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This encyclopedia presents a wealth of information on early cinema history, with coverage of the techniques and equipment of film production, profiles of the pioneering directors and producers, analysis of individual films and the rapid growth of distinct film genres, and the emergence of something the world had never seen before - the movie star. The work also focuses on how the nature of film exhibition changed as the industry grew, and how the public's reception to films also changed. The pre-cinema period is closely examined to show those mass-cultural forms and practices - such as music hall and vaudeville - from within which cinema was to emerge. A perfect companion for any student of early cinema and film studies.
Corporeality in Early Cinema inspires a heightened awareness of the ways in which early film culture, and screen praxes overall are inherently embodied. Contributors argue that on- and offscreen (and in affiliated media and technological constellations), the body consists of flesh and nerves and is not just an abstract spectator or statistical audience entity. Audience responses from arousal to disgust, from identification to detachment, offer us a means to understand what spectators have always taken away from their cinematic experience. Through theoretical approaches and case studies, scholars offer a variety of models for stimulating historical research on corporeality and cinema by exploring the matrix of screened bodies, machine-made scaffolding, and their connections to the physical bodies in front of the screen.
The Sounds of Early Cinema is devoted exclusively to a little-known, yet absolutely crucial phenomenon: the ubiquitous presence of sound in early cinema. "Silent cinema" may rarely have been silent, but the sheer diversity of sound(s) and sound/image relations characterizing the first 20 years of moving picture exhibition can still astonish us. Whether instrumental, vocal, or mechanical, sound ranged from the improvised to the pre-arranged (as in scripts, scores, and cue sheets). The practice of mixing sounds with images differed widely, depending on the venue (the nickelodeon in Chicago versus the summer Chautauqua in rural Iowa, the music hall in London or Paris versus the newest palace cinema in New York City) as well as on the historical moment (a single venue might change radically, and many times, from 1906 to 1910). Contributors include Richard Abel, Rick Altman, Edouard Arnoldy, Mats Björkin, Stephen Bottomore, Marta Braun, Jean Châteauvert, Ian Christie, Richard Crangle, Helen Day-Mayer, John Fullerton, Jane Gaines, André Gaudreault, Tom Gunning, François Jost, Charlie Keil, Jeff Klenotic, Germain Lacasse, Neil Lerner, Patrick Loughney, David Mayer, Domi-nique Nasta, Bernard Perron, Jacques Polet, Lauren Rabinovitz, Isabelle Raynauld, Herbert Reynolds, Gregory A. Waller, and Rashit M. Yangirov.
While many studies have been written on national cinemas, Early Cinema and the "National" is the first anthology to focus on the concept of national film culture from a wide methodological spectrum of interests, including not only visual and narrative forms, but also international geopolitics, exhibition and marketing practices, and pressing linkages to national imageries. The essays in this richly illustrated, landmark anthology are devoted to reconsidering the nation as a framing category for writing cinema history. Many of the 34 contributors show that concepts of a national identity played a role in establishing the parameters of cinema's early development, from technological change to discourses of stardom, from emerging genres to intertitling practices. Yet, as others attest, national meanings could often become knotty in other contexts, when concepts of nationhood were contested in relation to colonial/imperial histories and regional configurations. Early Cinema and the "National" takes stock of a formative moment in cinema history, tracing the beginnings of the process whereby nations learned to imagine themselves through moving images.
In The Image in Early Cinema, the contributors examine intersections between early cinematic form, technology, theory, practice, and broader modes of visual culture. They argue that early cinema emerged within a visual culture composed of a variety of traditions in art, science, education, and image making. Even as methods of motion picture production and distribution materialized, they drew from and challenged practices and conventions in other mediums. This rich visual culture produced a complicated, overlapping network of image-making traditions, innovations, and borrowing among painting, tableaux vivants, photography, and other pictorial and projection practices. Using a variety of concepts and theories, the contributors explore these crisscrossing traditions and work against an essentialist notion of media to conceptualize the dynamic interrelationship between images and their context.
This book introduces the reader to the study of cinema as a series of aesthetic, technological, cultural, ideological and economic debates while exploring new and challenging approaches to the subject. It explores the period 1895 to 1914 when cinema established itself as the leading form of visual culture among rapidly expanding global media, emerging from a rich tradition of scientific, economic, entertainment and educational practices and quickly developing as a worldwide institution.
In the twenty years preceding the First World War, cinema rapidly developed from a fairground curiosity into a major industry and social institution, a source of information and entertainment for millions of people. Only recently have film scholars and historians begun to study these early years of cinema in their own right and not simply as first steps towards the classical narrative cinema we now associate with Hollywood. The essays in this collection trace the fascinating history of how the cinema developed its forms of storytelling and representation and how it evolved into a complex industry with Hollywood rapidly acquiring a dominant role. These issues can be seen to arise from new readings of the so-called pioneers - Melies, Lumiere, Porter, and Griffith - while also suggesting new perspectives on major European filmmakers of the 1910s and 20s. Editor Thomas Elsaesser complements the contributions from leading British, American, and European scholars with introductory essays of his own that provide a comprehensive overview of the field. The volume is the most authoritative survey to date of a key area of contemporary film research, invaluable to historians as well as to students of cinema.
