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Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space

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<P>In this cross-cultural history of narrative cinema and media from the 1910s to the 1930s, leading and emergent scholars explore the transnational crossings and exchanges that occurred in early cinema between the two world wars. Drawing on film archives from around the world, this volume advances the premise that silent cinema freely crossed national borders and linguistic thresholds in ways that became far less possible after the emergence of sound. These essays address important questions about the uneven forces–geographic, economic, political, psychological, textual, and experiential–that underscore a non-linear approach to film history. The "messiness" of film history, as demonstrated here, opens a new realm of inquiry into unexpected political, social, and aesthetic crossings of silent cinema.</P>
<P>Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean<BR>Part I. Picturing Space<BR>Introduction / Anupama Kapse<BR>1. Location, "Location": On the Plausibility of Place Substitution / Mark B. Sandberg<BR>2. Insurgent Place as Visual Space: Location Shots and Rival Geographies of 1857 Lucknow / Priya Jaikumar,<BR>Part II. Prints in Motion<BR>Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean<BR>3. Robespierre Has Been Lost: D. W. Griffith’s Movies and the Soviet Twenties / Yuri Tsivian<BR>4. An Afterlife for Junk Prints: Serials and Other "Classics" in Late-1920s Tehran / Kaveh Askari<BR>5. Translations and Transportation: Toward a Transnational History of the Intertitle / Laura Isabel Serna<BR>Part III: Impertinent Appropriations <BR>Introduction / Anupama Kapse <BR>6. From "Misemono" to Zigomar: A Discursive History of Early Japanese Cinema / Aaron Gerow<BR>7. The Crisscrossed Stare: Chinese Protest and Propaganda in the Not-So-Silent Era / Yiman Wang<BR>8. Around the World in 80 Minutes: Douglas Fairbanks and the Indian Stunt Film / Anupama Kapse<BR>Part IV: Cosmopolitan Sexualities and Female Stars<BR>Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean<BR>9. National Soul/Cosmopolitan Skin: Swedish Cinema at a Crossroads / Jan Olsson<BR>10. Queer Crossings: Greta Garbo, National Identity, and Gender Deviance / Laura Horak<BR>11. Cosmopolitan Women: Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl / Patrice Petro<BR>Notes<BR>Bibliography<BR>Contributors</P>



Publié par
Date de parution 02 avril 2014
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253015075
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

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Edited by Jennifer M. Bean, Anupama Kapse, and Laura Horak
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Silent film and the politics of space / edited by Jennifer M. Bean, Anupama Kapse, and Laura Horak. pages cm — (New directions in national cinemas) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-253-01226-5 (cloth) — ISBN 978-0-253-01230-2 (pbk.) 1. Silent films—History and criticism. 2. Space in motion pictures. I. Bean, Jennifer M., [date]- editor of compilation. II. Kapse, Anupama, editor of compilation. III. Horak, Laura, editor of compilation. PN1995.75.S557 2014 791.4302′5—dc23
1 2 3 4 5 19 18 17 16 15 14
Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean
Part I. Picturing Space Introduction / Anupama Kapse
1“Location”: On the Plausibility of Place Substitution / Mark B. Sandberg Location,
2 Insurgent Place as Visual Space: Location Shots and Rival Geographies of 1857 Lucknow / Priya Jaikumar
Part II. Prints in Motion Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean
3Has Been Lost: D. W. Griffith’s Movies and the Soviet Twenties / Yuri Tsivian Robespierre 4 An Afterlife for Junk Prints: Serials and Other “Classics” in Late-1920s Tehran / Kaveh Askari 5and Transportation: Toward a Transnational History of the Intertitle / Laura Isabel Translations Serna
Part III. Impertinent Appropriations Introduction / Anupama Kapse 6 FromMisemonotoZigomar:A Discursive History of Early Japanese Cinema / Aaron Gerow 7Crisscrossed Stare: Protest and Propaganda in China’s Not-So-Silent Era / Yiman Wang The 8the World in Eighty Minutes: Douglas Fairbanks and the Indian Stunt Film / Anupama Around Kapse Part IV. Cosmopolitan Sexualities and Female Stars Introduction / Jennifer M. Bean
9Soul / Cosmopolitan Skin: Swedish Cinema at a Crossroads / Jan Olsson National
10Crossings: Greta Garbo, National Identity, and Gender Deviance / Laura Horak Queer
11Women: Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl / Patrice Petro Cosmopolitan
Bibliography Contributors Index
