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The Films of Fritz Langby Tom Gunning
Synopses & Reviews
In this remarkable new study, the renowned historian and theorist of early cinema turns his attention to the work of Fritz Lang, proposing new readings of the entire output of one of cinema's foremost directors. Gunning examines the films not only as a stylistically coherent body of work, but as an attempt to portray the modern world through cinema. The world of modernity in which systems replace individuals is conveyed by Lange's mastery of cinematic set design, composition, and editing. Lang presents not only a decades-long vision of cinematic narrative that can be compared to that of Alfred Hitchcock or Jean Renoir, but a view of modernity that relates strongly to the ideas of Adorno, Brecht, Benjamin, and Kracauer.
From the sweeping allegorical films of the '20s to the chilly and abstract thrillers of the '50s, Fritz Lang's films, Gunning claims, are among the most precious records of the twentieth century. The Films of Fritz Lang immeasurably enriches our understanding of a great artist who fades away even in being recognized and interpreted, an enigmatic figure at the junction of aesthetics, history, biography and theory.
This book brings a treasure trove of early color film images into print form so viewers can enjoy, examine and dream over their forgotten splendor. Drawing on the richness of the early film archives of EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the authors have carefully selected and reproduced frames from the original films made before World War I, presenting their fascinating and often surprising images and hues. Digital reproduction allows the capture of these images in a full range of tone and colors.
We normally think of early film as being black and white, but in truth, the first color cinematography appeared as early as the first decade of the twentieth century. In this visually stunning book, the editors present a treasure trove of early color film images from the archives of EYE Film Institute Netherlands, bringing to life their rich hues and forgotten splendor.
Carefully selecting and reproducing frames from the original film of movies made before World War I, Fossati, Gunning, and Yumibe share the images here in a full range of tone and colors. Accompanying essays discuss the history of early film and the technical processes that filmmakers employed to capture these fascinating images, while other contributions explore preservation techniques and describe the visual delights that early film has offered audiences, both then and now. Featuring one hundred and fifty color illustrations for readers to examine and enjoy, Fantasia of Color in Earlyand#160;Cinema will engage scholars and buffs alike.
This study examines the early work of Fritz Lang, proposing readings of the entire output of one of cinema's foremost directors. It emphasizes Lang's reflection on modernity, and hones in on the problem of identity and subjectivity in a progressively more automated, impersonal world.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -517) and index.
About the Author
Tom Gunning is Professor of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author of D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph.
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