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Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects.

Film is an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten, and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and in turn, affect them.

Traditional films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to a combination of physiological and psychological effects. One is known as persistence of vision—whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers also perceive motion due to psychological effects called beta movement and the phi phenomenon.

The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture; picture show; photo-play; flick; and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen; the silver screen; the cinema; and the movies.

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Borat in Cologne
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (often shortened to Borat) is a 2006 mockumentary comedy film directed by Larry Charles. It stars the British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the title role of a fictitious Kazakh journalist, traveling through the United States recording real-life interactions with Americans. It is the second film built around one of Cohen's characters from Da Ali G Show, following Ali G Indahouse, which also featured a cameo by Borat. It was a critical and commercial success, despite an initially limited release in the United States. Cohen won the 2007 Golden Globe award for Best Actor: Musical or Comedy as Borat while the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture in the same category. Borat was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 79th Academy Awards but lost to The Departed. Controversy surrounded the film even before its release. It has been criticised for having a protagonist who is sexist and anti-Semitic (Cohen is Jewish himself), and some who have appeared in the film have criticised and even sued its creators. All Arab countries other than Lebanon banned it, and the Russian government successfully discouraged cinemas there from showing it. It was released on DVD March 5, 2007 (a day later in Region 1 countries).

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Phenakistoscope animation
Credit: by Eadweard Muybridge (edited and animated by trialsanderrors)

The phenakistoscope (also spelled phenakistiscope) was an early animation device, the predecessor to the zoetrope. It was invented in 1831 simultaneously by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer.

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Aaron Sorkin in June 2006
Aaron Sorkin is an American screenwriter, producer and playwright. His stageplay A Few Good Men caught the attention of Hollywood producer David Brown, who bought the film rights before the play even premiered. Castle Rock Entertainment hired Sorkin to adapt A Few Good Men for the big screen. The movie, directed by Rob Reiner, became a box office success. Sorkin spent the early 1990s writing two other screenplays at Castle Rock for the films Malice and The American President. In the mid-1990s he worked as a script doctor on films such as Schindler's List and Bulworth. In 1998 his television career began when he created the TV comedy series Sports Night for the ABC network. Sports Night's second season was its last, and in 1999 overlapped with the debut of Sorkin's next TV series, the multiple Emmy-award-winning political drama The West Wing, this time for the NBC network. In 2006, after a three year hiatus, he returned to television with a dramedy called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, about the backstage drama at a late night sketch comedy show, once again for the NBC network. His recent feature film screenplay is Charlie Wilson's War, which was set to open in movie theaters on Christmas day 2007.

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Gene Kelly (1912–1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer whose work in motion pictures spans from 1942 to 1996. He is probably best known today for his performances in musicals, notably An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952). Kelly made his Hollywood film debut in For Me and My Gal (1942), co-starring with Judy Garland. Afterward, he went on to work as an actor, dancer and subsequently, choreographer, in a series of musical films. In these films, his choreography included experiments with a combination of dance and animation (Anchors Aweigh and Invitation to the Dance) and dance scenes involving special effects (including the "Alter Ego" number from Cover Girl and the split-screen dance number from It's Always Fair Weather). In addition to his work as an actor and choreographer, Kelly directed or co-directed several films, some of which did not feature him in an acting role. Kelly appeared in several non-musical dramatic and comedy films as well. Kelly received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Anchors Aweigh (1945) and won an Honorary Academy Award for his work in An American in Paris (1951). He was voted the 15th most popular film actor on the American Film Institute’s millennium list, while his Singin' in the Rain was voted the most popular movie musical of all time.

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Steven Soderbergh
I like to hire actors who have ideas, and I give them room to breathe. ... You can over-direct actors if you're not careful. So I tend to leave them alone, unless I sense they're having a problem; then I'll go over and talk to them.

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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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