'Casting aside the traditional conception of film as an outgrowth of photography, theatre, and the novel, the essays in this volume reassess the relationship between the emergence of film and the broader culture of modernity. The cultural developments and historical transformations that became known as "modernity" were themselves cinematic, according to these leading scholars in film and cultural studies. They link the popularity of cinema in the late nineteenth century to emerging cultural phenomena such as window shopping, mail-order catalogs, and wax museums and show how film was uniquely prepared to reflect the new ways of seeing, thinking, and experiencing. Physical changes—mechanical reproduction and distribution, the centrality of urban culture, the rise of consumerism—as well as intellectual and aesthetic changes—public interest in impressionist theories of vision and in representations of real life—were addressed by the emerging cinema. Cinema, these authors propose, thrived as a form of popular culture because it provided the fullest expression of the attributes of modernity.' (Back cover)
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Chapter headings
Part I: Bodies and Sensation
1. Tracing the Individual Body: Photography, Detectives, and Early Cinema - Tom GUNNING
2. Unbinding Vision: Manet and the Attentive Observer in the Late Nineteenth Century - Jonathan CRARY
3. Modernity, Hyperstimulus, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism - Ben SINGER
Part II: Circulation and Consumer Desire
4. The Poster in Fin-de-Siecle Paris: 'That Mobile and Degenerate Art' - Marcus VERHAGEN
5. ' A New Era of Shopping': The Promotion of Women's Pleasure in London's West End, 1909-1914 - Erika D. RAPPAPORT
6. Disseminations of Modernity: Representation and Consumer Desire in Early Mail-Order Catalogs - Alexandra KELLER
7. The Perils of Pathe, or the Americanistion of the American Cinema - Richard ABEL
Part III: Ephemerality and the Moment
8. Panoramic Literature and the Invention of Everyday Genres - Margaret COHEN
9. Moving Pictures: Photography, Narrative, and the Paris Commune of 1871 - Jeannene PRZYBLYSKI
10. In a Moment: Film and the Philosophy of Modernity - Leo CHARNEY
Part IV: Spectacles and Spectators
11. Cinematic Spectatorship before the Apparatus: The Public Taste for Reality in Fin-de-Siecle Paris - Vanessa R. SCHWARTZ
12. Effigy and Narrative: Looking into the Nineteenth-Century Folk Museum - Mark B. SANDBERG
13. America, Paris, the Alps: Kracauer (and Benjamin) on Cinema and Modernity - Miriam Bratu HANSEN
Cinema and the Intervention of Modern Life
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Cinema and the Intervention of Modern Life