Film and Attraction

Film and Attraction : From Kinematography to Cinema

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Establishing a new vision for film history, Film and Attraction: From Kinematography to Cinema urges readers to consider the importance of complex social and cultural forces in early film. Andr\u00e9 Gaudreault argues that Edison and the Lumi\u00e8res did not invent cinema; they invented a device. Explaining how this device, the kinematograph, gave rise to cinema is the challenge he sets for himself in this volume. He highlights the forgotten role of the film lecturer and examines film's relationship with other visual spectacles in fin-de-si\u00e8cle culture, from magic sketches to fairy plays and photography to vaudeville. In reorienting the study of film history, Film and Attraction offers a candid reassessment of Georges M\u00e9li\u00e8s' rich oeuvre and includes a new, unabridged translation of M\u00e9li\u00e8s' famous 1907 text "Kinematographic Views." A foreword by Rick Altman stresses the relevance of Gaudreault's concerns to Anglophone film scholarship.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252078055
  • 9780252078057
  • 886,812

Review quote

"A tour de force. The many historical references to specific uses of cinematic terms that are summoned by the author is impressive and can be accomplished only by a scholar with long and substantial experience working in the field. Books on film historiography as insightful, substantial, and concise as this one are rare."--Charles O'Brien, author of Cinema's Conversion to Sound: Technology and Film Style in France and the U.S. "Thoughtful and provocative."--Philip French, Times Literary Supplement

"This work could indeed help rewrite the history of 'early cinema.' Highly recommended."--Choice
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Table of contents

Foreword by Rick Altman ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction 1 1. Looking at Early Cinema in a New Light 9 2. The Emergence of the Kinematograph 32 3. Attraction and the Kinematograph 48 4. Intermediality and the Kinematograph 62 5. A Problematic Institutional Space 83 Conclusion 98 Appendix A: Discussion between 109 the Author and the Editors of the Journal 1895 Appendix B: "Kinematographic Views" 133 (1907) by Georges Melies, edited with an introduction and annotations by Jacques Malthete Notes 153 Works Cited in the Present Volume 177 General Bibliography on Early Cinema 185 Index 203
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About Andre Gaudreault

Andre Gaudreault is a professor at the Departement d'histoire de l'art et d'etudes cinematographiques at the Universite de Montreal, the author of From Plato to Lumiere: Narration and Monstration in Literature and Cinema, and the editor of American Cinema 1890-1909: Themes and Variations.Timothy Barnard is a film historian, author, and translator.
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