Early Cinema, Modernity and Visual Culture
Title
Early Cinema, Modernity and Visual Culture
Subtitle
The Imaginary of the Balkans
Author
Price
€ 119,00
ISBN
9789463728300
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
276
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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Acknowledgments
Foreword. Travelling Down/Travelling Through by Dina Iordanova
Preface. The Balkan Imaginary of Ruins
Introduction. Charting the Terrain: Early Cinema in the Balkans
1. Visual Culture in the Balkans, Haptic Visuality and Archival Moving Images
My Journey through Savage Europe
Hapticality of Archival Moving Images
Hapticality of Visual Culture in the Balkans
The Byzantine Cultural Legacy
The Ottoman Cultural Legacy
Architecture, Fresco Painting, Icons, Textiles and Jewellery
Image survivante” and the Legacy of Balkan Visual Culture
The Difference in Perception
2. Historicizing the Balkan Spectator and the Embodied Cinema Experience
Anticipating Cinema
The Arrival of Cinema: Haptical Encounters with Moving Images
The Spaces of Cinema and Coffee Consumption
Cinema and “Intensive Life”
Cinema in the City
Looking Back at Cinema
3. Mapping Constellations: Movement and Cross-cultural Exchange of Images, Practices and People
Journeys from the East: Cross-cultural Travels of the Shadow Puppet Theatre
The Cinematograph at the Theatre

Travelling Cinema Exhibitors and Filmmakers
The Mysterious Hungarian and the Serbian-Bulgarian Connection
The Balkan Cinema Pioneers and the Lost Gaze
Cinema and the Global Imaginary
4. Imagining the Balkans: The Cinematic Gaze from the Outside
Exoticism and the Balkans
The Orientalist Gaze in Marubi Studio Photographs
“Oriental” Austria: Cinematic Representations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sensational Killings and Wild Insurgents at the Cinema
Charles Urban Trading Company in the Balkans
Imperial Imagination, Archives and Moving Images
The Reverberations of Balkan Wars and the Siege of Shkodra
5. Made in the Balkans: Mirroring the Self
The Desire for “Our” Views
High-life and the Pleasure of the Screen
Scientific Spectacles
Views of Ethnographic and Socio-political Significance
Pictures of Home
Constructing the Nation through Cinema
Historical Drama from Serbia
Historical Epic from Romania
Conclusion. The Future Perfect of Early Cinema in the Balkans
Bibliography
Appendix
Index

Reviews and Features

"It's an impressive, exhaustively researched work on Balkan early cinema grounded in regional and transnational layers of a culture history of visuality and geopolitics in modern times. Its depth and breadth are astonishing for a first monograph by a junior scholar. The work demonstrates author’s admirable ability to perform extensive archival research and sophisticated interpretation informed by interdisciplinary methodologies drawn from film phenomenology, critical theory, archival theory, art history, and socio-cultural history. It will be a significant contribution to comparative early cinema studies and modern visual culture, in addition to general East European studies."
- Zhen Zhang, New York University Tisch School of the Arts

"Ana Grgic takes us on a journey in early cinema’s relatively understudied territory within the ‘other Europe’ on the crossroads of East and West. This is a different story of modernity with tensions between memory and forgetting, the archive and its absent films, the Balkan gaze and the Oriental gaze. Grgic enhances and offers alternatives to the prevailing notions and concepts of early cinema scholarship (just to give one example shifting the focus from the flaneur to the coffeehouse regular, a largely neglected subject). She eloquently describes the experiential circumstances and the role of the early cinema-going in the 'conquest of the night' in the Balkans. One cannot help but be impressed by the masterfully built methodology, exhaustive archival research and literature survey, all of which gave way to an inspiring source that will serve as a reference point for many years to come."
- Nezih Erdogan, Istinye University

Ana Grgic

Early Cinema, Modernity and Visual Culture

The Imaginary of the Balkans

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Balkans were animated by cultural movements and socio-political turmoil with the onset of the collapse of the empires. Around the same period, the proliferation of print media and the arrival of moving images gradually transformed urban life, and played an important role in the creation of national and regional cultures. Based on archival research that explores previously overlooked footage and early press materials, Early Cinema, Modernity and Visual Culture: The Imaginary of the Balkans is the first study on early cinema in the region from a transnational and cross-cultural perspective. This book investigates how the unique geopolitical positioning of the Balkan space and the multicultural identity of its communities influenced and shaped visual culture and the development of early cinema until World War I. It highlights how early moving images and foreign film productions contributed to the construction of Balkanist and semi-colonial discourses. Building on approaches such as ‘new cinema history’, ‘vernacular modernity’ and ‘polycentric multiculturalism’ to counter Eurocentric modernity paradigms and to reframe hierarchical relations between centres and peripheries, this monograph adopts an alternative methodology for interstitial spaces. Using the notion of the haptic, it examines the relationship between the new medium and regional visual culture. By doing so, it establishes new connections between moving image artefacts and print media, early film practitioners and intellectuals, the socio-cultural context and cultural responses to the new visual medium in the Balkan region.
Author

Ana Grgic

Ana Grgic is Assoc. Professor at Babes-Bolyai University. Her research on Balkan and transnational cinema, archives and memory appeared in Early Popular Visual Culture, Studies in Eastern European Cinema, Film Quarterly, and KinoKultura. She is co-editor of Contemporary Balkan Cinema: Transnational Exchanges and Global Circuits (2020), and is Associate Editor of Studies in World Cinema.