Between Film and Screen: Modernism's Photo Synthesis

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Photography might be called the lost cause of cinema, gone in projection and too soon forgotten. But what is the mysterious region between photography and narrative cinema, between the photogram - a single film frame - and the illusion of motion one recognizes as the movies? In this study, Garrett Stewart discusses the photogram not only as the undertext of screen images but also in its unexpected links to the early modernist writings of James, Conrad, Forster, Joyce and others. Engaging the work of such media theorists as Eisenstein, Benjamin, Kracauer, Bazin, Baudry, Cavell, Deleuze and Jameson, this study pursues the suppressed photogram as it ripples the narrative surface of several dozen films from Lang and Chaplin through Bergman, Coppola and beyond. To locate the exact repercussions of such effects, Stewart includes over 300 frame enlargements drawn from genres as different as science fiction, film noir and recent Victorian costume drama.