A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany - download pdf or read online

By Frances Guerin

ISBN-10: 0816642850

ISBN-13: 9780816642854

Cinema is a medium of sunshine. and through Weimar Germany's develop to technological modernity, gentle - fairly the representational chances of electric mild - turned the hyperlink among the cinema display and the quick alterations that have been reworking German lifestyles. In Frances Guerin's compelling heritage of German silent cinema of the Nineteen Twenties, the leading edge use of sunshine is the pivot round which a brand new notion of a countrywide cinema, and a countrywide tradition emerges. Guerin depicts a nocturnal Germany suffused with mild - electrical billboards, storefronts, police searchlights - and indicates how this component to the mise-en-scene got here to mirror either the possibilities and the anxieties surrounding modernity and democracy. Guerin's interpretations middle on use of sunshine in movies similar to Schatten (1923), Variete (1925), city (1926), and Der Golem (1920). In those motion pictures we see how mild is the substance of photograph composition, the structuring gadget of the narrative, and the critical thematic problem. This heritage relieves German movies of the accountability to provide an explanation for the political and ideological instability of the interval, an instability acknowledged to be the doubtful beginning of Nazism. In unlocking this doubtful hyperlink, A tradition of sunshine redefines the sector of German movie scholarship.

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Central to this project of self- aggrandizement and the forging of a national identity was the urge to be the leader in the fashioning of a modern, industrialized way of life. 8 While other European countries slowly continued to develop their already-established networks of electrical light at the turn of the century, because the introduction of electrical light and lighting had come late in Germany, the transformation to a technology- based society took place there at an accelerated pace in the teens and twenties.

Moreover, like the films, these other artworks take up thematic concerns such as the reorganization of space and historical understanding, reflections on the entertainment industry. At the turn of the century and through the 1920s, certain German painters and writers were also preoccupied with the transformation to daily life brought about by the industrialization of light. 84 Despite the apparent lack of engagement with modernist formal and thematic concerns, Berliner Rummelplatz/Berlin Fairground is charged with the use of paint as light to depict the novelty of modern urban nightlife.

And those who were cast onto the shadowy margins of modern life were left out of the celebrations in and of light. The electrification of the streets in 1920s Germany altered conceptions of space, temporality, class distinctions, state–citizenry power relations, the capitalist economy, and the entertainment industry. The Cinema as an Instrument of Modernity The cinema was intricately bound to these transformations to space, lifestyle, class relations, state–citizenry power dynamics, and perception on the metropolitan streets.

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A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany by Frances Guerin


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