A Short History of Will Smith

Will Smith is one of the prominent Hollywood actors. He is among the wealthiest and most influential actors of the world. Smith is an established movie star for younger generations known for his charm and charisma starring in one major film in a year. For those who know him since the beginning of his career, he is an extraordinarily and multi talented artist.

Smith was born in 1968 and he grew up in Philadelphia in a middle-class neighborhood. At a very early age, he decided to join the career in music and performed as a rapper Fresh Prince of Bel Air, it earned a great success. He was at the top of the charts by 1988 with his album; He’s the DJ I’m the Rapper, it earned granny award and triple platinum status.

In 1989, a TV show producer approached Smith and offered him a lead role in an NBC sitcom – The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. The show was about a fun loving teenager who was sent by his parents to live with relatives in a luxury house in Los Angeles. It was a great hit internationally. It was aired for six seasons and was a launch of Smith’s acting career. After the end of the series, he decided to focus on acting and ended his music career.

Smith became a household name in the mid 1990s with successes of his few big screen movies. His first major role was in the blockbuster Bad Boys in which he teams with a comedian actor Martin Lawrence.

Following the years of Smith’s appearance in a number of movies making millions for each of them, with high gross sequels Bad Boys and Men in Black, Smith was recognized as a successful and talented actor.

Smith was the biggest and most successful stars through the early part of the new millennium. His talent and versatility as an actor reflected in his role as Muhammad Ali in 2001. One of the movies he made after 2002 ranked over $100 million in US. His role in the superhero movie Hancock of 2008 is great example of great movie star he has become.

Smith has three children from two marriages. He now lives with his second wife Jada Pinkett Smith and their two children.

Monsters and Demons: A Short History of the Horror Film

Going to the movies may not seem like a novel way for little kids to spend an afternoon. But have you ever brought your child to see a Disney flick and ended up viewing trailers for Jeepers Creepers 2 or Freddie vs. Jason? When this happened in a Birmingham, Alabama cinema last year, parents became concerned about what the main attraction would be. But before the managers at the cinema could turn off the previews, the main attraction came on, and it wasn’t Piglet. Instead they were presented with the gruesome opening of Wrong Turn, an 18-rated slasher flick in much the same vein as the previews.

Is there a more genre more criticized than the horror film? Not bloody likely. There’s the argument that horror films are socially and morally irresponsible, even influencing some people to imitate the brutal methods of the killers portrayed on screen. Horror films actually have the opposite effect on normal people – sick minds will commit atrocities anyway. Watching horror films lets us encounter our secret fears, share them with other viewers, and eliminate the terror by meeting it head-on.

The genre is almost as old as cinema itself – the silent short film Le Manoir du Diable directed by Georges Mèliès in 1896 was the first horror movie and the first vampire flick. The movie only lasted two minutes, but audiences loved it, and Mèliès took pleasure in giving them even more devils and skeletons.

In the early 1900’s German filmmakers created the first horror-themed feature films, and director Paul Wegener enjoyed great success with his version of the old Jewish folk tale Der Golem in 1913 (which he remade – to even greater success – in 1920). This fable about an enormous clay figure, which is brought to life by an antiquarian and then fights against its forced servitude, was a clear precursor to the many monster movies that flourished in Hollywood during the Thirties.

The most enduring early German horror film is probably F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), the first feature-length vampire movie. But one movie paved the way for the “serious” horror film – and art cinema in general – Robert Wiene’s work of genius The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, still held up as an model of the potent creativity of cinema even to this day.

Early Hollywood drama dabbles in horror themes including versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) starring Lon Chaney, the first American horror-film movie star.

It was in the early 1930’s that Universal Studios, created the modern horror film genre, bringing to the screen a series of successful gothic-steeped features including Dracula, Frankenstein (both 1931) and The Mummy (1932) – all of which spawned numerous sequels. No other studio had as much success with the genre (even if some of the films made at Paramount and MGM were better).

