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known to require description—the close, mechanical, and is entirely in keeping with fetid air, which is never purified and seldom the present jazz-fed, mechanistic age. The freshened, and the narrow, dark room, American people have always been known which the light of day, with its germ-killing for a lack of poise; now they are becoming properties, never penetrates, are the rule nervous, high-strung and easily irritated. rather than the exception. The sounds The movies are in a greater or lesser degree of coughing are frequently heard. Into this responsible for this condition, which will germ-laden, disease-breeding place comes continue to grow and will become a marked the youth of the nation—that youth which American characteristic. And it is the should be, in its formative adolescence, children whose formative years are spent in building strong bodies and storing energy movie theatres rather than in wholesome for the future. But that is not all. Pitiable outdoor amusements who will in after as it is to see these children of ten, twelve, years “pay the price." fifteen, seventeen and eighteen spending Had the movies no intellectual or moral their golden hours in such unhealthful aftermath, the physical dangers would surely surroundings, does it not seem almost
seem almost be enough to proscribe them. But uncriminal to bring babies of one, two and fortunately that is not all. It is commonly three years into such places as a movie conceded that the movies have arrived only theatre? But who has not seen that done? at that stage of cultural advancement that
The most important physical effect of the legitimate stage had attained thirtythe movies is in regard to the impairment five or forty years ago. In other words, of vision which slowly, but inevitably re- they are “'way behind the times” as far as sults. Even in the comparatively short time literary or theatrical development is conthat the movies have been in existence, cerned. People will praise in a movie the there has been a noticeable decrease in same thing that they would decry and scoff optical efficiency. There are more people at on the stage. We have, by a slow growth, wearing glasses than there were ten years attained to a certain level of excellence in ago, and the wearing of glasses by very play production, and the playwright who young children is no longer an unusual does not come up to these standards is not thing as it once I have heard a tolerated. Of course playwriting and play number of physicians speak of the great production have attained these standards danger that is being done to the eyesight of only through a growth of centuries, from the children of this generation solely because earliest miracle plays, pageants and masques, of movies. The strain on the eyes when through the periods of the sentimental watching a movie is comparable to the drama, the slap-stick comedy, the meloeffect of looking out of the window of a drama, the burlesque, and the more recent moving train at the rapidly changing land- problem play until we come to the praisescape. Everyone knows how very tired the worthy modernity of the best modern eyes become after a few hours of such a drama. The movie is now where the procedure. They become just as tired theatre was in the 1890's, still reveling in when watching a movie, but one's absorption spectacular and melodramatic situations. in the picture prevents one from noticing There is, however, a hope for improvement in the strain on the eyes. This is in striking this direction, an improvement which can contrast to the calmness and smoothness even now be noticed. of action in a play on the legitimate stage. The important intellectual effect of the
The rapid, and rather jerky mechanical movie, however, is not in the "old-fashionedmovement of the pictures on the screen ness" of its plots, but in the utter passivity of produces a nerve strain that is seldom the spectator. I know of no other form of realized. The whole manner of production entertainment in which one puts forth so and operation of a moving picture is purely little mental effort. Everything is explained
and diagramed. The mind is merely a have been other contributing factors. But sponge, and only needs to absorb. "No no other single element has continually, processes of assimilation, selection, and de- consciously, and consistently presented to duction are necessary. Perception is the the youth of the nation, pictures of licenonly mental effort involved, and perception tiousness and crime every night of the alone never makes for mental growth. week. Even in the so-called educational and news It seems almost mid-Victorian in this reels, a mass of unrelated and non-coördinated broad-minded (?) age to speak disparagingly and usually uninteresting facts are flashed of the private life of actors and actresses. before the spectator-facts which the mind “Don't be old-fashioned,” someone will say. does not retain, and which would be of little Or, “Other people are just as bad. It's only value if they were retained. Anyone can that everyone knows about the people in easily recall a typical news reel—first there the movies.” And that is exactly the point. is the food somewhere in Ohio, or possibly Everyone does know about the actors in the Mississippi; then the funeral of some New movies-it is quite the thing to be "up" York city official; next a few glimpses of the all the doings of the idols of the moment. latest football or polo or baseball game; then Their pictures, their divorces, their scandals a close-up of Elsie Janis or Mary Garden or are featured in every newspaper. Their possibly Jack Dempsey, as he or she is biographies appear in the most reputable of leaving for, or returning from, Europe; and magazines. They furnish the models for lastly and inevitably, an airplane view of the dance steps, for styles of hairdressing, for Thames, or the White Mountains or Coney clothes, for sports, for love-making, and for Island, or anything else that lends itself to heart-breaking. They are, in short, the the exigencies of the camera. Is there any
Is there any models, par excellence, for everything that thing of real educational value in any of is desirable in the youthful “sheik” or these, or anything that the mind retains "Alapper.” To have the melting brown eyes
" beyond the moment?
