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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 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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