Obviously there are many aspects that influence film and its development. The history of movies/film, although only a century old, is rich and complex. .
This essay tries to bring light into the roots of film by focusing on two main movements that have very much helped shape the techniques of contemporary film making. - German Expressionism and Formalism, both of which occurred in the 1910's and mainly in the 1920's.
Both these movements resulted in influential developments in film theory and a distinctive body of films that are still considered important by nowadays film makers.
Elements like economics, politics, war, aesthetics, art, literature and culture also played a big role within these movements and will also be touched on.
It all started with the Great War that crippled the people in Europe not only emotionally but also economically.
German Expressionism developed in the 1920's during the period of recovery following World War I. .
Although the German film industry was booming, filmmakers found it difficult to create movies because of the hard economic times and because of the big competition with Hollywood.
The debacle of World War I and the rise of the Fascist governments in Italy and Germany that shattered the economies of the European continent and stunted the growth of the industry there, assured the international dominance of the American corporations. .
In Europe, the concept of cinema as art had appeared early and developed in tandem with the concept of cinema as business. The film d'art movement in France dated from 1908. Film d'arte italiana followed quickly. After the war, avant-garde experiments liberally punctuated French cinema, and theorists began to treat the medium more seriously, as coequal with literature and the fine arts.
In Germany, UFA set about consciously raising the aesthetic standards of German film and producing films that were not only popular but also carried with them the cachet of art.