Film Societies in Germany and Austria 1910-1933
Title
Film Societies in Germany and Austria 1910-1933
Subtitle
Tracing the Social Life of Cinema
Price
€ 117,00
ISBN
9789463725477
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
282
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
INTRODUCTION – WHAT WAS A FILM SOCIETY? TOWARDS A NEW ARCHAEOLOGY OF SCREEN COMMUNITIES
CHAPTER 1 – THE KNOWLEDGE COMMUNITY: THE BIRTH OF THE FILM SOCIETY FROM THE SPIRIT OF AMATEUR SCIENCE
CHAPTER 2 – THE PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY: CONCEPTUALIZING THE FILM INDUSTRY IN THE DEUTSCHE KINOTECHNISCHE GESELLSCHAFT
CHAPTER 3 – COMMUNITIES OF LOVE: CINEPHILIC FILM CLUBS, MOVIE MAGAZINES AND THE VIENNESE KINOGEMEINDE
CHAPTER 4 – THE SKEPTICAL COMMUNITY: LEFT-WING FILM SOCIETIES AND THE MAKING OF THE SUSPICIOUS SPECTATOR
AFTERWORD: WHAT’S IN AN ‘IDEA’?
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Michael Cowan

Film Societies in Germany and Austria 1910-1933

Tracing the Social Life of Cinema

This study traces the evolution of early film societies in Germany and Austria, from the emergence of mass movie theaters in the 1910s to the turbulent years of the late Weimar Republic. Examining a diverse array of groups, it approaches film societies as formations designed to assimilate and influence a new medium: a project emerging from the world of amateur science before taking new directions into industry, art and politics. Through an interdisciplinary approach—in dialogue with social history, print history and media archaeology—it also transforms our theoretical understanding of what a film society was and how it operated. Far from representing a mere collection of pre-formed cinephiles, film societies were, according to the book’s central argument, productive social formations, which taught people how to nurture their passion for the movies, how to engage with cinema, and how to interact with each other. Ultimately, the study argues that examining film societies can help to reveal the diffuse agency by which generative ideas of cinema take shape.
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Author

Michael Cowan

Michael Cowan is Professor of film and media history in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa. His research, focused on German and European cinema, examines the broader cultural and technological contexts in which film practices emerged and evolved in the early 20th century. His publications have won numerous awards from the Society of Film and Media Studies and the British Association of Film and Television Studies Scholars, as well as the Willy Haas Award (Germany) and the Limina Award (Italy).