By the same authors

‘Un cinéma impur’: framing film in the early film industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)



Publication details

Title of host publicationFraming Film
DatePublished - Oct 2012
Number of pages22
Place of PublicationBristol
EditorsSteven Allen, Laura Hubner
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781841505077


This chapter explores the relationships of early cinema (1895-1913) to fine art through i) cinema’s concerted efforts to court the look and feel of the art gallery through its mode of exhibition; ii) its claiming of artists, studios, and paintings as part of its own pool of favoured subjects; and iii) its use of imported visual ‘quotations’ from specific and identifiable paintings within its own works. Specifically, the chapter explores how the decorative character of some early screen frames emblematised the medium’s aspirations to be aligned with fine art. It asks what attitude to conventional artists these early films adopted and examines how the movement from the still image to the moving one, dramatised in many ‘enchanting painting’ films, self-consciously reflected on the processes of cinema itself. As a counter to the implied passivity of an ‘amazed’ audience for early cinema, the chapter finishes by considering how active and energetically associative was the required mode of spectatorship in response to early films that intermedially cited paintings.

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations