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Ion Martea


Essential Films

A series of reviews by Ion Martea

The Essential Films series of reviews is intended to help readers understand how film has gone from being a mere curiosity to the most popular artform worldwide in little more than a century, by analysing individual films from the dawn of the medium to the present day. The selection of titles will follow a rough chronological path, aimed essentially at tracing the development of the medium. The films will range from early experimental pieces, through the silent era, Hollywood and World Cinema, as well as taking account of the independent avant-garde and the impact of television.

Film reviews also serve another purpose, however. We all want to find the best in any artform. By selecting a number of pieces that might be considered mandatory for any serious filmgoer, Essential Films offers an opportunity to discover uncharted territory, as well as kindling a debate on our varied appreciation of the ups and downs of a form which some still argue does nothing but entertain us. See how they run...

Chapter 1
Dickson Greeting William KL Dickson, William Heise
posted 7 April 2006

Chapter 2
Roundhay Garden Scene Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince
posted 5 May 2006

Chapter 3
Dickson Experimental Sound Film William KL Dickson
posted 19 May 2006

Chapter 4
Miss Jerry Alexander Black
posted 6 June 2006

Chapter 5
L'arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat [Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat] Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière
posted 16 June 2006

Chapter 6
The Execution of Mary Stuart Alfred Clark
posted 14 July 2006

Chapter 7
La sortie des usines Lumière [Leaving the Lumière Factory] Louis Lumière
posted 7 August 2006

Chapter 8
Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre Frederick S Armitage
posted 21 August 2006

Chapter 9
The Great Train Robbery Edwin S Porter
posted 29 August 2006

Chapter 10
Re Lear [King Lear] Gerolamo Lo Savio
posted 8 September 2006

Chapter 11
Explosion of a Motor Car Cecil M Hepworth
posted 22 September 2006

Chapter 12
Histoire d'un crime [Story of a Crime] Ferdinand Zecca
posted 6 October 2006

Chapter 13
Dream of a Rarebit Fiend Edwin S Porter
posted 24 November 2006

Chapter 14
Le voyage dans la lune [A Trip to the Moon] Georges Méliès
posted 25 January 2007

Chapter 15
A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner Charles Urban
posted 26 February 2007

Chapter 16
A Midsummer Night's Dream Charles Kent and J Stuart Blackton
posted 26 April 2007

Ion Martea was born in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, in 1983. He is an award-winning poet and author, whose work has been published in Moldova, Romania and the UK. He currently lives in London, and has been a Culture Wars reviewer since 2004.


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