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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 1:02pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A pedantic friend of mine raised a subject recently (only half-seriously) about what to call the "things" we watch on the big and small screens now.

He told me that "film" is no longer appropriate as we no longer use film projection since switching to digital.

I smiled and said that "movies" works for me. He pointed out that "movie" is a shortened version of "moving pictures". 

I can't imagine not using the words "film" or "movie" when I visit the cinema.

Besides, what word would be appropriate in the digital age? 

Anyone have a view? 
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

"Book" originally referred to the beech wood serving as the tablets for runes.

I'm OK with "film" continuing to be used.


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 1:11pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Book" originally referred to the beech wood serving as the tablets for runes.

***

I was unaware of that. Pretty cool fact. :)
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 1:25pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The projection method doesn't define the word, as a film did not change artform when consumed on VHS in the 80s, for example.

(as an aside, many films continue to be shot on film -- Spielberg and Nolan both shoot on film. Attack of the Clones was the first major movie to be shot purely with digital cameras, yet Star Wars has shifted back to film stock for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi).

Prefer Film to Movie myself, as I find the source term Moving Pictures to be antiquated (ditto the term 'pictures' that people in the UK sometimes used for the cinema itself).

I'm sure film will remain as good a term as any, even if shooting on film becomes virtually extinct.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I think I might use Peter's comments when I next speak to my friend (in the spirit of humour). It's nice to learn new things, I didn't know Spielberg and Nolan did that. 
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 2:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Reminds me of the debate regarding what to legally call pseudo photos (which is what they decided on, may have changed now.) I remember staring at the tv in disbelief when they didn’t choose digital photo.
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John Bodin
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 7:48pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 Robbie Parry wrote:
I smiled and said that "movies" works for me. He pointed out that "movie" is a shortened version of "moving pictures".


shrug

The pictures DO move -- it's not a shortened version of "moving film" . . . seems to me like "movies" or "moving pictures" are equally adequate to describe the theatrical broadcasts we watch in theaters.
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Christopher Frost
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 9:06pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The terms "movie" and "film" are both ingrained in our culture and both are acceptable terms to use as everyone knows what you are talking about when you use them. To try and change that because many film makers don't actually use film to make them anymore seems arbitrary and just an attempt to change things that don't need to be changed.  
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David Miller
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Posted: 09 January 2018 at 10:11pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

"Narrative time-based visual media" rolls off the tongue. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 1:34am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Your friend is indeed being pedantic, Robbie, and if he's serious?  He's not really worth engaging in any sort of meaningful debate.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 4:28am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Matt, I'd say he's being 70% humorous, but 30% serious. 

He's never been a person who likes certain things. He seems to abhor acronyms such as ASAP. And, quite seriously, he described "app" as a word he does not like. 


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John Byrne

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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Here's a twig for the fire: in College one of my classmates insisted that "film", such as forms on standing water, was pronounced "film", whilst the strips of celluloid on which movies are printed was pronounced "fillum".

And that's aside from those who insisted that "movie" and "film" were descriptions of content quality. GONE WITH THE WIND was a film, while STAR WARS was a movie.

An early foreshadowing, perhaps, of those who think there is a quality difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

"Movie" still works for me. At least we're not discussing still calling 'em "flicks"! :)

"Film"... I dunno. It seems a bit outdated... and after all, we don't call anything "papers" except as a shortened version of "newspaper."

"Cinema" seems to me to refer to the viewing venue... "theatricals" follows the same route. 

"Features" probably works. But I think that doesn't carry enough... I dunno, sense of uniqueness, maybe?

Then again, the phrase"television show" is starting to become a little obsolete too. But "phone show" or "internet show" feels funny too.

What would one replace "movie" with, anyhow? A description of where they're seen? The nature of the production? Its length? I guess we'd need to discuss what makes a movie, and then work from there.
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 8:58am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

For those who insist on "cinema," just look at them and say, "From the Greek 'kinema,' 'motion.' So you're saying, 'movie,' and you either don't realize it, or you hope I don't realize it." Great way to win friends and influence people.
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David Miller
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 9:53am | IP Logged | 15 post reply


 QUOTE:
Here's a twig for the fire: in College one of my classmates insisted that "film", such as forms on standing water, was pronounced "film", whilst the strips of celluloid on which movies are printed was pronounced "fillum".

