Ever wondered how film has evolved over the years? From silent movies to movies made completely through CGI, what goes on the big screen has definitely changed drastically. 

One Hundred Years of Cinema is a YouTube channel that was set up in 2016 in an ambitious attempt to analyse a film from every year, starting with 1915. It aims to document how the industry has flourished over the years – from the simple films of the early 1900s to the complex blockbusters of today.

Videos are done by year and topic, starting with the invention of cinema from 1888 to 1914 and the latest exploring Alfred Hitchcock’s obsessions with love, violence and the psycho-sexual.

Additionally, the channel produces a number of ‘special edition’ videos such as inquiring about the history of Japanese horror and a short introduction to Michael Curtiz’s career (famed for Casablanca).

One that we found interesting was from 1928: Steamboat Willie – The Surprising Origin of Mickey Mouse.

The video starts off introducing the beginnings of Mickey Mouse, and how it was created by Walt Disney in 1923 under Disney Bros. Studio. Everything is presented in a chronological order, allowing the viewer to understand the progression of Mickey’s growth. It also mentions how Disney drew inspiration from movies that were on the market then, and improved on their techniques – for example, adding a greater variety of synchronised sounds to the animations.

The videos on this channel range from 3 to 12 minutes. The 36 episodes that are currently on the channel are as follows:

  1. The Invention of Cinema
  2. 1915: The Birth of A Nation: Hollywood’s first motion picture
  3. 1916: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  4. 1917: The Butcher Boy
  5. 1918: The Ghost of Slumber Mountain
  6. 1919: How the Rotoscope changed animation forever
  7. 1920: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari: The first psychological horror film
  8. 1921: How Charlie Chaplin invented the dramady (dramatic comedy)
  9. 1922: How Nosferatu laid the groundwork for gothic cinema
  10. 1922: How Robert Flaherty invented the modern documentary
  11. 1923: How Cecil B created the blueprint for the Biblical Epic
  12. 1924: What do possessed hands movies tell us about fear?
  13. 1925: How Sergei Eisenstein Used Montage to film the unfilmable
  14. 1926: The origin of colour cinema
  15. 1927: How cinema changed the way we see the future
  16. 1927: How the movies learnt to talk
  17. A short history of the horror film (1890s – 2010s)
  18. 1928: The Origin of Mickey Mouse
  19. 1928: The powerful psychology of the close-up
  20. 1929: What makes something cinema?
  21. 1930: Is there no such thing as an anti-war film?
  22. 1931: Dracula, Frankenstein, and the beginning of universal horror
  23. 1931: How cinema asks a difficult question
  24. 1932: Scarface – defining the American gangster film
  25. 1933: How early special effects created the 8th wonder of the world
  26. 1933: How satire works
  27. A short history of Japanese horror
  28. 1934: It happened one night – defining the screwball comedy
  29. 1935: The Power of Propaganda
  30. 1936: Hiroshi Shimizu – the forgotten master of Japanese cinema
  31. 1937: Snow White – the making of Walt’s first masterpiece
  32. 1938: The adventures of Robin Hood
  33. A short introduction to the career of Michael Curtiz
  34. 1939: The Wizard of Oz – the magic of the movie musical
  35. 1939: Stagecoach – How John Ford saved the Western
  36. 1940: Rebecca – Hitchcock’s obsessions… Love, Violence and the Psycho-sexual

Explore the channel here. 

This post is co-authored by student assistant Sam Wen Xin and Digital Scholarship executive Nursyafiqah.