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Cinematicity in Media History$
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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

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Making America Global: Cinematicity and the Aerial View

Making America Global: Cinematicity and the Aerial View

(p.133) Chapter 8 Making America Global: Cinematicity and the Aerial View
Cinematicity in Media History

Jeffrey Geiger

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter, written by Jeffrey Geiger, explores interconnections between aerial perspectives and the moving image at a time when technological advances were producing a myriad of new ways of coming to terms with an increasingly globalized world. Aerial life was transforming social perceptions of space and terrain, and influencing how those spaces were managed and controlled. Along with the panorama, elevated and aerial views would therefore become central instruments in conceiving and grasping what Heidegger called the ‘world picture’. Focusing on the strategic uses of panoramic and elevated views and, especially with the coming of the Second World War, aerial photography, this chapter calls for a more dialectical reading of the role of cinematicity and the aerial view in modern perception, one that emphasizes how the aerial subject simultaneously can encompass seemingly opposed experiences of abstract distancing and emotional connection, ‘objective’ overseeing and embodied feeling.

Keywords:   Aerial views, Globalization, Documentary, Cinematic perception, Combat film, William Wyler, Second World War, Great Depression

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