Question

Why are developments in moving image technology so often connected...

Why are developments in moving image technology so often connected to early examples that are racist and/or imperialist? In your answer, please discuss one or more examples from the following list: the early film travelogue, The Birth of a Nation, The Jazz Singer, King Kong, Texaco Star Theatre.

Answer & Explanation
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Cultural imperialism is the process and practice of promoting one culture over another. Often this occurs during colonization, where one nation overpowers another country, typically one that is economically disadvantaged and/or militarily weaker. ... Language or music is adapted as a means to continue the culture.

 

The greatest example of cultural imperialism is the native tribe's ownership of casinos on their land granted by federal laws. Other influences were guns, the spreading of small pox, and the introduction of alcohol. In the early 1500's Hernando Cortez landed Spanish warships on the soil of what in now Mexico.\

 

Cultural Imperialism can have both positive and negative effects on global communication. It can promote generally positive agendas, like equal rights, and improve the quality of life for many people where successful.

 

On Yom Kippur, cantor Rabinowitz (played by Warner Oland) looks forward to when his 13-year-old son, Jakie (Robert Gordon), will succeed him at the synagogue. However, after discovering that Jakie is singing in a saloon, the cantor beats him, and Jakie runs away from home. As an adult (Al Jolson), Jakie becomes a jazz singer, performing under the name Jack Robin. When his father falls ill before Yom Kippur, Jakie must choose between singing at the dress rehearsal of his new Broadway show or singing the Kol Nidre at the synagogue in his father's place. Jakie finishes his number and rushes to the synagogue, where his father hears him singing the Kol Nidre and then dies, reconciled to Jakie.

 

Although widely credited with being the first talkie, the accolade is somewhat misleading. Other films had synchronized sound for music or sound effects prior to this film. The small studio Warner Brothers had bought a sound-on-disc system called Vitaphone and debuted the system in 1926 with Don Juan, a lavish costume drama featuring a score performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. However, The Jazz Singer, the second Vitaphone feature, was the first full feature film to have a sound track that included dialogue (though only the musical numbers and some select conversations amounting to one-fourth of the film were recorded for sound). The first feature in which all the dialogue was recorded was another Warner Brothers Vitaphone film, Lights of New York

 

Comedians Eddie Cantor and George Jessel (who played the lead role in the 1925 play on which the movie is based) both turned down the film, leaving the historic role for Jolson. Studio executive Sam Warner, one of the founders of Warner Brothers and the creative force behind the film, died one day before the movie's premiere, which was intentionally set for the day before Yom Kippur. One of Jolson's first lines, "You ain't heard nothin' yet," came to symbolize the arrival of the talking picture. The film's financial success established Warner Brothers as a major studio, and the studio won an honorary Academy Award for "producing The Jazz Singer, the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry." There have been many remakes of the story onscreen and onstage, Jolson's performance in blackface has long been studied for what it says about stereotypes and the problems of assimilation often encountered by ethnic groups.

Step-by-step explanation

musical film, motion picture consisting of a plot integrating musical numbers. Although usually considered an American genre, musical films from Japan, Italy, France, Great Britain, and Germany have contributed to the development of the type. The first musical film, The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson, introduced the sound era of motion pictures. It was followed by a series of musicals hastily made to capitalize on the novelty of sound. One of the few outstanding films of this early period was Broadway Melody (1929), which won the Academy Award for best picture of 1928-29.

 

In the early 1930s the German director G.W. Pabst presented a serious musical film, The Threepenny Opera (1931; Die Dreigroschenoper), from the ballad opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. The most popular films of this period, though, were the extravagantly imaginative U.S. films of Busby Berkeley (1895-1976), a former Broadway dance director who presented elaborately staged dance sequences within the framework of well-worn stories. The Berkeley spectaculars such as the Gold Diggers productions (1933-37), Footlight Parade (1933), and Forty-second Street (1933) often starred Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, or Dick Powell, all of whom became well-known musical performers.

 

The films of the singing or dancing teams of the mid-1930s—including Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (The Gay Divorcee, 1934; Top Hat, 1935; and others) and Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald (Naughty Marietta, 1935; Rose Marie, 1936; and others)—gradually came to replace the Berkeley spectacles in popularity.