Aesthetics of Early Sound Film
Aesthetics of Early Sound Film
Media Change around 1930
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Table of Contents
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1. The Aesthetics of Early Sound Film: An Introduction - Daniel Wiegand
I. From Silence to Sound
2. Dialogue Scenes in the Period of Multiple-Camera Shooting: The Example of Arrowsmith - Lea Jacobs
3. Expressive Visual Effects from Silent to Sound Film - Katharina Loew
4. From the Lexigraphic to the Melomanic: Accommodations to Sound in American Studio Animation - Donald Crafton
II. From Theory to Practice
5. “To Select, To Organize, To Sharpen”: Rouben Mamoulian, Sound Film Theory, and Applause - Michael Slowik
6. Futurists and ‘Homogenizers’ in Early Soviet Sound Film - Oksana Bulgakowa
III. National Contexts
7. Early Japanese Sound Film Aesthetics at Shochiku and Nikkatsu - Johan Nordström
8. Early Sound Films in France: Contexts and Experiments - Martin Barnier
9. Reporters, Radio Waves, and the Dispersed Audience: Staging the Radio in Early German Sound Cinema - Jörg Schweinitz
IV: Speech and Language
10. Talking Photographs: The Speaking Subject in Anglophone Newsreel and Documentary (1927–1936) - Irina Leimbacher
11. Die Nacht gehört uns / La nuit est à nous and Multilingual Reception in Switzerland - Jessica Berry
12.The Mimetic Attempt of Multiple Versions: Language, Voice, and Transcultural Talkies (1929–1932) - Maria Adorno
V. Music and Noise
13. “How Did the Music Get to the Fish Market?” On the Use of Nondiegetic Music in Early German Sound Films - Daniel Wiegand
14. The Sounds of War: Reflections on American WWI Films of 1930 - Martin Holtz
15. Urban Noise in the Early Italian Sound Film Gli uomini, che mascalzoni … - Nadine Soraya Vafi
General Bibiography
List of illustrations and captions
Author Bios

Reviews and Features

“In covering cinema in numerous countries, Aesthetics of Early Sound Film takes a step toward in establishing early sound-film style as a distinct area of academic study, putting the study of the sound movies of the late 1920s/early 1930s on par with the study of the early cinema of 1895-1906.”
-- Prof. Charles O’Brien, Professor of Film Studies at Carleton University.

"The book’s well-grounded claim that the era of the early sound film constitutes a distinct period in film history seems destined to change not only our view of the years in question but also of how we conceive of the history of the cinema in general."
-- Michael Wedel, Professor of Media History, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF

Daniel Wiegand (ed.)

Aesthetics of Early Sound Film

Media Change around 1930

This volume takes a fresh look at the various aesthetics emerging globally in the early sound film era, with a focus on the films’ fundamentally experimental and inventive character. By considering films and production contexts often neglected in film studies, it strives to counter the still dominant view of the transitional period as a time of yet-to-be-perfected forerunners of ‘classical’ sound film. Instead, authors highlight the sense of ‘fruitful uncertainty’ in this period of media change and transformation. Subjects covered include visual and auditory style; the uses of speech, music, and noises; aesthetic conceptions in sound film theory; and intermedial aesthetics. The volume’s scope is decidedly international, covering production and reception contexts in the Soviet Union, Japan, the USA, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Switzerland.

Daniel Wiegand

Daniel Wiegand is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at University of Zurich. He is the author of Gebannte Bewegung: Tableaux vivants und früher Film in der Kultur der Moderne as well as co-editor of Film Bild Kunst: Visuelle Ästhetik im vorklassischen Stummfilm (edited with Jörg Schweinitz, 2016). Recent articles include “‘Islands of Sound in the Silent Flow of Film:’ German Part-Talkies Around 1930 as a Hybrid Medium,” in Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television (2022).