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Author Topic: Film vs. Movie?  (Read 5370 times)

rsatrioadi

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Film vs. Movie?
« on: August 10, 2011, 11:11:37 AM »
So the New York International Latino Film Festival posters (nylatinofilm.com) apparently encourage us to watch films, not movies. English is not my primary language, so I don't know the difference between films and movies. In my language, what I thought they define as "movies" and "films" have the same translation: "film". I duckduckgo-ed for the difference but have not found anything useful to separate what I know as "film" into the two categories "movies" and "films". Would some native English speaker (or perhaps movie/film enthusiasts) here clear things out for me? I'm confused as hell.  :-\

Edit: Here's a blog post showing all of the posters.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 11:17:12 AM by rsatrioadi »

joiwind

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 11:20:57 AM »
I think "movies" is an American term, whereas "films" is more UK English - may be wrong though.
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mouser

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 11:23:16 AM »
No difference between a film and a movie in american english.

worstje

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 11:25:20 AM »
There is no difference, if you ask me.

If one insists on definitely defining a difference, I'd say film is used for more culturally or psychologically entertaining works, whereas movie may refer more to the sort of one-shot-horribly-expensive-dare-i-say-overpriced-video-impression that is geared towards more casual entertainment that takes less thinking or consideration to enjoy.

But that is just how I feel about those two words. Seeing how English is my second language, I'd say you ought to take it with a grain of salt - no matter how awesome my english may appear to native speakers at times.

steeladept

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2011, 11:42:11 AM »
I agree with worstje (except for the grain of salt thing  :P).  

If I were to differentiate, however, I would say "film" is technically the media upon which a movie is made.  Therefore, anything put on film, be it pictures, documentaries, movies, even data, would be technically watching a "film".  Movies are a specific type of data that provides entertainment through a single episode of a story retained on film.  This would be different from, say a documentary, a television series, or even a slideshow of generally unrelated pictures.  But differentiating between all that is a very technical description of the language, and in general usage they are interchangable words.

40hz

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2011, 11:48:51 AM »
+1 with all the above.

I'm not a final authority on American English although it is my native tongue. But AFAIK, there has never been a distinction made between the term "movie" and "film" when speaking about a motion picture. They are interchangeable terms, with "movie" being more commonly used in ordinary conversation.

TDumTDee.jpg

Note: when I was in college, some people insisted on using the term "film" to designate better quality motion pictures and used the word "movie' in a derogatory sense - mostly when referring to American motion pictures. Non-US made movies were always called "films" and usually prefixed with the word "foreign" as in: "foreign films." So to this crowd of just post-adolescent aesthetes, Ben Hur and Gone with The Wind were movies; but La Dolce Vita and Fanny and Alexander were films.

 :)

joiwind

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2011, 11:59:58 AM »
Quote : "The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photo-play and flick. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while in Europe the term film is preferred. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies." Wikiyouknowwhat.
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Renegade

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 12:04:37 PM »
My take on film vs. movie...

There is a difference. (I'm going to try to outline the logic for a native English speaker.)

"Film" denotes a physical media (film) while "movie" denotes the result.

"Film" is used for both motion pictures (from where we get the word "movie"), and for stills as well (which isn't the topic of conversation here). We'll forgo other uses of the word as they are irrelevant for this discussion.

Now, you need to understand that languages are evolving things, and that when we talk about "film" in 1920 and in 1950 and in 1990 and in 2011, those are all slightly different.

1920 vs. 1950 is where "movie" creeps in. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but let's just run with "close enough".)

In 1950, all "films" are "movies", and all "movies" are "films".

In 1990, all "films" are "movies", but not all "movies" are "films". We have "tape"...

In 2011, all "films" are "movies", but not all "movies" are "films". We have "digital storage"...

However, we still have the concept of "film" in the sense of "film" as a "motion picture" ("movie").

The common usage of "film" is for a "motion picture" or "movie", however, the common person will only use the term "movie".

"Film" is used in the "literary" sense. (Does that make sense?)

