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Shared affinities and "Kunstwollen" – stylistics of the cinematic image in the 1910s and art theory at the turn of the century in Germany


Schweinitz, Jörg (2018). Shared affinities and "Kunstwollen" – stylistics of the cinematic image in the 1910s and art theory at the turn of the century in Germany. In: Curtis, Scott; Gauthier, Philippe; Gunning, Tom; Yumibe, Joshua. The image in early cinema : form and material. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 153-163.

Abstract

From turn-of-the-century art theories through the beginnings of film theory to the film stylistics of the 1910s we clearly note an overarching aesthetic sensibility. In this essay, I have highlighted the marked interest of the period’s theorists in the relationship between effects of surface and depth in the two-dimensional image. I have shown that art theorist Adolf Hildebrand and film theorist Hugo Münsterberg outlined a dialectical conception for which it is crucial that the gaze oscillates between the image surface and an effectively shaped, imaginary spatial depth. Herbert Tannenbaum proposed to design the image surface not just with view to suggesting deep space but also as a surface in its own right, as a specific aesthetic entity. The analysis of Emerich Hanus’s film "Die Liebe der Maria Bonde" (Germany 1917/18) reveals that the film’s visual-stylistic qualities put great emphasis on the careful stimulation of such an oscillating gaze between surface aesthetics and depth illusion. Pars pro toto, this testifies to the aesthetic zeitgeist in the 1910s connecting various media and discourses.

Abstract

From turn-of-the-century art theories through the beginnings of film theory to the film stylistics of the 1910s we clearly note an overarching aesthetic sensibility. In this essay, I have highlighted the marked interest of the period’s theorists in the relationship between effects of surface and depth in the two-dimensional image. I have shown that art theorist Adolf Hildebrand and film theorist Hugo Münsterberg outlined a dialectical conception for which it is crucial that the gaze oscillates between the image surface and an effectively shaped, imaginary spatial depth. Herbert Tannenbaum proposed to design the image surface not just with view to suggesting deep space but also as a surface in its own right, as a specific aesthetic entity. The analysis of Emerich Hanus’s film "Die Liebe der Maria Bonde" (Germany 1917/18) reveals that the film’s visual-stylistic qualities put great emphasis on the careful stimulation of such an oscillating gaze between surface aesthetics and depth illusion. Pars pro toto, this testifies to the aesthetic zeitgeist in the 1910s connecting various media and discourses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Cinema Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
900 History
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 13:42
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:09
Publisher:Indiana University Press
Series Name:Early cinema in review: proceedings of Domitor
ISBN:978-0-253-03439-7
Additional Information:Published biennially, Early Cinema in Review: Proceedings of Domitor is a peer-reviewed series featuring original contributions developed from Domitor's international conferences, which explore early film from its beginnings to 1915. Established in 1985, Domitor, the international society for the study of early cinema, has been at the leading edge of film historiography. The series promotes new methods of historical research through the international exchange of information, documents, and ideas. With the opening of film archives and the growing emphasis on film preservation, the series seeks to build collaborative relationships among scholars, archivists, and early film enthusiasts from around the world.
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Record/52293319X (Library Catalogue)
https://domitor.org/proceedings/ (Organisation)

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