Issue 2_Dead Ends / Impasses

Edited by / Sous la direction de Leonardo Quaresima

The history of cinema is rife with models that have never established themselves, proj- ects that have never taken form, “incorrect” theories. It is a history that began long ago, and which saw the films, the technology, and the idea of cinema of the Lumière brothers prevail over other models of showing images in motion, models destined to have a brief and ephemeral existence. It is a history in which a narrative cinema – derivative of the novel and French melodrama more than any other communicative, performing, or expressive art forms – has constituted the central and dominant axis. Along the way, we find numerous different directions, some ambitious and audacious, others simply inven- tive and sensible, which have been thought of as different hypotheses of development, for a radical transformation of the system, or as a corrective to some of its elements. In many cases these are “micro projects,” unsystematic contributions, brief theoretical interven- tions by writers who soon fell, or remained, in the shadows. In other cases, they are greater elaborations, by well-known scholars not necessarily working within the field of cinema studies. In still other cases, they are utopic visions, imaginative projections devel- oping in the context of projects and experimentations of the avant-gardes. And yet, this story is also made of concrete choices, “institutional” projects, paths of development designed and used by productive sectors, which, however, were abandoned and replaced by different models of development.

Reconsidering the traces of these “detours,” these dead-end streets, is not only a schol- arly and archaeological task. By looking knowledgeably at what cinema is not, we can bet- ter evaluate what it is. Exploring the web of possibilities it could have followed, we can see, behind the apparently natural course of events, the singularity, and possibly, the arbi- trariness of the trajectory leading up to the present. Re-examining abandoned and dis- carded models, we are better able to investigate the fundamentals of the new medium’s resources and structures, as we now know them. Even more: by bringing to light the blind alleys and the abandoned roads, we can get a better perspective on the directions that con- temporary cinema is exploring and experimenting with.

Leonardo Quaresima, Introduction

Ben Brewster, What Happened to Pantomime?

Elena Mosconi, The Art of “Speaking Silently”: The Debate around Cinema and Pantomime in the 1910s and 1920s

Ruggero Eugeni, The Phantom of the Relationship, the Poverty of Cinema and the Excesses of Hypnosis

Michael Barchet, Cinema and Revelation: for Professional Eyes Only

Paola Valentini, Tra fotografia e cinema: la tridimensionalità in Italia negli anni Trenta

Sandra Lischi, In Search of Expanded Cinema

Leonardo Quaresima, At the Museum and the Movies Enclosure: The Tactile Screen/Lo schermo tattile


New Studies

Raymond Bellour, Visages du dedans

Lesley Stern, Cinematic Performance: between the Histrionic and the Quotidian

Gianni Haver, Approche de la réception par la triade “programmation – presse – censure”

Frances Guerin, Opposite or Complementary Conceptions? What Do Rudolf Arnheim and Michel Chion Have in Common?


Projects & Abstracts
  • Université de Lausanne (François Bovier, PhD Thesis Abstract)
  • Università Cattolica – Milano (Vincenzo Buccheri, PhD Thesis Abstract)
  • Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) – Paris
    (Adrien Gombeaud, PhD Thesis Abstract)
  • Universiteit Utrecht (Rudmer Canjels, PhD Thesis Project)
  • Universität Bremen (Uwe Day, PhD Thesis Project)
  • University of California – Los Angeles (Tami M. Williams, PhD Thesis Project)
  • Università di Bologna, Università Cattolica di Milano, Università di Firenze, Università di Milano – Iulm, Università di Pavia, Università di Pisa,
    Università di Torino, Università di Trento, Università di Udine, Cinematic Technologies
  • The Keith-Albee Collection. Special Collections Department University of
    Iowa Libraries
  • X International Film Studies Conference. LIMINA – Film’s Thresholds
    (Udine, March 17-20, 2003)
  • MAGIS Gradisca Film Studies Spring School / Multiple and Multiple-language Versions (March 21-28, 2003)

Selected by
  • Richard Abel (Ben Singer, Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts)
  • Rick Altman (Ben Singer, Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and Its Contexts)
  • François Albera (Germain Lacasse, Le Bonimenteur de vues animées. Le cinéma “muet” entre tradition et modernité)
  • Francesco Casetti and Mariagrazia Fanchi (Annette Kuhn, An Everyday Magic. Cinema and Cultural Memory)
  • Lorenzo Cuccu (Sandro Bernardi, Il paesaggio nel cinema italiano)
  • Thomas Elsaesser (Leonie Naughton, That Was the Wild East: Film Culture, Unification and the “New” Germany)
  • André Gaudreault et J.-P. Sirois-Trahan (Vincent Pinel, Le Montage, l’espace et le temps du film)
  • Tom Gunning (Rachel O. Moore, Savage Theory: Cinema as Modern Magic)
  • François Jost (Gérard Genette, Figures IV)
  • Michèle Lagny (Jacques Aumont, La Théorie des cinéastes)
  • Francesco Pitassio (Giorgio Agamben, L’aperto. L’uomo e l’animale)
  • Leonardo Quaresima (Paul Auster, The Book of Illusions)
  • Lauren Rabinovitz (Linda Williams, Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson)
  • Cosetta Saba (Documenta 11 Platform 5: Exhibition. Catalogue)
  • Vicente Sánchez-Biosca (Paulo Antonio Paranaguá, Le Cinéma en Amérique Latine. Le miroir éclaté)
  • Irmbert Schenk (Rolf Aurich, Wolfgang Jacobsen, Cornelius Schnauzer, eds., Fritz Lang. Leben und Werk / His Life and Work / Sa vie et son œuvre)
  • Paola Valentini (Bruce Smith, The Acoustic World of Early Modern England)
  • Laura Vichi (Andy Masaki Bellows, Marina McDougall, Brigitte Berg, eds., Science is Fiction. The Films of Jean Painless)


Download Full Issue
No. 2, Spring 2003

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