By Murray Leeder
In 1896, Maxim Gorky declared cinema "the state of Shadows." In its silent, ashen-grey international, he observed a land of spectral, and ever on account that then cinema has had a distinct dating with the haunted and the ghostly. Cinematic Ghosts is the 1st assortment dedicated to this topic, together with fourteen new essays, devoted to exploring the numerous variations of the films' phantoms.
Cinematic Ghosts includes essays revisiting a few vintage ghost movies in the genres of horror (The Haunting, 1963), romance (Portrait of Jennie, 1948), comedy (Beetlejuice, 1988) and the artwork movie (Uncle Boonmee Who Can bear in mind His earlier Lives, 2010), in addition to essays facing a couple of motion pictures from all over the world, from Sweden to China. Cinematic Ghosts lines the archetype of the cinematic ghost from the silent period till at the present time, delivering analyses from various historic, aesthetic and theoretical dimensions
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Additional info for Cinematic ghosts : haunting and spectrality from silent cinema to the digital era
60 61 38 CINEMATIC GHOSTS replaces the unique with a mirror play of semblages. The undermining of traditional modes of authenticity and truth that thinkers from Benjamin to Baudrillard have associated with modern image-making processes depends on this proliferation of images. As Jonathan Crary has indicated, the potentially endless mechanical reproduction that photography makes available aids the system of exchange and circulation on which modern capitalism and industrialization are founded. Photography is, in this sense, the standardization of imagery.
Similarly, for the spiritualists, photography seemed to give evidence to a metaphysical belief, but only because the belief itself could be adapted to a system of infinite multiplication. The spiritualist encounter with photography reveals the uncanny aspect of this technological process, as one is confronted with doubles that can be endlessly scrutinized for their recognizable features, but whose origins remain obscure. Although mere images, photographs remain endlessly reproducible, able to survive the physical death of their originals.
First, Villiers had understood several decades before Freud the uncanny effect of repetition. Second, the confrontation with the repressed, here death and in Freud commercial illicit sex, comes through a sort of helpless surrender of the dream logic of urban topography. However timeless the effects of the unconscious may be, we see again how often in Freud they illuminate the new experiences of modernity. And finally and most importantly for my thesis, the effect of repetition, particularly in Villiers, inevitably recalls the possibilities of photography.
Cinematic ghosts : haunting and spectrality from silent cinema to the digital era by Murray Leeder