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A film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving pícture, theatrical film, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when shown on a screen, create the illusion of moving images. (See the glossary of motion picture terms.)

This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed in rapid succession. The process of filmmaking is both an art and an industry. A film is created by photographing actual scenes with a motion-picture camera, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional animation techniques, by means of CGI and computer animation, or by a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other visual effects.

The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art of filmmaking itself. The contemporary definition of cinema is the art of simulating experiences to communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty or atmosphere by the means of recorded or programmed moving images along with other sensory stimulations.

Films were originally recorded onto plastic film through a photochemical process and then shown through a movie projector onto a large screen. Contemporary films are now often fully digital through the entire process of production, distribution, and exhibition, while films recorded in a photochemical form traditionally included an analogous optical soundtrack (a graphic recording of the spoken words, music and other sounds that accompany the images which runs along a portion of the film exclusively reserved for it, and is not projected).

Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures. They reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful medium for educating—or indoctrinating—citizens. The visual basis of film gives it a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions through the use of dubbing or subtitles to translate the dialog into other languages. Some have criticized the film industry's glorification of violence, and have perceived in it the prevalence of a negative attitude toward women.

The individual images that make up a film are called frames. In the projection of traditional celluloid films, a rotating shutter causes intervals of darkness as each frame, in turn, is moved into position to be projected, but the viewer does not notice the interruptions because of an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after its source disappears. The perception of motion is due to a psychological effect called the phi phenomenon.

The name "film" originates from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion-picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photoplay, and flick. The most common term in the United States is movie, while in Europe film is preferred. Common terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the movies, and cinema; the last of these is commonly used, as an overarching term, in scholarly texts and critical essays. In early years, the word sheet was sometimes used instead of screen.

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William Shatner stars as James T. Kirk
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 motion picture released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the second feature based on the Star Trek science fiction franchise. The plot features James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise facing off against the genetically-engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), a character who first appeared in the 1960s Star Trek television series episode "Space Seed". When Khan escapes from a 15-year exile to exact revenge on Kirk, the crew of the Enterprise must stop him from acquiring a powerful terraforming device. The film concludes with the death of Enterprise crewmember Spock (Leonard Nimoy), beginning a story arc that continues to 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The Wrath of Khan was released in North America on June 4, 1982. It was a box office success, earning US$97 million worldwide and setting a world record for first-day box office gross. Critical reaction to the film was positive; reviewers highlighted Khan, the film's pacing and the character interactions as strong elements. Negative reaction focused on weak special effects and some of the acting. The Wrath of Khan is generally considered one of the best films of the Star Trek series and is credited with creating renewed interest in the franchise.

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Great Train Robbery still
Credit: The Great Train Robbery still, public domain image from 1903 film.

The Great Train Robbery was a milestone of cinema upon its release in 1903. The short clip shown at the end of the film depicting a bandit shooting his gun at the audience had a profound effect on them, with many allegedly thinking they were actually about to be shot.

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William Monahan in October 2006
William Monahan is an American novelist and screenwriter. Monahan went to work in Hollywood in 1998, when Warner Bros. bought the film rights to Light House: A Trifle, which had not yet been published, and contracted him to adapt it to the screen for director Gore Verbinski. In 2001, 20th Century Fox bought Monahan's spec script about the Barbary Wars called Tripoli, with Ridley Scott, who was to become Monahan's primary collaborator, attached to direct. Monahan, immediately successful as a screenwriter, has since worked with Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, among other filmmakers. His first produced screenplay, Kingdom of Heaven was made into a film by Ridley Scott and released in theaters in 2005. His second produced screenplay was The Departed, a film which earned him a WGA award and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Monahan prefers that screenplays be written by one writer rather than a collaboration of multiple screenwriters writing competing drafts. Thus far he has followed his scripts through production, and is one of very few sole credit writers in the film business.

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Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood is an American film actor, director, producer, and composer. After beginning his acting career primarily with small uncredited film roles and television appearances, his career has spanned more than 50 years. Eastwood has acted in several television series, most notably starring in Rawhide. His role in the eight-season series led to his leading roles in A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Eastwood has appeared in over 55 films, including Hang 'Em High, Escape from Alcatraz, The Bridges of Madison County, and Gran Torino. Eastwood started directing in 1971, and in 1982, his debut as a producer began with two films, Firefox and Honkytonk Man. Eastwood also has contributed music to his films, either through performing, writing, or composing. He has mainly starred in western, action, comedy, and drama films. Eastwood has been a primary character in two film franchises: as the Man with No Name in the Dollars Trilogy and as Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry series. Other notable roles include The Stranger in High Plains Drifter, Philo Beddoe in Every Which Way but Loose and its sequel Any Which Way You Can, Preacher in Pale Rider, and Frankie Dunn in Million Dollar Baby. Eastwood's next project will be to direct and produce the 2009 film Invictus. Eastwood has received multiple awards and nominations for his work in the films Unforgiven, Mystic River, and Million Dollar Baby, among others. These awards include Academy Awards, Directors Guild of America Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and People's Choice Awards. According to Box Office Mojo, a box office-revenue tracking website, films that Eastwood has acted in have grossed a total of more than $1.67 billion domestically, with an average of $37 million per film.

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Mel Brooks
Anybody can direct. There are only eleven good writers. In all of Hollywood.

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Film

Terms - Animation • Beta movement • Camera • Cult film • Digital cinema • Documentary film • Dubbing • Experimental film • Fan film • Film crew • Film criticism • Film festival • Film frame • Film genre • Film journals and magazines • Film industry • Film manifesto • Film stock • Film theory • Filmmaking • History of film • Independent film • Lost film • Movie star • Narrative film • Open content film • Persistence of vision • Photographic film • Propaganda • Recording medium • Special effect • Subtitles • Sound stage • Web film • World cinema

Lists - List of basic film topics • List of film topics • List of films • List of film festivals • List of film formats • List of film series • List of film techniques • List of highest-grossing films • List of longest films by running time • List of songs based on a film or book • Lists of film source material • List of open content films

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