Ha! My high school senior year advanced history teacher, a lay Jesuit, insisted on that pronunciation, and sometimes corrected us. 

He also insisted Alaska was a state during World War 2 and that France was on its fifth republic since 1945. (In fairness, he was old enough that those last two wouldn't have been covered until some time after he was a student.) 

He deducted a point from one of my exams for the stated reason: 
"Nobody is allowed to get 100% on my tests." Another time, annoyed by my classmate's nagging asthmatic cough, he described a scene in I, CLAVDIUS when Caligula has his stepbrother's head cut off for coughing. It was like having the Emperor from RETURN OF THE JEDI for a teacher.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 10:11am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Jack, you seem to be saying cinema is some kind of pretentious term, if I'm reading you right. To me, the term has two meanings. One, the bricks-and-mortar place with a screen and a projector, in which to watch a film. e.g. the floor was really sticky in the cinema and suddenly I regretted my decision to go and see Fifty Shades on the big screen. Two, a term that encompasses the artform of film-making. e.g. its a milestone in the history of cinema.

The latter usage gives rise to other useful terms, such as cinematic and cinematography.

For example, if I wanted to say David Lean composed wonderfully cinematic shots, I don't know what equivalent word from 'movies' could be used.


Edited by Peter Martin on 10 January 2018 at 10:12am
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John Byrne

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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

He deducted a point from one of my exams for the stated reason: "Nobody is allowed to get 100% on my tests."

••

Oh-hhhhh......   I had one of those! Rendered the whole exercise pointless, as far as I was concerned.

(Akin to when Shooter called to congratulate me on being raised to Marvel's highest page rate -- "Except for John Buscema." Big John, according to Shooter, had it in his contract that whatever was deemed the highest rate, he got more. I said I had no problem with Buscema making more that me, but it was utter sophistry to tell me I had the highest rate when there was one higher.)

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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 11:19am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Film feels more natural to me. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 January 2018 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

And that's aside from those who insisted that "movie" and "film" were descriptions of content quality. GONE WITH THE WIND was a film, while STAR WARS was a movie.

***

Slight drift, but someone told me a motorcycle and a motorbike are two different things (one was better/higher quality, apparently). I know nothing about motorcycles, I think I stopped listening 10 seconds after he began speaking. 
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Jack Bohn
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Posted: 11 January 2018 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Peter, even I can see saying, "David Lean composed wonderfully movie-like shots," won't cut it, but that might just my ignorance as to what "cinematic" means. Do we even need the second adjective? Let "wonderful" directly modify "shots"?
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 11 January 2018 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

As someone who still says `I taped that programme last
night` despite having a hard drive recorder,i am happy
to use film or movie.Also,a lot of us still say `We
Hoovered the lounge` despite using a Dyson!
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John Byrne

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Posted: 11 January 2018 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I remember "Hoover" as a verb!
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 12 January 2018 at 8:24am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I'm still fine with "movies" and "film." The terms have transcended their origins and become their own thing.

I still call them "comic books", too.

Edited by Brian Rhodes on 12 January 2018 at 8:25am
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 January 2018 at 11:46am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Bill Collins: "...a lot of us still say `We Hoovered the lounge`"
JB: "I remember "Hoover" as a verb!"

That's because Hoover sucked. (Triple entendre? We can but hope... :D :D :D )
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 January 2018 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Interesting replies, everyone. Thanks!

My late stepfather kept using the word "taping" even when my parents bought their first digibox. 

I still see the term "home video" used to describe DVD releases. I believe the WWF was still referred to as WWF/WWE Home Video even when DVDs rose in popularity.

Another good example, I feel, is "letters page". I'd suspect the average comic receives only e-mails. I once asked a UK editor (Bristol Comic Con) whether he still received postal letters. He told me he didn't. Yet letters page sounds better than "e-mail page". 

(And I suppose some may argue that a message, delivered electronically via the internet, is a "letter" in a certain sense).
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