The Modern Supernatural and the Beginnings of Cinema

Springer, 10 janv. 2017 - 209 pages
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This study sees the nineteenth century supernatural as a significant context for cinema’s first years. The book takes up the familiar notion of cinema as a “ghostly,” “spectral” or “haunted” medium and asks what made such association possible. Examining the history of the projected image and supernatural displays, psychical research and telepathy, spirit photography and X-rays, the skeletons of the danse macabre and the ghostly spaces of the mind, it uncovers many lost and fascinating connections. The Modern Supernatural and the Beginnings of Cinema locates film’s spectral affinities within a history stretching back to the beginning of screen practice and forward to the digital era. In addition to examining the use of supernatural themes by pioneering filmmakers like Georges Méliès and George Albert Smith, it also engages with the representations of cinema’s ghostly past in Guy Maddin’s recent online project Seances (2016). It is ideal for those interested in the history of cinema, the study of the supernatural and the pre-history of the horror film.

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Table des matières

The Haunting of Film Theory
Light and Lies Screen Practice and Super Natural Magic
The Strange Case of George Albert Smith Mesmerism Psychical Research and Cinema
Aesthetics of Coregistration Spirit Photography Xrays and Cinema
Mélièss Skeleton Gender Cinemas Danse Macabre and the Erotics of Bone
Living Pictures at Will Projecting Haunted Minds
Conclusion Lost Worlds Ghost Worlds
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À propos de l'auteur (2017)

Murray Leeder teaches Film Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada, and holds a PhD from Carleton University. He is the author of Horror Film: A Critical Introduction (forthcoming) and Halloween (2014) and editor of Cinematic Ghosts: Haunting and Spectrality from Silent Cinema to the Digital Era (2015).

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