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Hugo Munsterberg on Film: The Photoplay: A Psychological Study and Other Writings

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Hugo Munsterberg's The Photoplay (1916) is one of the first and most important early works of film theory. Munsterberg's work on the emerging art of cinema remains a key document for film scholars, but it has long been out of print. In this new edition, Allan Langdale provides a critical introduction to the seminal text and collects numerous hard-to-find writings on film b ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published December 21st 2001 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2001)
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Greta
Jan 03, 2013 Greta rated it liked it
Though dated, it's really remarkably sophisticated and far-sighted for 1916, an era when most film writings were technical treatises or personality puff-pieces. He discusses the aesthetic nature of film and film grammar, making an early case for film as an independent art form. Thus informed, he feels himself qualified to pontificate on what filmmakers should and shouldn't do on screen, but that's pretty typical of the era when artistic manifestos were all the rage. He would have doubtless been ...more
Tom Hammer
May 29, 2008 Tom Hammer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: film/psych/history buffs
Recommended to Tom by: A homeless person in the East Village
Munsterberg surveys the state of silent film in 1916. Still a relatively new phenomenon, he contrasts this new form of media to traditional theater. From our perspective in 2008, much of his analysis seems fairly obvious - yes film is different than theater. But what the book does offer, is a fresh perspective on a form of art often taken for granted. Munsterberg shares insights on why film has meaning, how meaning can take form.

Admittedly his attempts at being prophetic often fall short (film
...more
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