Have I clarified things any?






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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

joiwind

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2011, 12:08:03 PM »
What about 1910 ?
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Renegade

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2011, 12:12:36 PM »
What about 1910 ?

Meh... Close enough. ;) :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 12:16:09 PM »
@Ren - slow day?  :P

(just kidding... :) )

rsatrioadi

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 12:16:41 PM »
worstje, 40hz - Wow, that explains a lot. Thank you very much! I know it's never wrong to ask about anything here. :Thmbsup: :P

As for the technical definition of "film" as the medium in which data are saved (as steeladept & joiwind said), I am aware of it, and actually that's why I was confused and couldn't understand what the posters wanted to say. :-\

Renegade's description that "film" is used in the "literary" sense also gives me some new perspectives, thank you. :Thmbsup:

And now that I understand what the posters wanted to say, I must admit those are some clever ads.


Man, DC is the best forum I've ever known. :D

Renegade

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 12:24:10 PM »
@Ren - slow day?  :P

(just kidding... :) )

Pretty much... I'm half lit on my... Yeah... I forget what number I'm on now... :P :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 12:30:41 PM »
@Ren - slow day?  :P

(just kidding... :) )

Pretty much... I'm half lit on my... Yeah... I forget what number I'm on now... :P :)

You should try meditating. You'll save a ton of money on CH3CH2OH. ;D :Thmbsup:


Renegade

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 12:40:09 PM »
@Ren - slow day?  :P

(just kidding... :) )

Pretty much... I'm half lit on my... Yeah... I forget what number I'm on now... :P :)

You should try meditating. You'll save a ton of money on CH3CH2OH. ;D :Thmbsup:

I'm sober enough to know that I've posted absolute idiocy here in the past entirely due to C2H5OH.

However, I've discovered that wine in Australia is dirt cheap. :P

Hell, I managed to pick up 10 L of booze for $22 today~! :P Yeeha~!

Luckily none of that was caught on film~!

-- There's a usage of "film" that is called "collocation". You cannot separate the words or replace them. i.e. "caught on movie" doesn't work. The term is "caught on film" and there's no changing it due to the rule of collocation. A similar, and more familiar, version is "bread and butter". You can't say "butter and bread".

Ah... nuances of language... This is one of the reasons that I NEVER curse in Korean except with VERY close friends, and VERY rarely at that. (Though I curse in English with every third word or so...)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

app103

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 12:48:45 PM »
Expanding a little on what Renegade said....

Today, seeing a film also more or less dictates where you are viewing it.

If you are viewing it at home, it is unlikely to be a film unless you own projection equipment and have access to the reels. If it is on a television or a PC screen, it is NOT a film.

To view a film today, one has to

  • travel to a theater
  • wait in line to buy a ticket where the price is per person
  • wait in line to buy over-priced unhealthy snacks of a very limited selection
  • wait in line to use a dirty bathroom
  • sit in an uncomfortable seat
  • deal with a very limited amount of leg room
  • deal with people's heads in the way
  • deal with rude people talking, cell phones ringing, kids crying, etc.
  • you will need a crowbar to pry your feet off the floor before you leave

I think I'll stick to movies at home...

  • it's cheaper (costs the same amount for just me or the entire family)
  • a lot less waiting in lines
  • the food is better, healthier, and cheaper
  • the bathroom is clean
  • my seats are comfortable
  • I can stretch my legs out and put my feet up
  • I can take off my shoes
  • I won't need a crowbar
  • And if anyone makes noise, I can throw them out (hmm...maybe I will still need that crowbar after all)

Edvard

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2011, 01:33:52 PM »
^ +1.

I don't think I've EVER referred to motion picture entertainment viewed in my own home on the television as a "film".
My dad's super-8 home movies projected on a bedsheet tacked to the wall, ehhhh... OK.
Also, if it's on Tape, DVD or YouTube, it's even more commonly referred to as a "video", so we have another category to deal with, but I agree that "film" and "video" are terms inherited from the medium they are taken from, rather than a reference to the actual presentation.

