Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life

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Casting aside the traditional conception of film as an outgrowth of photography, theater, and the novel, the essays in this volume reassess the relationship between the emergence of film and the broader culture of modernity. Contributors, leading scholars in film and cultural studies, link the popularity of cinema in the late nineteenth century to emerging cultural phenomena such as window shopping, mail-order catalogs, and wax museums.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520201124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520201125
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

Customer Reviews

Cinematic life before the cinema

One person found this helpful.
 on February 29, 2008
By Seaboard Lit Prof
This is a terrific collection of essays that together make a case that cinema is really the formal realization of deep cultural changes in everyday life of 19th century Western modernity. It is especially useful for offering different disciplinary approaches to “modern life”; there are essays on the history visual perception (Crary), modes of philosophic thought (Charney), developments in cultural criticism, and the economics of early film. But these are augmented by many studies of social and cultural history that examine specific features of everyday life, from posters and wax museums to department stores and genres of the mass press.

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