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Film and Attraction


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An important reexamination of early film history, translated from the French for the first time

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rick Altman   ix
Acknowledgments   xiii
Introduction   1
1. Looking at Early Cinema in a New Light   9
2. The Emergence of the Kinematograph   32
3. Attraction and the Kinematograph   48
4. Intermediality and the Kinematograph   62
5. A Problematic Institutional Space   83
Conclusion   98

Appendix A: Discussion between the Author and the Editors of the Journal 1895   109
Appendix B: "Kinematographic Views" (1907) by Georges Melies, edited with an introduction and annotations by Jacques Malthete   133
Notes   153
Works Cited in the Present Volume   177
General Bibliography on Early Cinema   185
Index   203

About the Author

André Gaudreault is a professor at the Département d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques at the Université de Montréal, the author of From Plato to Lumière: Narration and Monstration in Literature and Cinema, and the editor of American Cinema 1890–1909: Themes and Variations.Timothy Barnard is a film historian, publisher, and translator.


"...determinedly academic... [Gaudreault's] monograph is as much about historiography as about film, and his project is to persuade his professional colleagues to reconsider the first twenty years of film, roughly from 1890 to 1910, and to alter the way they have traditionally approached the period... It is thoughtful and provocative." Philip French, Times Literary Supplement "A tour de force. The many historical references to specific uses of cinematic terms that are summoned by the author is impressive and can be accomplished only by a scholar with long and substantial experience working in the field. Books on film historiography as insightful, substantial, and concise as this one are rare." Charles O'Brien, author of Cinema's Conversion to Sound: Technology and Film Style in France and the U.S.

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