The Man Who Wasn’t There

1949, Santa Rosa, California. A laconic, chain-smoking barber with fallen arches tells a story of a man trying to escape a humdrum life. It’s a tale of suspected adultery, blackmail, foul play, death, Sacramento city slickers, racial slurs, invented war heroics, shaved legs, a gamine piano player, aliens, and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

Before you go into the detailed story- have you ever thought about how movies have emerged as a successful form of entertainment.  It is a long story.  Why not find out more?

Before movies came, people had to kill boredom with dramas and magic shows.  We do not have a clear history to trace the origin of film making.  However, it starts with the screening of commercials created by the Lumiere brothers in 1895.    Before this, the movies were just a minute long.  But Lumiere brothers pioneered the creation of motion pictures.

Soon this resulted in the creation of longer motion pictures with recorded sound.  The building of studios started in 1897.  In early 1900, various technical concepts like shooting successive shots, close-up shots etc. were introduced.  In 1905, a permanent theatre called ‘The Nickelodeon” was built to play movies.  From the year 1910, American movies grew popular in Australia and Europe.

Improvements in various fields of moviemaking like- Artificial and low-key lighting were introduced during this stage.  In the 1920s, the United States started producing an average of 800 films per year.  From then on there was no looking back. In late 1920s various technological development in sound recording came into practice.

The world war II resulted in increased popularity of movies.  Many movies were created based on war-time stories.  In the 1950s there was a slight set back due to the introduction of television.  Few theatres had to be closed because of bankruptcy.  But the setback was temporary.  Nothing could match the experience of watching movies.  So, film making was once again blooming.  Many academies and organizations offered patronage to movies of non-English languages also.   Slowly film making has reached the current stage.  Back to the story of the Man who wasn’t there.

Ed Crane cuts hair in his in-law’s shop; his wife drinks and may be having an affair with her boss, Big Dave, who has $10,000 to invest in a second department store. Ed gets wind of a chance to make money in dry cleaning. Blackmail and investment are his opportunity to be more than a man no one notices. Settle in the chair and listen.