restricted access For a Metahistory of Film: Commonplace Notes and Hypotheses (USA, 1971)

In this manifesto Hollis Frampton describes the cinema as “the last machine.” Yet his notion of what the cinema “machine” consists of is what sets Frampton’s manifesto apart from others that address cinema and technology. Surveying the metahistory of moving image technologies, Frampton argues that the “cinema machine” is constituted by all the cameras, projectors, and filmstrips extant, creating what he calls the “most ambitious single artifact yet conceived and made by man.” The cinema is the “last machine,” then, because it subsumes all others, while turning the real into the illusory in the process.