Technē/Technology : researching cinema and media technologies – their development, use, and impact
Oever, Annie van den
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Thinking and theorizing about film is almost as old as the medium itself. Within a few years of the earliest film shows in the 1890s, manifestos and reflections began to appear which sought to analyze the seemingly vast potential of film. Writers in France, Russia and Britain were among the first to enter this field, and their texts have become cornerstones of the literature of cinema. Few nations, however, failed to produce their own statements and dialogues about the nature of cinema, often interacting with proponents of Modernism in the traditional arts and crafts. Film thus found itself embedded in the discourses of modernity, especially in Europe and Soviet Russia. “Film theory,” as it became known in the 1970s, has always had a historical dimension, acknowledging its debts to the pioneers of analyzing film texts and film experience, even while pressing these into service in the present. But as scholarship in the history of film theory develops, there is an urgent need to revisit many long-standing assumptions and clarify lines of transmission and interpretation. The Key Debates is a series of books from Amsterdam University Press which focuses on the central issues that continue to animate thinking about film and audiovisual media as the “century of celluloid” gives way to a field of interrelated digital media. Initiated by Annie van den Oever (the Netherlands), the direction of the series has been elaborated by an international group of film scholars, including Dominique Chateau (France), Ian Christie (UK), Laurent Creton (France), Laura Mulvey (UK), Roger Odin (France), Eric de Kuyper (Belgium), and Emile Poppe (Belgium). The intention is to draw on the widest possible range of expertise to provide authoritative accounts of how debates around film originated, and to trace how concepts that are commonly used today have been modified in the process of appropriation. The book series may contribute to both the invention as well as the abduction of concepts.
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