What is Movies: Definition and 134 Discussions

A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are generally accompanied by sound, and more rarely, other sensory stimulations. The word "cinema", short for cinematography, is often used to refer to filmmaking and the film industry, and to the art form that is the result of it.
The moving images of a film are 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.
Traditionally, films were recorded onto celluloid film stock through a photochemical process and then shown through a movie projector onto a large screen. Contemporary films are 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.
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 partly 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. 'Film' in general is not a good term to refer to a long standard commercial video production since it’s ambiguous in general and therefore requires context for correct interpretation.

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  1. Ivan Seeking

    The Man from Earth | A Sci-Fi Masterpiece by Jerome Bixby

    One of my absolute favorite sci-fi movies, it is entirely dialogue driven and a wonderfully fun story; so much so that I hate to give anything away. I read that the author Jerome Bixby, worked on the story for many years and died before it was finished. Luckily his son stepped up and finished...
  2. jim mcnamara

    Uh-oh The movies and "quantum physics" as they see it....

    This trend is likely to drive a lot of misguided threads on science forums - IMO. Trend: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/multiverse-movies-newfound-popularity/index.html
  3. Maarten Havinga

    ChatGPT and the movie "I, robot"

    For those who do not know the movie/story: this thread is about whether AI such as chatGPT is - on the long run - a danger to humanity, and why or why not. With its popularity rising so quickly, chatGPT has influence on our societies, and it may be prudent to ponder about them. I, Robot is a...
  4. Wrichik Basu

    Any more good movies like these?

    My mother and I have been watching some wonderful movies lately over lunch and dinner, so much so that we completely gave up our TV subscription in favour of these. We watched all the Rocky movies from the beginning to the end. To be honest, it was a fascinating experience. I think it is...
  5. Frabjous

    Movies that feature physics concepts

    I was reading Shape and Flow: The Fluid Dynamics of Drag by Shapiro and wanted to see the movies described by the book. There is a whole series of fluid dynamics movies at http://web.mit.edu/hml/ncfmf.html Of course, they pale in comparison to my favorite educational movie which is about...
  6. Ivan Seeking

    Great Movies and Series [Not Sci-Fi]

    I have a seen a number of great series about women lately. The Queens Gambit: Loved it! The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Of course this has been around since 2013 and just concluded last year Orange is the New Black All on Netflix
  7. sophiecentaur

    Stargazing Using DSLR movies for Astro Image stacking application

    I have used my entry-level Zwo colour camera to get movies of planets and, subject to my limited skills, those movies (Avi format) are handled quite happily by Autostakkert and Registax. I have used my DSLR successfully to take multiple long exposure images and they have stacked fine (of...
  8. DennisN

    Will Denis Villeneuve's New Dune Adaptation Live Up to Expectations?

    The spice must flow. I just heard that there will be a new movie adaptation of the classic Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert. Article on Wikipedia: Dune (2020 film). And another movie is planned, i.e. the two movies will cover the first book. I don't think there is any trailer yet. The director...
  9. Lars278

    All science fiction movies are wrong

    According to the Drake Equation there are probably 10,000 communicable civilizations in the Milky Way at the same level of development as the human civilization on Earth or even more advanced. And if there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe there should be 10^15 communicable civilizations...
  10. H

    Surreal Physics Movies: Share Your Favorites!

    Hi! I'm looking for movies that have surreal physics. E.g. action movies with severe violation of conservation of momentum, scifi movies with "quantum" stuff in the plot ..etc. What are your favorites?
  11. DennisN

    VOTE PF Favorite Movies Poll 2 - SF, Fantasy, Comedy & Western

    Hi, and welcome to the Physics Forums favorite movies poll 2! (the first poll is here) Rules and notes: Please vote here for your 5 favorite movies in the categories Science Fiction, Fantasy, Comedy & Western. Please note that this is a multiple votes poll, and that your votes should reflect...
  12. DennisN

    VOTE PF Favorite Movies Poll 1 - Drama, Thriller & Action

    Welcome to the Physics Forums favorite movies poll 1! (the second poll is here) Rules and notes: Please vote here for your 5 favorite movies in the categories Drama, Thriller & Action. Please note that this is a multiple votes poll, and that your votes should reflect the movies you like the...
  13. DennisN

    PF's favorite movies poll - nominations

    Hi movielovers of PF! I just had an idea. After having participated and read posts of others in these two recent movie threads... http://www.physicsforums.com/threads/movie-classics-that-totally-escape-me.976678/...
  14. S

    Movies that you watch over and over again

    What are some movies (or TV episodes) that you enjoy watching over and over again? - say at least once every two years. I often play old science fiction movies while I'm sitting at a worktable trying to fix something. The films don't have my complete attention, but there are a few I play over...
  15. gleem

    Light sabers from the movies to the piste

    Well maybe. The International Fencing Federation (FIE) ishttps://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/fencing-body-interested-in-frances-embrace-of-lightsaber/ar-BBTOQ6y?li=BBnba9I progresses. Apparently this sport is popular in France and has caught the attention of the FIE, How long will...
  16. U

    Hello Everyone, I'm new to the forum

    Hi, Peoples. I found this forum by following a link in a Youtube video by Freddythunder. He built a Police light bar for a movie production, and I'm hopping to build one as well for the same reason. And like him, I'm having problems putting the circuitry together. If anyone has any thoughts or...
  17. P

    Are Sci-Fi Movies Accurate Depictions of Aliens?

