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Anthropology: Impact of Movies on Culture and Society From History to Modern Times


Movies And Society

Correlation Between Movies and Society

If you are tired of monotonous work life, consider watching movies would be the best option. Moreover, the movies depict the impact of various demographics of society. The movies capture the emotions and imagination of audiences all over the globe. A new subject and socio-economic issues have been portrayed in every era.

Real-Life Impact of Movies on Society

Movies And Society

The evidence of union between movies and society in a tangible form can be tracked in today’s society. Immense changes in the city lifestyle have been noticed. Besides, movie theatre culture of the past has transformed smartphone applications that allow people, while moving irrelevant, to visit movie theaters.

  • Interest in journalism was at its peak in the US when the movie All the President’s Men was released in 1976. How the Watergate Scandal was investigated by two journalists from the Washington Post. The movie narrates the methods which reporters Bob Woodwork and Carl Bernstein investigated. Attitude towards press personalities changed in the political scenario. From research, we came to understand watching the movie created different outcomes. While the liberals found it positive, conservatives disagreed. Further. The dialogue regarding laws against the press’s writing and speaking was completely disagreed by democrats with republicans of different opinions. 
  • Another example of the influence of movies on society is Fight Club, which was released in 1999. It is a story of a man who gets frustrated by a monotonous life. He joins an underground fight club to relieve the stress. The viewers were thrilled after watching the movie. Fight clubs were built in real life. However, the first such club came up in New York and later spread globally.
  • The tradition of deer hunting in the US was reduced to half post-release of the movie Bambi in 1942. The storyline of the movie is where a mother deer gets hunted. More tragic when the incident happened before the eyes of her baby. The Bambi Effect was assigned an informal name assigned to the animals. It was a representation of a physiological outburst derived from anthropomorphizing.
  • How movies and society go hand in hand can be seen in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, released in 2004. It brought the concept of global warming into the movie context. It was scary and people got familiar with the concerns of our surroundings.

A researcher from Yale came to find out the impact of this movie on viewers. Anthony concluded from interviews that out of total viewers, 83 percent responded from very concerned up to somewhat concerned. However, of those who didn’t watch the movie, only 72 percent of interviewees agreed.

  • A lot of societal changes were noticed courtesy of movies. The consequences of eating a super-sized McDonald’s burger for one month. Subsequently, its effects on human health were portrayed in the movie SuperSize Me, released in 2004. Though McDonald’s denied the effects of the movie. However, within two months of the movie’s release, they stopped the production of super-sized burgers. But the timing has created controversy.
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From History

In the 19th century, the origin of the movie industry occurred. However, motion pictures came into existence to spread art, some commercial, and some accidentally. In earlier days watching movies by a single viewer seems to have returned when movie watching on smartphones is seen. The trend you see has become a communal medium for watching movies. It resembles the single-screen viewing technique of the past. 

A device called a kinetoscope was devised inculcating celluloid picture strips, technology, and motion. The kinetoscope was nothing but a cabinet with a window. Thomas Edison, along with his assistant William Dickson, encouraged the viewers to observe singly. An illusion of movement was created by a bulb and lens. Scrolling strips of perforated celluloid strips rapidly was the technique followed. Edison’s Kinetograph became popular. It was nothing but a camera that enabled him to capture a sequence of events. His works were displayed in his film studio in New Jersey named South Orange.

Eddison’s kinescopes gained immense popularity. His company installed kinetoscopes at important locations like hotel lobbies, amusement parks, etc. Viewers were allowed to view short productions just at an expense of 25 cents. movie parlors grew across the country. The age of movies commenced.

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What Happened Next

Friends and his colleagues tried to convince Eddison to project his invasion to viewers at large. But, he was reluctant. His idea was the invention was not worth it. As a result, he had no international patents. Further opportunists took advantage of copying, modifying, and distributing them across Europe. Furthermore, this new scope for entertainment acceptance peaked on a great scale. A few inventors and mechanics realized the lucrativeness of the kinetoscope and tried implementing the pictures on a larger screen.

Movies And Society

Origin of Cinema

The credit goes to camera goods manufacturers residing in France, i.e. Lyon. Auguste and Louis Lemaire were the partners who patented the cinematograph. The latter became a source of cinemas later on. The cinematograph, being lighter in weight than kinetoscopes, was easy to handle. These devices permitted shooting outdoors as well. The first screening of Lumiere and his brother was screened in Paris, in December 1895. However, Louis Lemeyer expressed his grievances towards the monotonous nature of films and it was hard to survive, 

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About Competitors

But his expectations were proved wrong and demand for motion pictures rose drastically. Moreover, the representatives of the Lemere company were on their heels. Displaying company production all over Europe. Though movies had to compete with other forms of entertainment like circuses, theaters, magic shows, etc. The craze for motion pictures remained intact.

Competitors began promoting their motion pictures in England and the US. It’s Warner Bros, which was a small part of Hollywood, that tried to expand, bought rights of Vitaphone, which was a property of Western Electric. Motion films, along with sound, were an extra entertainment for viewers. However, the concept was not new. Edison’s kinetoscopes even had orchestra backgrounds to support them. Viewers were seen to be interested in watching motion movies with sound. Earlier movies used a single real of 1000 ft length, that was developed to increase duration. Further, in the 1940s, the technicolor concept arrived. The cinemas in black and white became popular.

