Band of Brothers" look like the "Battle of the Bulge."

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                              Last edited by Paul Mann III; 04 Jun 07, 03:02.
                              "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

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