"Close Up" 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism

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Princeton University Press

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"Close Up" 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism

Close Up was the first English-language journal of film theory. Published between 1927 and 1933, it billed itself as "the only magazine devoted to film as an art," promising readers "theory and analysis: no gossip." The journal was edited by the writer and filmmaker Kenneth Macpherson, the novelist Winifred Bryher, and the poet H. D., and it attracted contributions from such major figures as Dorothy Richardson, Sergei Eisenstein, and Man Ray. This anthology presents some of the liveliest and most important articles from the publication's short but influential history.

The writing in Close Up was theoretically astute, politically incisive, open to emerging ideas from psychoanalysis, passionately committed to "pure cinema," and deeply critical of Hollywood and its European imitators. The articles collected here cover such subjects as women and film, "The Negro in Cinema," Russian and working-class cinema, and developments in film technology, including the much debated addition of sound. The contributors are a cosmopolitan cast, reflecting the journal's commitment to internationalism; Close Up was published from Switzerland, printed in England and France, and distributed in Paris, Berlin, London, New York, and Los Angeles. The editors of this volume present a substantial introduction and commentaries on the articles that set Close Up in historical and intellectual context. This is crucial reading for anyone interested in the origins of film theory and the relationship between cinema and modernism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691004631
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 01/18/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: Reading Close Up, 1927-1933 1

Pt. 1 Enthusiasms and Execrations

Introduction 28

As Is (July 1927) 36

British Solecisms 41

Emak Bakia 43

An Interview: Anita Loos 48

A New Cinema, Magic and the Avant Garde 50

The French Cinema 57

The Aframerican Cinema 65

The Negro Actor and the American Movies 73

Pt. 2 From Silence to Sound

Introduction 79

The Sound Film: A Statement from U.S.S.R. 83

The Sound Film: Salvation of Cinema 87

Why 'Talkies' Are Unsound 89

As Is (October 1929) 90

Pt. 3 The Contribution of H.D.

Introduction 96

The Cinema and the Classics 105

Conrad Veidt: The Student of Prague 120

Expiation 125

Joan of Arc 130

Russian Films 134

An Appreciation 139

Pt. 4 Continuous Performance: Dorothy Richardson

Introduction 150

Continuous Performance [unnumbered and untitled] (July 1927) 160

Dawn's Left Hand, reviewed by W. B. [Bryher] 209

Pt. 5 Borderline and the POOL Films

Introduction 212

Borderline: A POOL Film with Paul Robeson 221

As Is (November 1930) 236

Pt. 6 Cinema and Psychoanalysis

Introduction 240

Mind-growth or Mind-mechanization? The Cinema in Education 247

Film Psychology 250

Freud on the Films 254

The Film in Its Relation to the Unconscious 256

Dreams and Films 260

Kitsch 262

Pt. 7 Cinema Culture

Introduction 270

The Independent Cinema Congress 274

Russian Cutting 277

'This Montage Business' 278

First Steps Towards a Workers' Film Movement 281

Films for Children 283

What Can I Do? 286

How I Would Start a Film Club 290

A Note on Household Economy 294

Towards a Co-operative Cinema: The Work of the Academy, Oxford Street 296

Modern Witch-trials 299

Acts under the Acts 301

Pt. 8 Fade

What Shall You Do in the War? 306

App. 1 The Contents of Close Up, 1927-1933 310

App. 2 Notes on the Contributors and Correspondents 315

App. 3 Publishing History and POOL Books 318

App. 4 A Chronology of Close Up in Context 319

Notes 322

Index 337

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