Seductive Cinema: The Art of Silent Film

Seductive Cinema: The Art of Silent Film

by James Card

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this lively, opinionated, delightful chronicle of the silent film era, film historian Card deflates the ``near-hysterical devotion'' to D. W. Griffith, arguing that his Biograph movies were not revolutionary in comparison with European silents. Moreover, asserts Card, the oft-repeated claim that Griffith invented the closeup and film editing is false; that honor here goes to British filmmaker James Williamson. Card, a pioneer collector and founder of the George Eastman film archive, praises the underrated pretalkie achievements of King Vidor and Cecil B. DeMille, while panning director Josef von Sternberg's ``incredible lapses.'' Studded with glimpses of Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, plus dozens more, and marvelously illustrated with photos and stills, this engaging blend of criticism, history, autobiographical reminiscence and film lore will captivate even those with only a passing interest in the silents. (May)
Library Journal
With television sitting on the brink of the 500-channel universe, will the silver screen someday go dark? Card, a true lover of cinema and a lifelong devotee of the art of filmmaking, presents numerous arguments on why such a situation should never occur. Card takes the reader on a historical journey through the archives of silent film. All historically relevant film world findings are discussed, including the discovery of motion on a piece of film, the advent of the zoopraxiscope, and the essential close-up shot. The book is such a good read that one can almost smell the nitrate of cellulose. Highly recommended for specialized motion-picture film collections.-Marty D. Evensvold, Magnolia P.L., Tex.

Product Details

University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)

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