Moving Images: From Edison to the Webcam

Indiana University Press
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In 1888, Thomas Edison announced that he was experimenting on "an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion." Just as Edison’s investigations were framed in terms of the known technologies of the phonograph and the microscope, the essays in this collection address the contexts of innovation and reception that have framed the development of moving images in the last 100 years. Three concerns are of particular interest: the contexts of innovation and reception for moving image technologies; the role of the observer, whose vision and cognitive processes define some of the limits of inquiry and epistemological insight; and the role of new media, which, engaging with the domestic sphere as cultural interface, are transforming our understanding of public and private spheres.

The 17 previously unpublished essays in Moving Images represent the best of current research in the history of this field. They make a timely and stimulating contribution to debates concerning the impact of new media on the history of cinema.

Contributors include: William Boddy, Carlos Bustamante, Warren Buckland, Valeria Camporesi, Bent Fausing, Oliver Gaycken, Alison Griffiths, Christopher Hales, Jan Holmberg, Solveig Jülich, Frank Kessler, Jay Moman, Sheila C. Murphy, Pelle Snickars, Paul C. Spehr, Björn Thuresson, and Åke Walldius.

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About the author

John Fullerton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University, and has published widely on early Swedish film. With Jan Olsson, he is editor of the Stockholm Studies in Cinema series, and edited Celebrating 1895: The Centenary of Cinema for John Libbey in 1998. He has also recently co-edited Moving Images: From Edison to the Webcam the second publication in the Stockholm Studies in Cinema series.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University and is the author of a number of monographs on cinema. Her most recent book is Stumfilm I brytningstid: Stil och Berättande I Georg at Klerchers filmer.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Indiana University Press
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Published on
Jun 22, 2000
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9780861969173
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is the first book in English in nearly half a century to tell the full story of the international development of the first films, the origins of celluloid itself, the background of magic lantern shows (which were the first home of the movies), and the social influences on movie inventors and their chosen technologies. When moving pictures were invented one hundred years ago, inventors in many countries had different ideas about what a movie was, how it could be used, and how it could be seen; these ideas directly influenced their technological solutions to the problem of reproducing moving pictures, and account for the plethora of devices proposed during the period of invention. Living Pictures takes a new look at the international origins of moving pictures and examines the many solutions posed by Thomas Edison in America, the Lumière brothers in France, Robert Paul in England, and Max Skladanowsky in Germany, among many other pioneering figures.

Using concepts drawn from recent work in the sociology of the history of technology, Living Pictures places the invention of the movies firmly in the context of late-nineteenth-century entertainment and explains clearly the motivations and accomplishments of the inventors in both America and Europe who brought the first movies to astounded audiences in 1895 and 1896. In addition, new research illuminates the roles played by many secondary figures whose proposals for movies in the home, in mobile street theatres, and in major concert halls were a vivid part of the struggle of the new medium to find its place in the world.
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