Film 1900
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213 pages
English

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Description

Transformations in media culture in the early 20th century


The current digital revolution has sparked a renewed interest in the origins and trajectory of modern media, particularly in the years around 1900 when the technology was rapidly developing. This collection aims to broaden our understanding of early cinema as a significant innovation in media history. Joining traditional scholarship with fresh insights from a variety of disciplines, this book explains the aesthetic and institutional characteristics in early cinema within the context of the contemporary media landscape. It also addresses transcultural developments such as scientific revolutions, industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, as well as differing attitudes toward modernization. Film 1900 is an important reassessment of early cinema's position in cultural history.


Introduction: Triangulating a Turn: Film 1900 as Technology, Perception and Culture Annemone Ligensa
1. Archaeologies of Interactivity: Early Cinema, Narrative and Spectatorship Thomas Elsaesser
2. Viewing Change, Changing Views: The 'History of Vision'-Debate Frank Kessler
3. The Ambimodernity of Early Cinema Problems and Paradoxes in the Film-and-Modernity Discourse Ben Singer
4. Mind, the Gap: The Discovery of Physiological Time Henning Schmidgen
5. 'Is Everything Relative?': Cinema and the Revolution of Knowledge Around 1900 Harro Segeberg
6. The Aesthetic Idealist as Efficiency Engineer: Hugo Munsterberg's Theories of Perception, Psychotechnics and Cinema Jörg Schweinitz
7. Between Observation and Spectatorship: Medicine, Movies and Mass Culture in Imperial Germany Scott Curtis
8. The Scene of the Crime: Psychiatric Discourse on the Film Audience in Early Twentieth Century Germany Andreas Killen
9. Seen Through the Eyes of Simmel: The Cinema Programme as a 'Modern' Experience Andrea Haller
10. 'Under the Sign of the Cinematograph': Urban Mobility and Cinema Location in Wilhelmine Berlin Pelle Snickars
12. Perceptual Environments for Films: The Development of Cinema in Germany, 1895-1914 Joseph Garncarz
12. 'Fumbling Towards Some New Form of Art': The Changing Composition of Film Programmes in Britain, 1908-1914 Ian Christie and John Sedgwick
13. The Attraction of Motion: Modern Representation and the Image of Movement Tom Gunning
14. 'Dashing Down Upon the Audience': Notes on the Genesis of Filmic Perception Klaus Kreimeier
15. German Tonbilder of the 1900s: Advanced Technology and National Brand Martin Loiperdinger
16. Sculpting with Light: Early Film Style, Stereoscopic Vision and the Idea of a 'Plastic Art In Motion' Michael Wedel
17. 'A Cinematograph of Feminine Thought': The Dangerous Age, Cinema and Modern Women Annemone Ligensa
14. Cinema as a Mode(l) of Perception: Dorothy Richardson's Novels and Essays Nicola Glaubitz
Biographies of the Authors

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Publié par
Date de parution 05 octobre 2009
Nombre de lectures 21
EAN13 9780861969166
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Film 1900: Technology, Perception, Culture
Film 1900: Technology, Perception, Culture
Edited by Annemone Ligensa and Klaus Kreimeier
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Film 1900: Technology, Perception, Culture
A catalogue entry for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 9780 86196 696 7 (Paperback)






Ebook edition ISBN: 9780-86196-916-6
Ebook edition published by John Libbey Publishing Ltd, 3 Leicester Road, New Barnet, Herts EN5 5EW, United Kingdom e-mail: john.libbey@orange.fr ; web site: www.johnlibbey.com
Printed and electronic book orders (Worldwide): Indiana University Press , Herman B Wells Library – 350, 1320E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405, USA www.iupress.indiana.edu
© 2015 Copyright John Libbey Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Unauthorised duplication contravenes applicable laws.
Contents

Introduction     Triangulating a Turn: Film 1900 as Technology, Perception and Culture
Annemone Ligensa
Chapter 1          Archaeologies of Interactivity: Early Cinema, Narrative and Spectatorship
Thomas Elsaesser
Chapter 2          Viewing Change, Changing Views: The ‘History of Vision’-Debate
Frank Kessler
Chapter 3          The Ambimodernity of Early Cinema: Problems and Paradoxes in the Film-and-Modernity Discourse
Ben Singer
Chapter 4          Mind, the Gap: The Discovery of Physiological Time
Henning Schmidgen
Chapter 5          ‘Is Everything Relative?’: Cinema and the Revolution of Knowledge Around 1900
Harro Segeberg
Chapter 6          The Aesthetic Idealist as Efficiency Engineer: Hugo Münsterberg’s Theories of Perception, Psychotechnics and Cinema
Jörg Schweinitz
Chapter 7          Between Observation and Spectatorship: Medicine, Movies and Mass Culture in Imperial Germany
Scott Curtis
Chapter 8          The Scene of the Crime: Psychiatric Discourses on the Film Audience in Early Twentieth Century Germany
Andreas Killen
Chapter 9          Seen Through the Eyes of Simmel: The Cinema Programme as a ‘Modern’ Experience
Andrea Haller
Chapter 10        ‘Under the Sign of the Cinematograph’: Urban Mobility and Cinema Location in Wilhelmine Berlin
Pelle Snickars
Chapter 11        Perceptual Environments for Films: The Development of Cinema in Germany, 1895–1914
Joseph Garncarz
Chapter 12        ‘Fumbling Towards Some New Form of Art?’: The Changing Composition of Film Programmes in Britain, 1908–1914
Ian Christie and John Sedgwick
Chapter 13        The Attraction of Motion: Modern Representation and the Image of Movement
Tom Gunning
Chapter 14        ‘Dashing Down Upon the Audience’: Notes on the Genesis of Filmic Perception
Klaus Kreimeier
Chapter 15        German Tonbilder of the 1900s: Advanced Technology and National Brand
Martin Loiperdinger
Chapter 16        Sculpting With Light: Early Film Style, Stereoscopic Vision and the Idea of a ‘Plastic Art In Motion’
Michael Wedel
Chapter 17        ‘A Cinematograph of Feminine Thought’: The Dangerous Age , Cinema and Modern Women
Annemone Ligensa
Chapter 18        Cinema as a Mode(l) of Perception: Dorothy Richardson’s Novels and Essays
Nicola Glaubitz
Biographies of the Authors
Introduction
Triangulating a Turn: Film 1900 as Technology, Perception and Culture
Annemone Ligensa