W HEN WE FIRSTbegan what becameSilent Cinema and the Politics of Space, the editors were convinced that early-twentieth-century film and media cultures offered a dynamic site for retroactively assessing the forces and tensions of globalization. As the central concept around which theories of contemporary politics, society, and culture have been organized in the past decade and a half, the term has elicited a vast spectrum of competing analyses and interpretations, a discursive constellation in which new forms of flow (of goods, people, images, ideas), the loss of bounded space, and the transgression of borders prove recurrent, common denominators. While it would be foolish to imagine that economic systems, socio-cultural conditions, or cinema and media formats of the early twentieth century are in any way identical to those of the early twenty-first, it struck us as peculiar that most studies of contemporary globalization and spatial heterogeneity proceed with the “assumption,” to follow geographer Doreen Massey, “that once (once upon a time) those boundaries wereimpermeable, 1 that there was no transgression.” For film and media scholars who cling to the Ptolemaic perspective touted in introductory-level survey textbooks, those glossy makers of taste who parse the history of cinema country by country while also writing that history as the exclusive affair of a few “mature” nations and directors, such assumptions about a heavily bordered past may make sense. We discussed as much during conversations shared over the past decade at the annual Giornate del Cinema Muto (Days of Silent Cinema) festival in Pordenone, Italy, murmuring over shots of espresso (and more vociferously, late at night, with grappa in hand) that a Copernican revolution was surely underway. Those conversations assumed particular shape when several of the contributors and editors met at the fourth Women and the Silent Screen (W&SS) symposium hosted by the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, in June 2006. In their plenary address, Ivan Trujillo and Jennifer Bean, respectively representing the Mexican National Film Archive and the U.S. National Film Preservation Foundation, shared their conviction that silent era film history was happening “now.” We happily acknowledged the lengthy history of La Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film, while agreeing that the dynamic alliances forged among national archives, international organizations, regional coalitions, local film museums, grassroots preservation societies, and private collectors were now taking place on a scale unimaginable to historians a generation ago. This investment in historical plurality shaped the conference “Border Crossings: Rethinking Silent Cinema,” organized by Anupama Kapse and Laura Horak at the University of California, Berkeley, in February 2008, where several of the essays gathered here were first conceived. The concept grew in intellectual scope as the three of us cemented our commitment to expanding the geopolitical terrain of film and media histories, first as a conference and then as an edited volume with original essays. For their tireless effort in making “Border Crossings” happen, we owe special thanks to Irene Chien, Paul Dobryden, Erica Levin, and Rielle Navitski, who sat on the steering committee while also gracefully negotiating the multiple, indispensable pragmatics necessary for such an event to take place. Ashley White-Stern, in particular, was our “righthand woman”—her ability (and willingness) to coordinate the financial aspects of the conference with style and precision models professionalism at its very best. The Pacific Film Archive partnered with us to present a program of Sessue Hayakawa films. The event was made possible by the generous support of Film Studies and the Townsend Center, Consortium for the Arts, Beatrice Bain Working Group, and the Departments of Rhetoric, Scandinavian, German, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. We remain deeply grateful to Jackie Reich, who encouraged us to consider a volume on the topics debated at the Berkeley event (even before the proposals were submitted), and whose support has never wavered through the many years in which this collection’s contents and conception continued to shift and coalesce. The contents of this volume also reflect ideas initially presented at the Colonial Film Project Seminar hosted by the British Film Institute in July 2008 and a few developed for (if not delivered at) the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) conference scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, in May 2009. Other chapters derive from discussions generated at the W&SS conferences in Guadalajara (June 2006), Stockholm (June 2008), and Bologna (June 2010). Across this same span of six years, many of the contributors and editors also participated in nearly concurrent conferences
