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.
andquot;I could gaze at the images in this book for hours. They are as fascinating as illuminated manuscripts or magic lantern slides.andquot;
andquot;The most gorgeous collection of photos Iand#39;ve ever seen. These images, somehow still fresh with the power of their novelty, startle the eye every time I behold them. Mysterious and wondrous effect! And such a fascinating history!andquot;
andquot;Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema is a brilliant, revelatory book, one that provides an instant cure for the color blindness that afflicts most viewers of early cinema, and a gateway into a little-known world of imagination and technical virtuosity. Illuminated by dazzling reproductions and authoritative essays by leading film scholars, this is the first book to do visual justice to the magical world of early cinema. It is also a masterpiece of book art in its own right.andquot;and#160;
andquot;In the endless rewrite of art history the moving image seems indefinably futuristic. Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema makes the case for the importance of these mind-blowing masterpieces. These stunningly chromatic film stills link technology and the human touch while revealing one of filmand#39;s best kept secrets. Traditional painting and sculpture relies on reflected light while projected light opens a wildly new path of experimentation. Here we see, for the very first time, images made at the speed of light.andquot;
andldquo;Eye-popping. . . . Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema
andnbsp;is an essential bookandmdash;for its gorgeous array of stills, but also because it offers a reminder of how audiences were being dazzled by the magic of color movies long before the color revolution in cinema.andrdquo;
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.
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 authors 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, Gunning, Yumibe, Fossati, andand#160;Rosen 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 threeand#160;hundredand#160;color illustrations for readers to examine and enjoy, Fantasia of Color in Earlyand#160;Cinema will engage scholars and buffs alike.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -517) and index.
About the Author
Tom Gunningand#160;is professor in the Department of Art History and the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author ofand#160;The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity.and#160;Joshua Yumibeand#160;holds a joint appointment as assistant professor and director of film studies at Michigan State University and as a lecturer in film studies at the University of St Andrews.and#160;Giovanna Fossati is head curator at EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the author of From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition.and#160;Jonathon Rosen is a painter, illustrator, animator, and faculty member of the MFA Visual Narrative and Illustration/Cartooning departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York.