O ur cultural ‘matrix’ today is not only digital, it is also still filmic, in the sense that it is significantly comprised of technologically (re)produced moving images. Film did not die in the digital age; rather, it is noticed less per se , precisely because it is ubiquitous: it is now playing not only in cinemas, or even on television, but on airplanes, advertising screens in public spaces, notebook computers, mobile phones – and thus on our minds more than ever before. It has become so pervasive, that it is not only part of everyday reality, it may be difficult to image life without it. Around 1900, by contrast, media of any kind were still a rare experience for many, as an account from Max Hölz’ (1889–1933) autobiography exemplifies:
Up until I was fourteen years old, I had taken part in only three children’s amusements: the first was a school trip to the ruins of a monastery, the second was a puppet theatre show … and the third … was a visit to a panopticon in the nearby town during a local festival. 1
Early cinema scholars have described the ‘train effect’ (i.e. reports of spectators’ fear of being hit by the locomotive depicted in Lumière’s Arrival of a Train ) as the ‘founding myth’ (Martin Loiperdinger) of the new medium in 1895: 2 even though it is not literally true (neither was the illusion complete, due to the black and white as well as silent images, nor did spectators lack knowledge that what they were seeing was a technological reproduction), it does encapsulate the cultural ‘impact’ of the novel experience of seeing an artificial, but lifelike representation of movement. Contemporaries were already aware that this effect would wear off; but some also saw that film had the potential to become a less ‘direct’, but all the more lasting and profound cultural force. Just as film, in many respects, had its roots far back in the nineteenth century (e.g. individual technological elements, exhibition practices, aesthetic forms), it took many years for the technological innovation to become a culturally dominant new medium. Hence, ‘1900’ is not intended to point to the developments of a single year or to claim that a cultural phenomenon emerged in a mere moment, but to signify a significant turn in media history, which has continuing effects to this day. Furthermore, since film is a part of modernisation, i.e. it is shaped by it, represents it and perhaps even promoted it, it seems apt to connect the emergence of film with the ambivalent connotations that regularly arise with new centuries in general and the specific cultural concerns around 1900 in particular. 3
To structure the exploration of this media turn, technology, perception and culture can be usefully employed as a conceptual ‘triangulation’. As a technological medium, film from its inception was shaped by the restrictions as well as potentials of industrialisation and commercialisation. Even before film became a large-scale industry, film producers adopted many of the strategies of modern capitalism (e.g. standardisation, transnational operation, advertising). 4 However, it is important to recognise how these developments depended on and were also shaped by culture, especially the acceptance of audiences. 5 Examples of this are the integration of the new medium into existing cultural traditions (e.g. variety shows, fairs), the adoption of forms familiar from other media (e.g. theatre, illustrated press) as well as processes of differentiation for various audience segments (e.g. age groups, local audiences). The well-known debate about the so-called ‘modernity thesis’ (David Bordwell) 6 foregrounds, among other concerns, the question of whether audience preferences were pre-existing and relatively unchanging (i.e. film became such a success because it best catered to them), or emerged together with modernity, even with modern media themselves (i.e. the specific conditions of modern life brought about new leisure activities, modern advertising induced new desires etc.). That contemporaries were debating such questions as much as we are today is indication both of their importance as well as the difficulty to answer them conclusively. But within a larger framework, more often than not, differing positions reveal themselves to be complements to each other, rather than contradictions.
In various ways, ‘perception’ is a central and mediating concept between the other two. Conceptualising ‘film as a form of perception’ is a powerful, yet potentially problematic metaphor that requires some explanation and differentiation. The short-circuiting of what is represented with the process of its reception, to the point of conflating subject and object and focussing only on the ‘percept’, tends to understate the potential for difference, creativity and even resistance on the production as well as the reception side (which need to be studied empirically). Furthermore, the physiological connotations of the term may tempt one to overstate the malleability of the experience of media technology on a psycho-physical level. 7 A cultural history of the emergence of film is an ideal ground to rethink such issues. For instance, Jonatha

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