of a Valentino, or the bewitching charm of
а What now, is the moral effect of the a Colleen Moore, is to have attained the movies upon growing, and even mature pinnacle of youthful ambition. One could minds? That is more difficult to determine ask no more. with exactness. We cannot prove, we can Perhaps you think I have exaggerated, only judge by evidence and inference. have overdrawn the picture. Maybe the We do know definitely that the movie movies are “not as bad as they're pictured.” contains the most sexually suggestive ele- Surely there are some good pictures, which ments. It shows lawlessness and crime in are uplifting rather than degrading. All all their horror and brutality. It pictures right, let us, for a moment, take a city newsdrunkenness in its most licentious aspects. paper for any day of the week, and turn to Home and family relations are made sub- the descriptions and advertisements of the jects of jest and ridicule. The portraying of movies. Here is what we find in to-day's the sinister aspects of crime, drunkenness, issue of a great newspaper (omitting the and the rest, does not act as an object lesson names of the theatres). to the adolescent. Quite the reverse. The Exclusive Chicago showing-Rex movie serves to glorify indecency and im- Beach's “Winds of Chance." Emotions morality solely by its graphic presentation! seething in Gold Mad Klondike; life with Small hope of any object lesson there! the lid torn off. Frank Lloyd, creator of
We know absolutely that crime, particu- the "Sea Hawk," has put the same flame of larly that committed by youthful offenders, adventure and romance into “Winds of has increased tremendously within the last Chance." You'll love his countess, a girl twenty years. The blame for this cannot be of ice and fire, snow and gold. attributed wholly to the movies. There 2. It's here—terrific-vibrant and glori
ous. You'll never forget. “The Phantom of “The Passionate Adventure" the Opera,” with Lon Chaney and cast of
“The Palace of Pleasure" 5000.
“The Girl from Montmartre 3. “The Beautiful City.” An Angel- Further comment about the moral and Faced Boy of the Slums—and a Laughing spiritual influence of the movies is hardly Irish Colleen Who Could Fight as Quickly necessary. Such evidence does not speak as She Could Smile.
for itself, it cries aloud. 4. “Mannequin. ” The Romance of a How, then, is this situation to be remedied? Model-Her Pitfalls-Her Loves-Her Destructive criticism is valueless unless it at Temptations-Her Fascinating Life. least points the way toward a solution. The
a 5. "The Eagle.” Here are two hours away purpose of this article, however, is not to from the cold of Chicago into the warmth of plan a constructive campaign. That the Romance. You'll forget everything but the physical conditions of moving picture theawooing of Vilma and Rudy! “The Eagle” tres have been and can still be improved is is romantic adventure that sweeps you off not to be questioned. That the moral influyour feet. Louise Dresser as the flirtatious ence of the movies may be bettered is possible Czarina-how you'll enjoy her!
--if the right sort of action be taken. That The following titles, taken exactly as they the intellectual effect of moving pictures can come, without any selective process, are be altered is still a debatable question. By descriptive enough, with any advertising the very nature of the moving picture, the 'copy."
spectator must remain in that passive, “The Merry Widow"
plastic state which is the surest deterrent to “Why Women Love"
all mental development. The movies, then, “The Tower of Lies”
must be reckoned with as a potent influence “Woman Handled”
in the field of education. That they are now "Sporting Chance"
a destructive influence, it is easy to demon“Grand Duchess and the Waiter" strate. That they may become a construc“The Unguarded Hour"
tive and efficacious influence is the sincere “When Husbands Flirt"
hope of every clear-thinking and progressive “Wages for Wives"
worker in the realm of education.
It Will be So with Education.-"Business now is based upon factsstatistical, technical, scientific. Corporation executives do very little guessing about the factors of their problems; they collect all available current information and past experience, and then employ skilled men to digest it and project this knowledge upon the future. Decisions are made upon common sense deductions from these probabilities.”
-WALTER S. GIFFORD, as reported by FRENCH STROTHER in World's Work. June, 1926.
Good-Bye Dullness.—“In accordance with this law, if something we do proves to be satisfying we tend to repeat it or to continue it as long as it continues to satisfy us; but if what we do proves to be annoying we tend not to repeat the activity or to discontinue it. This is the emotional side of learning. Here belong interest on the part of the pupil and motivation as a duty of the teacher. Games, applications of knowledge or skill, projects, the sense of achievement—these are some of the positive aspects of the application of the law of effect."
-B. R. BUCKINGHAM, Research for Teachers.