A Culture Of Light: Cinema And Technology In 1920s Germany
Cinema 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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1 The Electrification of Life Cinema and Art
German Film to World War I
The Mythical Past in Algol and Schatten
Cinema as Modern Magic in Faust Der Golem Siegfried and Metropolis
5 Reformulations of Space through Light in Die StraBe Jenseits der StraBe and Am Rande der Welt
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A Culture of Light: Cinema and Technology in 1920's Germany
No preview available - 2005
1920s German films aesthetic Algol architecture articulate Artinelli artistic audience backstreets Bauhaus beam Berlin camera celebrations characters conflict contemporary create critics culture of light depicted Der Golem Die Straße diegetic discourses display effects electrical light entertainment everyday example explorations Expressionist Faust film’s filmmakers frame German cinema Germany’s Golem Herne Herne’s illuminated industrial innovations Jenseits der Straße Karl Freund Kracauer Lang’s László Moholy-Nagy Licht light and lighting magic medium Mephistopheles Metropolis mise-en-scčne modernist Moholy-Nagy moral Murnau Nevertheless night oflight ofthe ofthe film Paul Scheerbart photography production protagonist Rande der Welt reality relationship represent representation Rotwang scene Schatten screen sequences sexual shadow maker shadow play shot Siegfried Siegfried Kracauer silent film Similarly social space spectacle spotlights Stahlwerk der Poldihütte streets studios stylistic Sylvester technically manipulated light technological modernity tension theater thematic tion trans transformation turn University Press utopian Varieté vision visual Wintergarten