So,
If it's a feature-length motion picture presentation, it can always be called a "movie", regardless of the medium.
If it's viewed at a theater, "movie" and "film" equally apply, although weighted toward "film" if it's of foreign (e.g. Anywhere but the US ;) ) origin.
If it's viewed at home on a television or monitor, "video" and "movie" equally apply, but never "film".
If it's viewed at home on a television or monitor and it is not a feature-length motion picture presentation, it will only be a "video", never a "movie".
My dad's super-8's projected on the bedsheet are never a "video", always a "movie" (with the qualifying prefix "home", as in "home movie"), but may qualify as a "film" if it's one of his amateur feature-length productions (of which he made two, BTW).

There's a Venn Diagram waiting to happen here...

tomos

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2011, 01:57:13 PM »
to me, movie is American English.
It does get used this side of the Atlantic too, but still has an exotic 50's air about it. Of course if you grew up in the 90's as opposed to the 70's YMMV.
I presume it came from "moving pictures", although I only see the term "motion pictures" here.
Tom

jgpaiva

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2011, 02:23:54 PM »
If you are viewing it at home, it is unlikely to be a film unless you own projection equipment and have access to the reels. If it is on a television or a PC screen, it is NOT a film.

To view a film today, one has to
(..)

I think I'll stick to movies at home...
(..)

Well, I'd say that with digital projections at cinemas today, not even there you see a "film" anymore.

But I do get your point. For me, as I watch movies at home in my laptop, I'd rather see at least some movies (or is it films? :P) at the cinema, especially those where the visuals matter. "Avatar" is the first that comes to mind: if I saw it at home, I'd hate it. At the cinema, it was a bit better than entertaining.

Also, related to trouble with noisy people at the movies, maybe you're just going to the wrong cinemas: http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs :)
The point about being the same price for one person or the whole family makes a lot of sense, though!

JavaJones

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2011, 04:12:25 PM »
Defining the theater experience as "film" just because it *may* be projected through film (increasingly unlikely these days as jgpaiva mentioned with digital projection) is pretty silly IMO. If that's the case now, it won't be for long.

I think the original posters were going right along with the snobbish stupidity that 40hz calls out above:
Quote
when I was in college, some people insisted on using the term "film" to designate better quality motion pictures and used the word "movie' in a derogatory sense - mostly when referring to American motion pictures. Non-US made movies were always called "films" and usually prefixed with the word "foreign" as in: "foreign films."

Still the posters are nicely designed and presented. :D

- Oshyan

Stephen66515

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2011, 11:37:28 PM »
Here in England, I know I use the term 'Film' more than 'Movie'  ("Hey, you wanna grab some food and watch a film tonight?")

My take on the difference in this context though, is as follows:

Film:
     Documentary Recording
     French Subtitled Stuff

Movie:
     Any other feature length title (Spiderman, Mr. Poppers Penguins, etc)

rsatrioadi

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2011, 01:11:44 AM »
app103 - Fortunately (or is it unfortunately?) where I live, a cinema that plays better movies (which means any movie other than cheap erotic ones) is still considered a luxury. That means they have good and clean restrooms, comfy chairs, and pretty spacious leg room. Better (or worse) yet, buying a DVD is actually even more expensive than paying ticket for 5. The taxes are too damn high. We still have to deal with annoying people though, and having a DVD means we can watch it over and over. I myself prefer to go to the cinema for visually pleasing movies and buy DVDs for more complex movies that I would watch more than once. For other movies I'd just borrow from my friends (rental is not very popular here). :P

Oh, and one of the best advantages of watching a DVD is we can pause it at any time should we need to go to the toilet or fetch some snacks. :P

fenixproductions

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Re: Film vs. Movie?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2011, 02:54:05 AM »
I've always thought that film / theatre are British while movie / cinema - American.

Well, even my English (UK) Spell Checker in Firefox gives the "movie" wavy red line :)