An authoritative and much-needed overview of the main issues in thefield of early cinema from over 30 leading international scholarsin the field First collection of its kind to offer in one reference:original theory, new research, and reviews of existing studies inthe field Features over 30 original essays from some of the leadingscholars in early cinema and Film Studies, including Tom Gunning,Jane Gaines, Richard Abel, Thomas Elsaesser, and AndréGaudreault Caters to renewed interest in film studies’ historicalmethods, with strict analysis of multiple and competing sources,providing a critical re-contextualization of films, printedmaterial and technologies Covers a range of topics in early cinema, such as exhibition,promotion, industry, pre-cinema, and film criticism Broaches the latest research on the subject of archivalpractices, important particularly in the current digitalcontext
Invented in the 1890s and premiered in Paris by the Lumière brothers, the cinematograph along with Louis Le Prince's single-lens camera projector are considered by film historians to be the precursors to modern-day motion picture devices. These early movies were often shown in town halls, on fairgrounds, and in theaters, requiring special showmanship skills to effectively work the equipment and entertain onlookers. Within the last decade, film archives and film festivals have unearthed this lost art and have featured outstanding examples of the culture of early cinema reconfigured for today's audiences.
Early Cinema in Asia explores how cinema became a popular medium in the world's largest and most diverse continent. Beginning with the end of Asia's colonial period in the 19th century, contributors to this volume document the struggle by pioneering figures to introduce the medium of film to the vast continent, overcoming geographic, technological, and cultural difficulties. As an early form of globalization, film's arrival and phenomenal growth throughout various Asian countries penetrated not only colonial territories but also captivated collective states of imagination. With the coming of the 20th century, the medium that began as mere entertainment became a means for communicating many of the cultural identities of the region's ethnic nationalities, as they turned their favorite pastime into an expression of their cherished national cultures. Covering diverse locations, including China, India, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Iran, and the countries of the Pacific Islands, contributors to this volume reveal the story of early cinema in Asia, helping us to understand the first seeds of a medium that has since grown deep roots in the region.
When watching the latest instalment of Batman, it is perfectly normal to say that we see Batman fighting Bane or that we see Bruce Wayne making love to Miranda Tate. We would not say that we see Christian Bale dressed up as Batman going through the motions of punching Tom Hardy dressed up us Bane. Nor do we say that we see Christian Bale pretending to be Bruce Wayne making love with Marion Cotillard, who is playacting the role Miranda Tate. But if we look at the history of cinema and consider contemporary reviews from the early days of the medium, we see that people thought precisely in this way about early film. They spoke of film as no more than documentary recordings of actors performing on set. In an innovative combination of philosophical aesthetics and new cinema history, Mario Slugan investigates how our default imaginative engagement with film changed over the first two decades of cinema. It addresses not only the importance of imagination for the understanding of early cinema but also contributes to our understanding of what it means for a representational medium to produce fictions. Specifically, Slugan argues that cinema provides a better model for understanding fiction than literature.
The visionaries of early motion pictures thought that movies could do more than just entertain. They imagined the medium had the potential to educate and motivate the audience. In national and local contexts from Europe, North America, and around the world, early filmmakers entered the domains of science and health education, social and religious uplift, labor organizing and political campaigning. Beyond the Screen captures this pioneering vision of the future of cinema.
Remnants of early films often have a story to tell. As material artifacts, these film fragments are central to cinema history, perhaps more than ever in our digital age of easy copying and sharing. If a digital copy is previewed before preservation or is shared with a researcher outside the purview of a film archive, knowledge about how the artifact was collected, circulated, and repurposed threatens to become obscured. When the question of origin is overlooked, the story can be lost. Concerned contributors in Provenance and Early Cinema challenge scholars digging through film archives to ask, "How did these moving images get here for me to see them?" This volume, which features the conference proceedings from Domitor, the International Society for the Study of Early Cinema, 2018, questions preservation, attribution, and patterns of reuse in order to explore singular artifacts with long and circuitous lives.
This book examines the development of cinematic form and culture in Russia, from its late nineteenth-century beginnings as a fairground attraction to the early post-Revolutionary years. The author traces the changing perceptions of cinema and its social transition from a modernist invention to a national art form. He explores reactions to the earliest films from actors, novelists, poets, writers and journalists. His richly detailed study of the physical elements of cinematic performance includes the architecture and illumination of the cinema foyer, the speed of projection and film acoustics. In contrast to standard film histories, this book focuses on reflected images: rather than discussing films and film-makers, it features the historical film-goer and early writings on film. The book presents a vivid and changing picture of cinema culture in Russia in the twilight of the tsarist era and the first decades of the twentieth century. The study expands the whole context of reception studies and opens up questions about reception relevant to other national cinemas.
Vividly bringing to light the tradition of physical comedy in the French cabaret, cafe-concert, and early French film comedy, this book answers the perplexing question, "Why do the French love Jerry Lewis?" It shows how Lewis touches a nerve in the French cultural memory because, more than any other film comic, he incarnates a distinctively French tradition of performance style."
From popular and 'New Wave' pre-revolutionary films of Fereydoon Goleh and Abbas Kiarostami to post-revolutionary films of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the Iranian cinema has produced a range of films and directors that have garnered international fame and earned a global following. Golbarg Rekabtalaei takes a unique look at Iranian cosmopolitanism and how it transformed in the Iranian imagination through the cinematic lens. By examining the development of Iranian cinema from the early twentieth century to the revolution, Rekabtalaei locates discussions of modernity in Iranian cinema as rooted within local experiences, rather than being primarily concerned with Western ideals or industrialisation. Her research further illustrates how the ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity of Iran's citizenry shaped a heterogeneous culture and a cosmopolitan cinema that was part and parcel of Iran's experience of modernity. In turn, this cosmopolitanism fed into an assertion of sovereignty and national identity in a modernising Iran in the decades leading up to the revolution.
The first anthology in a rapidly expanding area of cinema studies.

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