A Culture of Light
Cinema and Technology in 1920s Germany
By (author) Frances Guerin
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Culture of Light by Frances Guerin
Book DescriptionCinema is a medium of light. And during Weimar Germany's advance to technological modernity, light - particularly the representational possibilities of electrical light - became the link between the cinema screen and the rapid changes that were transforming German life.In Frances Guerin's compelling history of German silent cinema of the 1920s, the innovative use of light is the pivot around which a new conception of a national cinema, and a national culture emerges. Guerin depicts a nocturnal Germany suffused with light - electric billboards, storefronts, police searchlights - and shows how this element of the mise-en-scene came to reflect both the opportunities and the anxieties surrounding modernity and democracy. Guerin's interpretations center on use of light in films such as Schatten (1923), Variete (1925), Metropolis (1926), and Der Golem (1920). In these films we see how light is the substance of image composition, the structuring device of the narrative, and the central thematic concern. This history relieves German films of the responsibility to explain the political and ideological instability of the period, an instability said to be the uncertain foundation of Nazism. In unlocking this dubious link, A Culture of Light redefines the field of German film scholarship.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816642861
(229mm x 145mm x 18mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 5-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Frances Guerin
Through Amateur Eyes, Paperback (November 2011)
A history of rare archival amateur photographs and films from Nazi Germany
Image and the Witness, Paperback (October 2007)» View all books by Frances Guerin
A collection of essays about the ethical stakes of the image in our visually-saturated age. This book explores the interrelated issues of the role of the material image in bearing witness to historical events and the visual representation of witnesses to collective trauma.
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Author Biography - Frances Guerin
Frances Guerin is a lecturer in film studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury.
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