Special Effects on the Screen
Special Effects on the Screen
Faking the View from Méliès to Motion Capture
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(Martin Lefebvre and Marc Furstenau) Introduction
Chapter 1: (Martin Lefebvre) Mind(ing) the Gap
Chapter 2: (John Belton) Images as Visual Effects
Chapter 3: (François Jost) The Pragmatics of trucage: Between Feigning and Fiction
Chapter 4: (Marc Furstenau) Realism, Illusion and Special Effects in the Cinema
Chapter 5: (Frank Kessler and Sabine Lenk) Trick-o-logics 1810/1910: The Magic of Tricks and Special Effects between the Stage and the Screen
Chapter 6: (François Albera) Those Ordinary “Special Effects”
Chapter 7: (Donald Crafton) Black Magic: The “Space Between the Frames” in Cinematic Special Effects
Chapter 8: (Benoît Turquety) Photography and the Composite Image, from Recreations to the Digital; or, A Portrait of Méliès as a Bergsonian Filmmaker
Chapter 9: (Katharina Loew) From Trick to Special Effect: Standardization and the Rise of Imperceptible Cinematic Illusions
Chapter 10: (Roger Odin) Special Effects and Spaces of Communication: A Semio-Pragmatic Approach
Chapter 11: (Philippe Marion) Image Capture, or the Control of Special Effects
Chapter 12: (Janet Bergstrom) Murnau’s Sunrise: In-Camera Effects and Effects Specialists
Chapter 13: (Suzanne Liandrat-Guigues) King Kong, an Open Perspective
Chapter 14: (Kristen Whissel) Parallax Effects, Uncanny Visual Effects and 3D Cinema of the 1950s
Chapter 15: (Sean Cubitt) Oblivion: Of Time and Special Effects
Chapter 16: (Dudley Andrew) The Effect of Miracles and the Miracle of Effects: Bazin’s Faith in Evolution

Martin Lefebvre, Marc Furstenau (eds)

Special Effects on the Screen

Faking the View from Méliès to Motion Capture

Since the very first days of cinema, audiences have marveled at the special effects imagery presented on movie screens. While long relegated to the margins of film studies, special effects have recently become the object of a burgeoning field of scholarship. With the emergence of a digital cinema, and the development of computerized visual effects, film theorists and historians have been reconsidering the traditional accounts of cinematic representation, recognising the important role of special effects. Understood as a constituent part of the cinema, special effects are a major technical but also aesthetic component of filmmaking and an important part of the experience for the audience. In this volume, new directions are charted for the exploration of this indispensable aspect of the cinematic experience. Each of the essays in this collection offers new insight into the theoretical and historical study of special effects. The contributors address the many aspects of special effects, from a variety of perspectives, considering them as a conceptual problem, recounting the history of specific special effects techniques, and analysing notable effects films.

Martin Lefebvre

Martin Lefebvre is Professor and Chair of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University (Montréal, Canada). He is Editor-in-Chief of Recherches sémiotiques/Semiotic Inquiry and has published widely on semiotics and film. He is the author of Truffaut et ses doubles (Vrin, 2013) and has edited several volumes including Techniques et technologies du cinéma (with A. Gaudreault; PUR, 2015); Landscape and Film (Routledge, 2007); and Eisenstein: l’ancien et le nouveau (with D. Chateau & F. Jost; Sorbonne, 2001).

Marc Furstenau

Marc Furstenau is Professor of Film Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa. He published articles on a range of topics and is the editor of The Film Theory Reader: Debates and Arguments (Routledge, 2010), co-editor of Cinema and Technology: Cultures, Theories, Practices (Palgrave, 2008), and co-editor of Special Effects on the Screen: Faking the View from Méliès to Motion Capture (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2022). He is past editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.