TCM's seven part series Moguls and Movie Stars imparts a history of movie making from the late 17th century to the 6th decade of the 20th century. Some may be surprised to learn that while movie making came of age in Hollywood, it was not born there. Cinema's impetus resulted from an device by Danish mathematician Thomas Rasmussen Walgensten. Walgensten's invention was upgraded by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. The device was a prototype slide projector known as Laterna Magica or "a magic lantern". Theoretically it was actually the ancient Greeks, and later Leonardo da Vinci who first had the idea for such a contraption, but there is no documentation that they were able to produce a functioning projector.
Jumping ahead a few centuries to New Jersey in the USA, the "wizard of menlo park" Thomas Alva Edison announces he "plans to create an instrument that would do for the eyes, what the phonograph does for the ears".
Fear not gentle viewer, TCM's doc does not limit itself to science and formulae. The series effortlessly flows toward the grit, gossip, glam, and glitz that evolved into modern day Hollywood.
TCM's Moguls And Movie Stars airs new episodes Mondays at 8:00pm with a replay at 11:00pm and on Wednesdays at 10:00pm If you've missed the previous week's installment those episodes replay Mondays at 7:00pm
As always suggested, please check your local listings.