Download The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded (Amsterdam University Press - Film Culture in Transition) PDF

TitleThe Cinema of Attractions Reloaded (Amsterdam University Press - Film Culture in Transition)
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN 139789053569450
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size3.3 MB
Total Pages464
Table of Contents
                            Contents
	Acknowledgments
	Introduction to an Attractive Concept
	Theory Formation [“The Cinema of Attractions”]
		Spectacle, Attractions and Visual Pleasure
		Attractions: How They Came into the World
		A Rational Reconstruction of “The Cinema of Attractions”
		The Cinema of Attractions as Dispositif
	Attraction Theories and Terminologies [“Early Film”]
		From “Primitive Cinema” to “Kine-Attractography”
		From “Primitive Cinema” to “Marvelous”
		The Attraction of the Intelligent Eye: Obsessions with the Vision Machine in Early Film Theories
		Rhythmic Bodies/Movies: Dance as Attraction in Early Film Culture
	Audiences and Attractions ["Its Spectator"]
		A Cinema of Contemplation, A Cinema of Discernment: Spectatorship, Intertextuality and Attractions in the 1890s
		The Lecturer and the Attraction
		Integrated Attractions: Style and Spectatorship in Transitional Cinema
		Discipline through Diegesis: The Rube Film between “Attractions” and "Narrative Integration"
	Attraction Practices through History [“The Avant-Garde”: section 1]
		Circularity and Repetition at the Heart of the Attraction: Optical Toys and the Emergence of a New Cultural Series
		Lumière, the Train and the Avant-Garde
		Programming Attractions: Avant-Garde Exhibition Practice in the 1920s and 1930s
		The Associational Attractions of the Musical
	Digital Media and (Un)Tamed Attractions ["The Avant-Garde": section 2]
		Chez le Photographe c’est chez moi: Relationship of Actor and Filmed Subject to Camera in Early Film and Virtual Reality Spaces
		The Hollywood Cobweb: New Laws of Attraction
		Figures of Sensation: Between Still and Moving Images
		“Cutting to the Quick”: Techne, Physis, and Poiesis and the Attractions of Slow Motion
	Dossier
		Pie and Chase: Gag, Spectacle and Narrative in Slapstick Comedy
		Early Cinema as a Challenge to Film History
		The Cinema of Attraction[s]: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde
		Rethinking Early Cinema: Cinema of Attractions and Narrativity
	Notes on Contributors
	General Bibliography
	Index of Names
	Index of Film Titles
	Index of Subjects
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

THE CINEMA OF
ATTRACTIONS
RELOADED

Amsterdam University Press

IN TRANSITION

FILM
CULTURE
FILM
CULTURE

EDITED BY

WANDA STRAUVEN

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9 789053 569450

Amsterdam University PressAmsterdam University Press

WWW.AUP.NL

Twenty years ago, Tom Gunning and André Gaudreault
introduced the concept of attraction to define the quin-
tessence of the earliest films made between 1895 and
1906. As “cinema of attractions” this concept has become
widely adopted, even outside the field of early cinema.
Ranging from the films of the Lumière brothers to The
Matrix by Andy and Larry Wachowski, from trains rushing
into the audience to bullet time effects, the “cinema of
attractions” is a cinema that shocks, astonishes and
directly addresses the film spectator.

This anthology traces the history of the “cin-
ema of attractions,” reconstructs its conception
and questions its attractiveness and useful-
ness for both pre-classical and post-classical
cinema. With contributions by Christa Blüm-
linger, Warren Buckland, Scott Bukatman,
Donald Crafton, Nicolas Dulac, Thomas
Elsaesser, André Gaudreault, Laurent Guido,
Tom Gunning, Malte Hagener, Pierre-Emma-
nuel Jaques, Charlie Keil, Frank Kessler, Ger-
main Lacasse, Alison McMahan, Charles
Musser, Viva Paci, Eivind Røssaak, Vivian
Sobchack, Wanda Strauven, Dick Tomasovic.

Wanda Strauven teaches Film Theory and Media Archae-
ology at the University of Amsterdam. She is the author
of Marinetti e il cinema: tra attrazione e sperimentazione
(Udine: Campanotto, 2006).

IN TRANSITION

FILM
CULTURE
FILM
CULTURE

ISBN-13 978-90-5356-945-0 ISBN-10 90-5356-945-6 ISBN-13 978-90-5356-945-0 ISBN-10 90-5356-945-6

HC omslag Cinema Attractions 19-09-2006 11:42 Pagina 1

Page 2

The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded

Page 232

Fig. . Phenakisticope disc, c. , manufactured by Pellerin & Cie, Epinal. Cinémathèque française,
collection des appareils.

Examples of this kind of disk reveal one of the peculiarities of the phenakisti-
cope. If a designer did not consent to submitting his figures to the strict continu-
ity/circularity of the apparatus, he had to accept the fact that each revolution of
the disk would create a visual interruption – unless a clever and ingenious nar-
rative pretext was employed, as was the case with the disk manufactured by
Thomas MacLean (Fig. ). Here the character’s nose, which is cut off with an
axe, returns with each rotation. In this way the interruption, by means of the
“narrativization” of which it is the subject, was in some way effaced. This is a
good example, if ever there was one, of how the topic of the disk, or its “story,”
was subjected to the way the apparatus functioned.

Fig. . Phenakisticope disc, The Polypus, -, manufactured by Thomas MacLean, London.
Cinémathèque française, collection des appareils.

Circularity and Repetition at the Heart of the Attraction 231

Page 233

However there are few known examples of this kind of disk. Was it that the
disruption, at the time, was noticeable enough to induce designers of disks to
stick almost uniformly to a model of continuity? And yet, despite the break in
the movement’s continuity with each passing of the final image, producing a
spasmodic effect, the element of attraction was just as present here (if not more
so, in some respects, given the repetition of the visual shock produced by the
interruption).

It would appear that the scarcity of disruptive subjects was a result of the
constraints that the apparatus imposed on designers of phenakisticope disks.
Don’t all apparatuses impose a way of conceiving the subject they depict? In
fact, can’t something proper to the mechanics of the apparatus itself be seen in
the bodies depicted on the disk? The phenakisticope’s format and the way it
functioned suggest a “world” in which everything was governed by circularity
and repetition, a world which annihilated any hint of temporal progression. The
subjects are like Sisyphus, condemned ad infinitum to turn about, jump, and
dance. In another sense, the figures are machine-like: untiring and unalterable,
they are “acted-upon subjects” rather than “acting-out subjects.” The lack of
interruption in the sequence of images was essential to the creation of this effect
of uninterrupted and perpetual movement, this a-historical temporality within
which beings and things could turn about for ever, without any threshold mark-
ing the beginning or end of their wild journey. Many disks depicting machinery,
gears, and levers (Fig. ) emphasize this aspect; as eternal and unbreakable ma-
chines, are they emblematic of the wildest dreams of modernity?

Fig. . Phenakisticope disc, c. , manufactured by Charles Tilt, London. Cinémathèque française,
collection des appareils.

232 The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded

Page 463

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