If anyone is interested in this kind of history it's on TCM channel tonight at 9:15 central.
TCM previously aired The Invention of Cinema: Cinema Finds Its Voice a few months ago. I watched it and it's apparent it was produced in France and the English translation replaced the original French translation.
A while back, I mentioned in the forum that from the start of motion picture films at the Edison Lab in Orange, NJ, sound was intended to be incorporated in films and that there were many early attempts to have motion pictures with synchronized sound. This documentary covers those efforts quite well, although not in great technical detail. The film is geared towards the curious layman and it's worth watching.
The Invention of Cinema: The First Colors Of... airs before this documentary and I'm certain it, too, is worth viewing. Just as with sound, most people would be quite surprised to learn of the very early efforts to project color film, although color film stock did not exist early on. The way color was added was with the tinting of prints and- believe it or not- the painting of individual frames of film. The films of Georges Melies come immediately to mind but there were many others.
But, even more remarkable than these two docs is what's airing right now, which is a film I've not seen: Film, the Living Record of Us. This documentary is concerned mainly with film preservation and its vital need, a subject which interests me greatly. This is a well-done documentary with lots of great info.
After all of that, TCM is airing another documentary worth the time of the film buff: Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace. For reasons too lengthy to go into, I have recently been concentrating on the first real movie houses- the nickelodeon, which came into existence in about 1905 and lasted just a few short years due to changes in the film industry. I've seen this documentary twice so I don't think I'll view it again, but if you have an interest in cinema history, you should catch it.
After that- over night, TCM goes off into their PC mode with a series of docs about women film makers, as if the sex of a film maker is important. Not interested.
After that- at 7:30 AM Eastern is Image Makers: The Adventures of America's Pioneer Cinematographers. I've seen it twice. It's an OK primer on the subject but it could be better and it's quite uneven IMO, ending up with silly slobbering over James Wong Howe's closing shot in the 1963 film Hud. I don't get it. It's a tracking shot. So what? Hence, the unevenness of this somewhat sloppily-produced doc, but still worth watching.
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