Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood by Kaveh AskariMaking Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood by Kaveh Askari

Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood

byKaveh Askari

Paperback | November 11, 2014

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Focusing on early cinema's relationship with the pictorial arts, this pioneering study explores how cinema's emergence was grounded in theories of picture composition, craft and arts education – from magic lantern experiments in 1890s New York through to early Hollywood feature films in the 1920s.

Challenging received notions that the advent of cinema was a celebration of mechanisation and a radical rejection of nineteenth-century traditions of representation, Kaveh Askari instead emphasises the overlap between craft traditions and modernity in early film.

Opening up valuable new perspectives on the history of film as art, Askari links American silent cinema with the practice of teaching the public how to appreciate fine art; charts its entrance into arts education via art schools and university film courses;
shows how concepts of artistic production entered films through a material interest in the studio; and examines the way in which Maurice Tourneur and Rex Ingram made early art films by shaping an image of the film director around the idea of the fine artist.
Kaveh Askari is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Western Washington University, USA. He is the author of numerous articles on early cinema.
Title:Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early HollywoodFormat:PaperbackDimensions:182 pagesPublished:November 11, 2014Publisher:British Film InstituteLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1844576957

ISBN - 13:9781844576951

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Table of Contents

  Rewinding art cinema
  Situating cinema among the other arts
  Craft, picture, movement
  Aesthetic appreciation and the modernity of picture craft
  Chapter organisation
1 Moving-picture Art before Cinema: Alexander Black and the Lyceum
  The amateur and the institute
  The detective lectures and the instantaneous tableau
  From 'the horse in motion' to 'man in motion'
  Picture play aesthetics: still pictures as moving pictures
  Picture play reception: art cinema without the cinematograph
  Conclusion: a history without an invention
2 Moving Pictures Imagine the Artist's Studio
  The mise en scène of the studio
  The moving image jumps the frame
  Trilbyana: Transformation and absorption
  Lejaren à Hiller's Never-told Tales of a Studio
  Triart Picture Company: From Trilbyana to art history
  Conclusion: patchwork methods, common goal
3 Cinema Composition: The University and the Industry
  Picture study: from the art lecture to the film lecture
  Movement, contemplation and the 'tableau'
  Managing tableaux: the economics of film spectatorship
  Beyond the tableau: inscribing movement
  Conclusion: moving pictures and new tendencies
4 Painting with Human Beings: Maurice Tourneur as Art-film Director
  In the atelier of Puvis
  Quality films, imported film-makers
  The Blue Bird: From The Yellow Book to the yellow press
  Conclusion: Tourneur after 1920
5 Rex Ingram's Art School Cinema
  The oldest art school and the newest art
  From exceptional style to cross-media appreciation
  Scaramouche, or convergence
  Conclusion: the limits of exceptional films
Conclusion: Moving Forward from the Slow Movie

Editorial Reviews

'A major contribution to film history and theory, and film's relation to other media.' - Tom Gunning, University of Chicago, USA'This enterprising work will ultimately transform our understanding of cinema's early artistic tendencies. Kaveh Askari's examination of how film intersected with academia, the lyceum circuit, and the art studio brings to light institutional connections that reveal novel functions for a medium struggling for cultural legitimacy.' - Charlie Keil, University of Toronto, Canada