Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-xii

When we first began what became Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space, the editors were convinced that early-twentieth-century film and media cultures offered a dynamic site for retroactively assessing the forces and tensions of globalization. As the central concept around which theories of contemporary politics...

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Introduction

Jennifer M. Bean

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pp. 1-14

It seems prudent to begin with a simple statement: Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space offers a cross-cultural history of narrative film and related media objects in the years loosely dating from the early 1910s through the early 1930s. That single sentence sounds sensible, the kind of summary I have tossed around...

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Part I. Picturing Space

Anupama Kapse

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pp. 15-22

One of the most useful insights of scholarship that considers the conversion of 35mm films to 3D is the reminder that the latter’s appearance is not a mere novelty. Such revivals are not, as Kristen Whissel points out, a way of rescuing a seemingly threatened (U.S.) film industry in view of the coming of newer and...

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1. Location, “Location”: On the Plausibility of Place Substitution

Mark B. Sandberg

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pp. 23-46

Hidden behind the casual use of studio terms such as “location scout” and “shot on location” are histories of film practice that reveal ongoing, productive tensions inherent in the idea of cinematic place. On the one hand, the filmic medium conveys a strong impression of specific location because of the photographic...

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2. Insurgent Place as Visual Space: Location Shots and Rival Geographies of 1857 Lucknow

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pp. 47-70

How do we historicize film space, understanding the term to refer to the space within a film frame and the interregnum between frames? The spatial tropes of The Relief of Lucknow (1912; henceforth The Relief), directed by Serle J. Dawley for the U.S. Edison Company, will be recognizable to anyone familiar with American...

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Part II. Prints in Motion

Jennifer M. Bean

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pp. 71-82

The experience of watching a good film is often described as moving. This is because narrative texts, at their best, take us elsewhere, hastening a passage or transition from one psychic or physiological space to another, from one thought, term, or concept to another. While scholarship of the past decade has been profoundly...

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3. Robespierre Has Been Lost: D. W. Griffith’s Movies and the Soviet Twenties

Yuri Tsivian

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pp. 83-98

What D. W. Griffith’s films did for Soviet editing is widely known. We learn this from Sergei Eisenstein, Leonid Trauberg, and Dziga Vertov, each of whom used kind words to repay their debt to Intolerance (1916)—Vertov in two sentences,1 Trauberg in a paragraph,2 Eisenstein in the space of a sizeable treatise.3 It...

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4. An Afterlife for Junk Prints: Serials and Other “Classics” in Late-1920s Tehran

Kaveh Askari

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pp. 99-120

Volumes like this one underscore how rapidly film historians have been revising the maps of silent film culture in recent years. Not only is there a growing body of research on emergent cinemas outside of Europe and the United States, but the increasingly fine-grained maps of film cultures within European...

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5. Translations and Transportation: Toward a Transnational History of the Intertitle

Laura Isabel Serna

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pp. 121-146

Of all the narrative resources of transitional and classical era silent cinema, the intertitle is perhaps the one most taken for granted—taken for granted both in its status as a prerequisite for narrative legibility and, paradoxically, its assumed superfluity. Historians’ consistent if passing attention to the intertitle...

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Part III. Impertinent Appropriations

Anupama Kapse

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pp. 147-156

The year was 1897, the film was Edison’s The Kiss, but the city was Osaka and the audience Japanese. Japanese policemen attempted to forestall its screening, deeming it to be impertinent, but a quick-witted benshi assured them that a kiss was like a handshake in America, rather appropriate for the new technology of...

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6. From Misemono to Zigomar: A Discursive History of Early Japanese Cinema

Aaron Gerow

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pp. 157-185

It is one of the bitter tragedies of studying early Japanese film history that only a handful of films before the mid-1920s exist; there are simply not enough extant works to do justice to a history of Japanese film style before 1925. It is thus partly out of necessity that I construct in this chapter a discursive history of early cinema...

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7. The Crisscrossed Stare: Protest and Propaganda in China’s Not-So-Silent Era

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pp. 186-209

Riding the crest of the martial arts film wave in the late 1920s, a southern Chinese businessman, Gao Yongqing, converted a dance hall into the Grand Theatre (Da guangming daxiyuan) in 1928. Located on Bubbling Well Road, which stretched across the commercial center and heart of Shanghai’s International...

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8. Around the World in Eighty Minutes: Douglas Fairbanks and the Indian Stunt Film

Anupama Kapse

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pp. 210-234

When Douglas Fairbanks visited India in 1931, he was almost mobbed. An excited reporter carried the story in the New York Times: “Calcuttans . . . mob Douglas Fairbanks.”1 Newspaper reports suggest that his arrival in Calcutta was somewhat compromised by an accident that involved a young teenaged boy who had...

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Part IV. Cosmopolitan Sexualities and Female Stars

Jennifer M. Bean

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pp. 235-244

In asking how female screen stars play highly symbolic roles during this period of imperial and industrial modernization, contributors to this section share the conviction that the conjunction of the terms “cinema” and “woman” assume governing status in debates surrounding the transformation of traditional cultures...

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9. National Soul / Cosmopolitan Skin: Swedish Cinema at a Crossroads

Jan Olsson

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pp. 245-269

A provocative stance—formulated in French—hovered over Swedish film culture in the fall of 1923: Swedish film actresses—why are they so ugly? People in Stockholm were quite offended by this insult from visiting actor Pierre Daltour. Flustered directors retorted, journalists published lists of name to counter...

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10. Queer Crossings: Greta Garbo, National Identity, and Gender Deviance

Laura Horak

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pp. 270-294

Greta Garbo’s star persona has proved remarkably flexible. Her famous blankness—derived from both her restrained acting style and her infamous obsession with privacy—has left the image of Garbo open for any number of projects, ranging, for example, from Roland Barthes’s contemplation of Garbo’s face...

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11. Cosmopolitan Women: Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl

Patrice Petro

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pp. 295-312

Recent years have witnessed new scholarly interest in concepts and practices of cosmopolitanism across a range of disciplines, even as the term itself remains contested and elusive. As Steven Vertovec and Robin Cohen argue, For some contemporary writers on the topic, cosmopolitanism refers to a vision of global democracy and world citizenship; for others it points to the...

Bibliography

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pp. 313-330

Contributors

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pp. 331-334

Index

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pp. 335-346