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Moving Pictures: For People of Average Intelligence

assAn interesting feature of The Moving Picture News is a section entitled American Consulate Reports, which brings movie news from abroad. In Vol IV, No. 38 (1911:24) there is an account from Barcelona, Spain stating that theaters “are crowded at almost any time of the day and especially on Sundays, when thousands of people can be seen waiting outside until they can obtain entrance”, and that “American films are fairly well represented here, among the most popular being the Vitagraph, Edison, Biograph and others”. Despite their popularity, it was also noted that it is “complained that certain American makes are too long and complicated, and for this reason do not find general favor among the public”. My first thought was that this is likely a language and/or cultural issue, but was surprised to discover that the problem was attributed to the audience. “Owing to the average intelligence of the class of people who frequent the cheaper theaters, it is necessary that the plots of the dramatic and comical films be very simple, as otherwise they are not understood” (Klaus Ming January 2016).

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4 comments on “Moving Pictures: For People of Average Intelligence

  1. TSorensen
    01/12/2016

    Fantastic! I love this.

    • Klaus
      01/12/2016

      Glad you enjoyed 🙂 Some funny stuff in the early trade magazines.

  2. TSorensen
    01/13/2016

    Going to Barcelona tomorrow. I will check if the statement is still valid 🙂

    • Klaus
      01/13/2016

      Looking forward to your report from abroad!

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This entry was posted on 01/11/2016 by in Film History, Silent Film Musings.
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