organized by Domitor: The International Society for the Study of Early Cinema in Michigan (June 2006), Girona and Peripignan (June 2008), and Toronto (June 2010). It would be impossible to enumerate the many colleagues, volunteers, universities, archivists, and cinémathèque programmers throughout the world whose efforts have enabled and sustained these international gatherings, but we would be remiss in not recognizing Monica Dall’Asta, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Rosanna Maule, Shelley Stamp, Jane Gaines, Mark Cooper, Jennifer Horne, Kathleen Newman, Christine Gledhill, Dan Streible, Scott Curtis, Richard Abel, Lee Grieveson, Abé Mark Nornes, Bryony Dixon, Vanessa Toulmin, Frank Gray, Ravi Vasudevan, André Gaudreault, Paolo Cherchi Usai, and David Robinson as individuals whose passionate commitment to service equals that of their superb scholarship. A hats off as well to Patrice Petro, whose eight-year term as the far-sighted president of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) parallel the years in which this volume came together, during which time she aggressively mounted initiatives to expand the international reach of that organization. We consider ourselves especially privileged to have worked with a group of scholars whose linguistic and geographical expertise rests on archival perspectives grounded in ten different countries but whose intellectual investment in “the disorder inherent in every order,” to borrow a phrase from Trinh T. Minhha, means that each refuses the fixity of any one event, object, or location as the 2 constitutive source of historical meaning. For their outstanding scholarship, and for their patience and goodwill in discussing these many ideas both individually and collectively, we remain deeply indebted to our contributors. We fondly recall Jane Behnken’s initial enthusiasm for this project, while acknowledging that its completion would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Raina Polivka, whose resilience and incisive insights buoyed our spirits and ensured this project’s integrity. A special shout-out goes to Fran Andersen for shepherding us through the production process and to Christine Gever for her sharp eye and meticulous care in the final editing stages. We are very grateful to our anonymous readers for their enthusiastic support and careful and valuable feedback on this volume. Anders Mellbourn and the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University provided an extra and welcome boost by liberally supporting production expenses through the Rector’s Strategic Fund. Jennifer Lynn Witzke transformed our fuzzy conception for this book’s cover into a dazzling visual design, while Joshua Yumibe generously shared images and ideas when we most needed them. Many thanks to the George Eastman House, which supplied the cover images. The perspective shaping this book emerges from our fascination with loose ends and obscured views in the multifaceted histories we seek to tell, as well as from a restless curiosity with the insufficiency and uncertainty of knowledges already acquired. What remains certain is the simple (albeit marvelous) fact that we maintained our commitment to working as a team—including the tricky task of communicating across three different time zones—while navigating the many stages of this complex project. Jennifer Bean would like to thank Patricia Torres de San Martín for the invitation to serve on the Board of Directors for the fourth Women and Silent Screen symposium in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as her codirectors (and conspirators) Joanne Hershfield and Jane Gaines for modeling international collaboration on a scale that initially inspired, and continually informed, her efforts here. She offers a hushed nod of respect to Sudhir Mahadevan, Tamara Cooper, Gary Handwerk, Giorgio Bertellini, and Rob King for ongoing intellectual and collegial support, and a hug to Julie Bremer, Frank Alongi, Sara Bankemper, and Stephanie Bean for lessons in balance, introspection, and play. Words don’t quite convey her gratitude to John O’Neal, not only for affording her endless space to roam as she writes, but for the security of knowing he always will be there—grinning—when she gets home. Anupama Kapse is indebted to Richard Maxwell, Jonathan Buchsbaum, Amy Herzog, and Roopali Mukherjee for being extraordinary mentors, colleagues, and friends (or all at once). Linda Williams and Kristen Whissel nurtured this project from its earliest stages. Monika Mehta, Neepa Majumdar, Nitin Govil, Joy Fuqua, and Ellen Scott were much more than compatriots and offered forms of support that one can only dream of having. The days spent on putting this volume together fostered a degree of intellectual camaraderie, feistiness, and intimacy that one can share with only the best of friends and closest of family members. Young Shaunak Kapse waded through drafts only because they were written by his mother but was fearless in pointing out what was wrong with them. Dhananjay Kapse braved the toughest of spatial and temporal hurdles in innumerable conversations across the globe. For their unwavering support, both intellectual and emotional, Laura Horak would like to thank Gunnar Iversen, Ashley White-Stern, Althea Wasow, Nicholas Baer, and Mark Sandberg. To them and to the dedicated individuals who expanded the space of silent cinema through conferences, festivals, archives, departments, and institutions, we express our sincerest thanks.
Jennifer Bean, Anupama Kapse,
and Laura Horak Seattle, New York, Stockholm October 1, 2013
Notes 1. See Doreen Massey,for space(London: Sage, 2010), 65. 2. The quoted phrase comes from Trinh T. Minh-ha, “Documentary Is/Not a Name,”October 52 (Summer 1990): 95.