Corporeality in Early Cinema

Corporeality in Early Cinema

Viscera, Skin, and Physical Form
Edited by Marina Dahlquist, Doron Galili, Jan Olsson and Valentine Robert
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Format: Paperback 72 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-03365-9
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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.

Author Bio

Marina Dahlquist is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Stockholm University. She is editor of Exporting Perilous Pauline: Pearl White and the Serial Film Craze.

Doron Galili is Research Fellow in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University.

Jan Olsson is Professor of Cinema Studies and former Head of Department at Stockholm University. He is author of Hitchcock à la Carte.

Valentine Robert is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Lausanne. She is editor (with Laurent Le Forestier and François Albera) of Le Film sur l'art. Entre histoire de l'art et documentaire de creation.

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Table of Contents

General Introduction / Marina Dahlquist, Doron Galili, Jan Olssen, and Valentine Robert

Part I: Impossible Bodies


1. The Impossible Body of Early Cinema / Tom Gunning

2. Ovidian Violence: George Méliès’ Explosive Screen Bodies / Vito Adriaensens

3. The Body under the Scalpel in the Illustrated Press and the Cinema / Jérémy Houillère, Translated by Timothy Barnard

4. Ghosts and their Nationality in the Fin De Siècle Machinery / Ian Christie

Part II: Inventories of the Body


5. Field Trip to Insanity: Bodies and Minds in the Doctor Maestre Film Collection (Spain, 1915) / Luis Alonso García, Daniel Sánchez Salas, and Begoña Soto Vázquez

6. Celluloid Specimens: Animal Origins for the Moving Image / Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa

7. Death by a Thousand Cuts: On-screen Executions in Early American Cinema / Gary D. Rhodes

8. Staged Bodies, Caged Bodies: Early Cinema in the Age of Human Zoos / Rodolphe Gahéry, Translated by Timothy Barnard

9. "Stills from a Film that Is Missing": Indigenous Images and the Photographic Interval in Early Cinema / Joanna Hearne

Part III: Performing Bodies


10. Risky Business: The Early Film Actor and Discourses of Danger / Charlie Keil and Denise McKenna

11. Bodies in Motion: Dancing and Boxing in Early Norwegian Cinema / Gunnar Iversen

12. The Beauty of the Forzuti: Irresistible Male Bodies On and Off Screen / Ivo Blom

13. Nudity in Early Cinema, or the Pictorial Transgression / Valentine Robert

14. Paul Capellani: The Body Put to the Test by Cinema / Sébastien Dupont-Bloch, Translated by Timothy Barnard

Part IV: Bodily Features


15. Hair and Hairiness in Early Cinema / Jean-Claude Seguin, Translated by Timothy Barnard

16. Lumière Agents in Mexico: The "Body" of Film as a Late-Nineteenth-Century Discourse / John Fullerton

17. Breathing Faces, Twinkling Eyes: On Cinematic Visage in Russian Films of the 1910s / Oksana Chefranova

18. Making Faces: Character and Makeup in Early Cinema / Alice Maurice

Part V: Embodied Audiences


19. "Keep It Dark": The Fatale Attraction of the Female Viewer’s Body / Mireille Berton

20. "The Best Synonym of Youth": G. Stanley Hall, Mimetic Play, Early Cinema’s Embodied Youth Spectator / Christina Petersen

21. Perils of Cinema? The German Cinema Debate and the "Nerve-Racking" Medium / Stephanie Werder

22. "The Taste of the Moment Seems All for ‘Pictures’": Irish Historical Bodies before the Early Cinema Screen / Denis Condon

Part VI: Bodies in Exhibition Spaces


23. The Viewer’s Body in Motion: Physical and Virtual Effects of Three-dimensional Spectacles / Martin Barnier, Translated by Timothy Barnard

24. Moving the Spectator, Dancing with the Screen: Early Dance Instruction Films and Reconfigurations of Film Spectatorship in the 1910s / Kristina Köhler

25. A Rational and Entertaining Species of Amusement to Bipeds of All Ages: The Splendid Camera Obscura / Alison Reiko Loader

Appendix: Original French Texts

26. Le corps sous le scalpel de la presse illustrée et du cinema / Jérémy Houillère

27. Corps mis en scène, corps mis en cage: le cinématographe au temps des zoos humains / Rodolphe Gahéry

28. Paul Capellani: Le corps à l’épreuve du cinema / Sébastien Dupont-Bloch

29. Poils et pilosités dans le cinéma des origins / Jean-Claude Seguin

30. Le corps du spectateur en mouvement: effets réels et virtuels des spectacles tridimensionnels / Martin Barnier