In the nuclear-charged atmosphere of the 1950’s the tone of horror films shifted away from the gothic and towards the modern. Aliens took over the local cinema, if not the world, and they were not at all interested in extending the tentacle of friendship. Humanity had to overcome endless threats from Outside: alien invasions, and deadly mutations to people, plants, and insects. Two of the most popular films of the period were The Thing From Another World (1951) and Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1956).

Horror movies became a lot more lurid – and gorier – in the late Fifties as the technical side of cinematography became easier and cheaper. This era saw the rise of studios centered exclusively on horror, particularly British production company Hammer Films, which focused on bloody remakes of traditional horror stories, often starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and American International Pictures (AIP), which made a series of Edgar Allan Poe themed films starring Vincent Price.

The early 1960’s saw the release of two films that sought to close the gap between the subject matter and the viewer, and involve the latter in the reprehensible deeds shown on screen. One was Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, the other was a very low-budget film called Psycho, both using all-too-human monsters rather than supernatural ones to scare the audience.

When Rosemary’s Baby began ringing tills in the late Sixties, horror film budgets rose significantly, and many top names jumped at the chance to show off their theatrical skills in a horror pic. By that time, a public fascination with the occult led to a series of serious, supernatural-themed, often explicitly gruesome horror movies. The Exorcist (1973) broke all records for a horror film, and led to the commercial success of The Omen.

In 1975 Jaws, directed by a young Steven Spielberg, became the highest grossing film ever. The genre fractured somewhat in the late 1970’s, with mainstream Hollywood focusing on disaster movies such as The Towering Inferno while independent filmmakers came up with disturbing and explicit gore-fests such as Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

John Carpenter’s Halloween introduced the teens-threatened-by-superhuman-evil theme that would be copied in dozens of increasingly violent movies throughout the 1980’s including the long running Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series. Horror movies turned to self-mocking irony and downright parody in the 1990’s – the teenagers in Scream often made reference to the history of horror movies. Only 1999’s surprise independent hit The Blair Witch Project attempted regular scares.

So go ahead, take a stroll through these favourite horror movies of all time. But pick your way very carefully, this walk is not for the faint of heart. And if you happen to hear what sounds like some subdued whispering or soft creepy grating sounds, just pay no attention to it. It’s probably only the wind.

A Short History of English Movies and Philippine Literature

The history of English-movie is very old dating nearly back to the same time as other most of the European countries and America. While Philippine literature is also very old and most of the ancient literature of Philippines dates from ancestral worship and legends which were brought by the first settlers from Taiwan.

In 1913, American movies and actors had infiltrated deep into England and this fashion became so popular that a London based film company started making films in the UK casting American actors.

The Philippine islands were a Spanish colony from early 1500s and were controlled by the US in the first half of the 20th century. The written literature was present much earlier than the Spanish colonial period. Because Spain was in a grip of investigation, the church doctrine passed a decree to destroy the Philippines written records and be replaced by Catholic teachings only.

There were problems with the English-movie industry for maintaining its pace with the progressing technology. Because of this problem, there was technical comparison of English-movie industry with its European and American counterparts.

The English movies were also greatly impacted by the theatre culture. The presentations of English movies were similar to the style of screen play as stage play. Many English movies ended up in the same actors and sets that were used in the stage plays.

The First World War was also a cause of problems for the English movie industry. The audiences were more attached to American movies and they were praised a lot. The downfall of English movies continued despite the infusing of private sponsorships into the English movie industry until it finally ceased completely in 1924.

Through the first half of the 20th century till this time, most Philippine poetry and literature was written in Spanish. José Rizal is a Philippine national hero and considered the father of Philippine literature. Although his work was written and published in Spanish language but it has inspired many Filipinos. José Rizal was also a model of civilized living and he had also studied medicine and philosophy and was awarded for his work.

The downfall of English film industry did not remain forever and the dedicated efforts of some film producers and actors luckily revived the English movie industry in 1927. Many Philippine writers excelled to the level that story writing and poetry became a major cultural export. Although the professional writing in the Philippines is nowhere near as advanced as other English speaking nations but several awards are offered annually that recognize the excellence of Philippine literature.