Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cinematicity in Media History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeffrey Geiger and Karin Littau

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676118

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Nature Caught in the Act: On the Transformation of an Idea of Art in Early Cinema

Nature Caught in the Act: On the Transformation of an Idea of Art in Early Cinema

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter 6 Nature Caught in the Act: On the Transformation of an Idea of Art in Early Cinema
Source:
Cinematicity in Media History
Author(s):

Nico Baumbach

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676118.003.0007

This chapter, written by Nico Baumbach, focuses on the Lumières’ film Le Repas de Bébé (Baby’s Meal); taking as its starting point Georges Méliès’s observation that it was through this film that he first registered the potential of cinema. It is not the spectacular that Méliès notices, but the incidental detail of moving leaves in the background of the film. Baumbach homes in on this incidental detail to explore the significance it held for filmmakers, including D. W. Griffith. Baumbach addresses film’s power to construct palpable, seemingly concrete visual phenomena, though here he examines the transitory aesthetics of the ‘wind in the trees’. Baumbach enriches the interest in what Tom Gunning and André Gaudreault called the ‘cinema of attractions’ by suggesting, via detours into Kant, Benjamin, German Romantic poetry, and Impressionist painting, that the inscription of the incidental could often be as powerful as the spectacular.

Keywords:   Lumière Brothers, Early cinema, Kinesis, D. W. Griffith, Film Theory, Film and Philosophy, Impressionism, Film aesthetics

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.