what is the difference between a "movie" and a "film"?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ForresterW, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. ForresterW

    ForresterW Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, please let me know the difference between a "movie" and a "film", if there is any. Which would be called a "movie" and which would be called a "film", and why?

    To me the difference is like a bunny and a rabbit, which is none. But I am not too well educated so please let me know, would ya?

    thanks
     
  2. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    For me, they are one and the same. Both words are interchangeable. But I prefer to use "film".

    So let's see what Encarta has to say:

     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Sounds to me like you nailed it. [​IMG]
     
  4. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    While the two are interchangeable I've always felt that film has the connotation of referring to a work of art as opposed to a movie which is deemed more like a consumer product.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    A movie is any sort of moving picture, be it TV or a DTV project or an MPEG on your hard drive. Film is printed to film, meaning theatrical exhibition.

    Of course, that's just an overly literal interpretation of etymology. They're actually the same thing.
     
  6. MichaelBryant

    MichaelBryant Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it has two meanings. In a literal sense "film" is a one type of material used to capture motion picture images. For example 28 Days Later could not be considered a film if you use this defintion.

    The word film is also used to differentiate between a popcorn "movie" (ex: Charlie's Angels Full Throttle) or an art "film" (ex: 3 Women) One is designed to turn off your brain, while the other is designed to stimulate your mind.

    Whenever someone tells you to "leave your brain at the door" in order to watch a flick they are talking about a movie and not a film. I often wonder if people who follow this advice ever forget to pick their brain back up when they leave the theater.
     
  7. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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  8. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    I tend to use both terms. Then there's other variants such as 'flick' or 'picture'
    I mostly refer to brainless summer movies as 'crap'
     
  9. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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  10. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Yeah, it's like a very broad genre.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I'd vote for interchangeable. One man's masterpiece is another man's trash. Trying to classify flicks into two classes - films and movies - serves only to cause disagreement.

    (And for the record, I personally consider Spiderman and its ilk films[​IMG])
     
  12. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    To denote a film as a work of art you are assuming that it refers to an 'art film' beause they would not necessarily be a high budget item, like a movie would.

    I think that 'art film' is going to have to be replaced simply because the art films won't be done on actual film much longer. Any ideas?

    Glenn
     
  13. ELLIOTTsf

    ELLIOTTsf Auditioning

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    wasn't "movie" originally supposed to be an americanism .

    for instance here in the UK "movies" would normally be called "films" but with so much americanisation of world culture they've become completely interchangable.
     
  14. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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  15. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I've always considered the interchangeable nature of the two words an attempt by people, to show that they are more 'high brow' than others.

    On Magnolia:
    High Brow Wannabee:
    "Lovie and I attended the most magnificent film presentation this weekend"

    Kevin Smith:
    "that movie was the most pretentious piece of crap ever!"

    *disclaimer*
    These views are not shared by the post author, the HTF or it's subsidiaries.
    The names used in this post are completely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or deceased is purely coincidental. [​IMG]
     
  16. DougFND

    DougFND Second Unit

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    She and I will attend a viewing of a film at the local cinema.

    Me and her are gonna go to a movie at the mall while them other high-fallootin types are goin to see a "film".

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Pete-D

    Pete-D Screenwriter

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    For movie goers, this is really a non-topic as the two are interchangable words.

    For a DIRECTOR though, it becomes a bit more serious.

    The producer of Chocolat (I forget his name, but he's old school and has produced a ton of films) was also a producer on JAWS, and apparently at first Spielberg didn't want to make Jaws according to him.

    Young Steven wanted to make "films", not "movies". To which the wise old producer said "Steven, you make this movie and you'll be able to make all the films you want".

    But I don't think that neccessarily means a "film" is some art house expression project. "E.T." to Spielberg is a film. The reason for that is his close personal attachement to the story. For a director, I think that's the difference. Something like Jurassic Park or Jaws to Spielberg are "movies". Schindler's List or E.T. would be "films".
     
  18. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    It interchangable to most people. but film is a snooty way to say movie.

    Oliver Stone was supposedly quoted as saying "Quintin (Tarrantino) makes movies, I make films." so that kind of gives you an idea of where this can go.

    It's all subjective to what a person likes anyways, but if I was to take the above to account, I have to admit, I'm more of a movie guy.
     
  19. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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  20. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Technically, even if one was going to make the case that Edison, an American invented films, it was actually WKL Dickson, a BRIT who worked for Edison, who invented it for him (Edison was interested in the idea, but had Dickson invent the common 35mm format now).

    Dickson is an uncredited pioneer, sadly. He invented not only the 35mm Edison format, he REINVENTED it for the Biograph company, to get around Edison's patents. He also invented sound film in 1895.

    The Lumiére brothers go back further and they were French. Auguste LePrincé is the earliest known film inventor-- a Frenchman.

    The difference between "film" and "movies is pretension and vernacular.
     

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