    Have watched lots of scifi & fantasy movies over the years. While entertaining at times, now find myself being critical of the way they depict aliens. A lot of them appear as reptilian with big fangs and claws yet seem to be able to control complicated space vessels and machinery. It is my...
  18. Alex Petrosyan

    Why the explanation of wormholes using paper grinds my gears

    Hey, This is more of a discussion rather than a question. A lot of movies (e.g. interstellar, Event Horizon), have a go at trying to explain how the Warp/Alcubierre drive could work, and usually, the argument goes like this: They take a point A and a point B, connect them with a line on the...
  19. BillTre

    Stanley Kubrick Photos from Before he did Movies

    Short CNN article here. The first picture in the article is of a scientist with a Dr. Strangelove feel.
  20. C

    Jack Sparrow's velocity when he falls down the ravine?

    Homework Statement What is Jack Sparrow's velocity when he falls down the ravine in Dead Man's Chest? Homework Equations P=MV? The Attempt at a Solution I don't know where to start. I think this is a projectile problem because he is in freefall when he falls down the ravine right? Or maybe it...
  21. A

    Good sci-fi movies about the afterlife

    Good sci-fi movies about the afterlife I've watched are 1. Flatliners 2. Fields of Dreams.. there should be dozens more.. can you recall some? In light of the passing of the esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking.. I want to take the time to watch some of these movies. What is your belief about...
  22. jedishrfu

    B Instant Runoff Voting and How Safe Movies Win

    There are many ways to tally voting, one such scheme is Instant Runoff Voting where you are allowed to choose your top 3 favorites. However, this scheme can lead to mediocre choices when applied to Academy Award movie wins:
  23. scottdave

    Mortal Engines movie - Wired magazine looks at the science

    If you've seen a recent movie trailer with the entire city of London on some treads and able to move around - that is Mortal Engines. Wired magazine takes a look at the science that goes along with that, and even has a few "homework" problems to work out. :smile...
  24. R

    What will the world be like with immortal Hitlers?

    In 50 years time or less.. human can begin to become immortals.. living for average of 10,000 years.. but I wonder what the world will be like if we have immortal Hitlers... I ought to see some movies with Immortality themes as I ponder on my own immortality.. what have you seen that is the...
  25. M

    Horror Movies that give you chills

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/04/health/exorcism-doctor/index.html For scientists who believe the universe is just nuts and bolts and humans just flesh and blood and nothing more. What horror movies have truly scared you? For us where gross materialism is our friend. What horror movies scared...
  26. Noisy Rhysling

    What Are Your Top Movies Where Characters Are Eliminated One By One?

    Alien is a given. Relentless alien stalks isolated band of humans and they go down, one by one. (Quantity may vary, but it's the chipping away at the total that counts.) Got any you would recommend?
  27. TheQuestionGuy14

    Physics Behind Time Loops In Movies?

    I was just wondering if there is any physics behind the time loops in the movies Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow.
  28. hsdrop

    TV shows, movies, and books that are ruined for you by physics

    What were some of your favorites tv shows, movies, and books what we all loved as a child that got ruined as an adult by learning physics?? Some of my favorites were Stargate, Star Trek the Next Gen, and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. But all throws dreams were killed off by physics as I got...
  29. W

    Looking for a good sci-fi movie to watch

    I'm actually running out of sci-fi movies to watch. I like sci-fi movies that keep their feet on the ground with science, don't mash much with fantasy (wizards, etc...) and at the same time spur "What If..." thought or make you pause and hop to the web to look something up. for example: Flat...
  30. pac0master

    Alien technologies as portrayed in Sci-fi

    This is something that got me thinking for a while. Especially after learning the basic of physics and chemistry. Basically, pretty much every movies, novel, etc that feature an advanced race of aliens(or any alien in general), they gives them some sort of technology or their organic...
  31. Y

    A How much energy to fly Spaceships from sci -fi movies

    Hi there, I am currently working for fun project and will like to know if anybody out there could help us with some calculations on how much energy its needed to fly different spaceships, please get in touch if you are interested in participating in the project.
  32. C

    What methods are used to destroy planets in popular movies?

