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Introducing a new medium : newspaper reviews of the first film screenings in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and New York in 1896

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Introducing a new medium : newspaper reviews of the first film screenings in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and New York in 1896

Smith, Matthew (1996) Introducing a new medium : newspaper reviews of the first film screenings in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto and New York in 1896. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The focus of this thesis is an examination of newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, reviews and commentaries pertaining to the introduction of motion picture technology during its embryonic period, or from 1895-1915. Newspapers from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and New York City, and two magazines, Saturday Night and Maclean's, are examined. In order to fully understand the press discourse on film, it is necessary to first reinforce for the reader the discoveries and inventions which led to the introduction of film technology in 1895 in several countries virtually simultaneously. The introduction of this new medium was announced in print, since newspapers and magazines were the only mass media then in place, with an almost universal daily reach in North America. In 1895-6 there were no film "experts;" journalists were seeing film for the first time as were their readers and fellow film viewers. Therefore, these reviews/articles are also useful for audience reception analysis, as well as discourse analysis. Through examination of the advertising for these first shows, one can follow the movements of the various film systems around the four cities. One can also track the interest threshold of the viewing public, especially in Ottawa, where extensive advertising shows how often films were changed, who the supporting acts were, the introduction of colour films and the like. Later reviews, from 1907-1915, go beyond mere descriptions and amazement, and begin discussion of the quality of acting, direction, photography and storyline.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Smith, Matthew
Pagination:xx, 98, ca. 40 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Dept. of Communication Studies
Date:1996
Thesis Supervisor(s):Buxton, William
ID Code:243
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:10
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:13
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