The West in Early Cinema
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The West in Early Cinema

By Nanna Verhoeff
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Book Description

Verhoeff investigates the emergence of the western genre, made in the first two decades of cinema (1895-1915). By analyzing many unknown and forgotten films from international archives she traces the relationships between films about the American West, their surrounding films, and other popular media such as photography, painting, (pulp) literature, Wild West Shows and popular ethnography. Through this exploration of archival material she raises new questions of historiography and provides a model for historical analysis. These first traces of the Western film reveal a preoccupation with presence and actuality that informs us about the way in which film, as new medium, took shape within the context of its contemporary visual culture.

In The West in Early Cinema gaat Nanna Verhoeff op zoek naar de nog onbekende beginjaren van het westerngenre tijdens de eerste twee decennia van het medium film 1895-1915). Aan de hand van onbekende en vergeten films uit internationale filmarchieven traceert zij de relaties tussen films over het Westen, omringende filmgenres uit deze periode, en andere populaire media als fotografie, schilderkunst, (pulp)literatuur, Wild West Shows en populaire etnografie. Deze sporen van het genre tonen een grote actualiteit en variatie, die laat zien op welke manier de film als nieuw medium een vorm vond binnen de toenmalige visuele cultuur.

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