    The pinnacle of human civilization is when we can create machines that can destroy an entire planet (by imploding or exploding it). This would extend our control of foreign policy to extrasolar policy in the event life would be detected off world someday. 1. In the movie Ender's Game. The...
  33. B

    Have you seen the trailer for Pawn Sacrifice? Let's talk about it!

    Is there a thread at PF devoted to discussing movies? If not, let me designate this one! :smile: What recent movies have you seen or want to see? What did you like or dislike about them? ...Feel free to post anything movies-related that could be fun, interesting, or helpful! Huge chess...
  34. E

    Movies with AI/Neuroscience themes

    What is the best movie you have seen with neuroscience themes. I recently watched Transcendence in the video. It's about how they tried to create neuronal patterns and simulations in computer. But latter patterning it with a real person neuronal firing patterns to make the computer able to...
  35. H

    Feeling insignificant after watching space movies

    I've had several people tell me that they feel insignificant after watching a show or movie on the universe. Personally I don't understand this, instead of feeling insignificant I feel a sense of wonder.
  36. M

    What are the Best Sci-Fi Movies About Interstellar Travel?

    After doing my own research I would like to know if anyone can recommend a good Sci-Fi movies on mankind's first interstellar voyage, besides the movie 'Interstellar', which I have seen?
  37. V

    Exploring Science in Movies: Finding the Perfect Film for Your Classroom Project

    Hello, I am in search of some movie suggestions that incorporate different concepts such as sound waves, magnetic fields, doppler effect, transmission of light, inverse square law. The movie doesn't need to necessarily incorporate all of those concepts. I am working on a school project and need...
  38. M

    How fast is Wolverine moving during his jump at the very end

    Or is there a way to calculate his speed? I know that since he's technically moving backwards, it's not the same speed as the train. The train's speed is about 300 mph.
  39. M

    How does the train scene in The Wolverine break physics?

    I think it may have something to do with momentum or vectors, but I'm not sure? Can you explain to me why Wolverine jumping off the train and then flying several feet backwards in a perfect straight line is unrealistic?
  40. A

    Movies like source code and getaway

    Im trying to find movies like the 2 that I mentioned above. Where by majority of the scenes take place at one place. For source code was on the train, and for getaway was in a car. Does anyone know what do you call this type of movies. :D
  41. mathmaniac1

    MHB My Favourite Movies: Batman, Hachicko & Braveheart

    Hi Everyone, Lets talk about Movies. What are your favourite movies[english]? Mine: Batman Trilogy(especially Dark Knight) Hachicko A Dog's Story(very emotional) Braveheart And... Let me think...
  42. G

    Realistic Combat Strategies in Film

    I have a silly habit of dissecting events in movies way too much. I just can't stand that in every movie I watch, the protagonist is pitted against all odds, and then comes out on top because... the protagonist has to win? Or the good guy stands in the plainest possible view of enemy fire and...
  43. J

    PSA: Drowning does NOT look like it does in the movies

    This is a sad story, but I hope in sharing it that somebody's life can be saved. My father was out on his boat this weekend, and on his way back to the dock, he saw a jet ski with no rider, and a man in the water not far from it with no life jacket. He didn't look like he was in any kind of...
  44. A

    Cold War Books & Movies: Find Your Next Read/Watch!

    I'd like some new material to devour, and I have an interest in this era for some reason, particularly the spy stuff (!) but also the space race, and other associated topics. I don't mind if it's fact or fiction really, it's not an academic pursuit. I'd quite like some books, so I can read them...
  45. Ivan Seeking

    Writer bias in books, TV, movies, and theater

    Tonight I was watching Stephen King's Bag of Bones and noticed a common motif - a famous author moves to a small, remote town, and encounters X. What caught my attention wasn't the weird, small town motif [I can relate to that one! :smile:], it is that so often the main character is a writer...
  46. M

    Exploring the Science of Humor: The Effect of Funny Movies on Our Brains

    do you like funny movies?
  47. H

    Good movies of simultaneous ball drop/thrown?

    We're teaching about X vs. Y motion, and I'd really love to show like a strobe movie of a ball being dropped versus thrown horizontally...or even just the one thrown horizontally. We TELL students the X-motion is independent and constant, but "seeing is believing" I found some pictures on...
  48. B

    Converting jpg images to movies

    Dear All I'm looking for free software for converting 100 jpg images to movie without loosing the quality. Kindly advice. Many Thanks Balaji
  49. H

    How do you feel watching these kind of movies?

    movies with dance and song routines. Yes I am talking about typical hindi(bollywood movies). I enjoy a lot watching this kind of movies. The funny part of these kind of movies is that the actor and actress change their clothes dozens of time in single song of the movie.:biggrin: The plot...
  50. B

    Poorly describe movies and guess what they are

    For example: "Skinhead goes to prison" would be American History X 1. Man erases memory of his ex. 2. Asian kid becomes friends with old white man. 3. Kid wishes to be an adult. Wish granted. More to come, feel free to post your own.