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Movies During War

From history, it is clear that audiovisual power has been exploited socially, politically, and economically. Big revolutions originated by using audiovisual facilities. During World War II, films were chosen as a medium of propaganda by Adolf Hitler. Subsequently, when new technologies arrive, people in power or leaders shape society similarly. The filmmakers of today have easy access to audiovisual translation. Hence, linguistics is no longer a barrier to understanding films.

Movies And Society

Post-World War Effect on Movies

After World War I, the tendency to watch movies on television increased. Visiting film studios and the theater was reduced. Hence, there was a drastic change observed in movies. In a way, the glamour of theatres and cinema halls is reduced. People preferred staying at home seeing their favorite movies. At one time before today’s cable network, where varied programs are showcased, it was not there. For movie buffs, VCR and VCDs were introduced. 

Movies And Society

Modern Era of Movies

Everyone has got access to watch movies today. Devices to display audiovisual clips are abundant today. Social Media, TVs, or Cinemas where people visit to enjoy. The most impactful exposure to society is movies. Not only the popular beliefs promote but promote variation to society. It has immense power to regulate the psychological aspect of the viewers. Comedy movies make you laugh, thrillers allow you to brainstorm, and historical movies create a platform for judgment as to where we are.


Significance of Movies and Society

The influence of movies on society and culture is inseparable. The fact that movies largely impact society cannot be overruled. But there is a loophole. The impact of movies can be good or bad depending upon what movie you watch. In particular, youngsters should be treated with care. Some subjects shown in a movie might change their attitude.


Benefits of movies

  • You get inspired by the movie.
  • You are made aware of various aspects of life.
  • It can be viewed as a mirror of culture.
  • It is perfectly fit for shaping culture.
  • Ability to know history
  • Sympathetic sensations get revitalized
  • Teach future generations about right and wrong
  • Exposure to worldwide culture, tradition, and art.
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Disadvantages of movies

  • Might acquire conflicting personalities
  • Addictive that may lead to mental illness
  • Role models are improper
  • Give rise to fictitious attitudes
  • Arrogance to abide by laws and regulations
  • Developing false notions
  • Built-up violent attitude
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Youngsters Affected

Kids and youngsters are the building blocks of our society. If we correlate young hearts and films, the first thing that comes to mind is protecting that genre. It’s a parental responsibility to teach what is good or bad. Don’t corrupt their feelings and opinions. Teach them there are a lot of opportunities to flourish in life and be away from violent movies.

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Merits and Demerits of movies

Today, movies are an impactful means of shaping our society. Like a coin, it has numerous advantages and disadvantages simultaneously. But the fact remains, we cannot live without watching movies. Whether good or bad, it depends upon your personal opinion. Our kids are the future of society. That’s why you should be extra careful and be aware that the right content is being circulated amongst the right audience. Further, it explains why parental locks are provided. You won’t wish harmful stuff that corrupts your little one’s opinion and feelings.

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Technology enhancement in the movie industry

The Film Industry has made technical advancements, ranging from shooting the movie, then editing, and finally presenting to the audience. Hence, technology has impacted motion pictures in various ways. Shooting and filmmaking have become much easier. Roughly about 50 years back, things were not at all easy.

Even after hard work, the picture quality was below quality. It required long-duration work. Moreover, for aerial views, camera-mounted flights were required. The cameras were so heavy, it needed a whole crew to maneuver them. Furthermore, editing was done manually, which added to time and labor.

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  • Society people have every facility to watch movies at home. Technology has provided facilities to enjoy movies from anywhere and anytime. 
  • The necessity to visit cinema halls at a stipulated time has been abolished. Technology has cut short the pain
  • Within a short period, courtesy of the development of technologies the Film Industries underwent a huge transformation.
  • With the introduction of cloud technology, the scope for editing movies has increased. Irrespective of place and language and place, getting acquainted with a job profile will suffice 
  • Photography is astounding today. Highly digitized cameras are being used. Audiences today enjoy superior quality movies accompanied by Dolby digital sound effects.
Movies And Society

Future of Movies 

The question remains what would happen to filmmaking during the COVID pandemic? The threat of the pandemic has immensely affected the film industry. Health concerns about film fraternities have increased. As a result, filmmakers have opted not to shoot. There is uncertainty about when the pandemic will end. However, vaccinations are underway. Hopefully, this period of uncertainty will end soon. 

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Significance in Anthropology

Society development and movies have a dynamic relation. Movies have a deep impact on flourishing. If we study the anthropological aspects of a movie, its transformation and present would be fascinating. Change in the ideology of the audience becomes prominent.

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Technical upliftment throughout the transition from black and white, then colored and digital at present times. This changed the perception of movies that are displayed to audiences. A lot of changes have resulted since Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope. If the movies are not suitable for a child or youngsters, parental discrimination is required. However, movies appear rated U/UA which indicates suitability. Development in technology has made filmmaking easier. Furthermore, the advent of cloud technology has facilitated editing possibilities universally.

Movies And Society

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