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Tableaux vivants, early cinema, and ‹beauty-as-attraction›


Wiegand, Daniel (2018). Tableaux vivants, early cinema, and ‹beauty-as-attraction›. Acta universitatis sapientia. Film and media studies, 15(1):9-32.

Abstract

This article offers a case study in intermediality and explores relationships between tableaux vivants performances and early cinema around 1900. It locates processes of intermedial exchange not only at the level of form but also at the level of modes of address and reception. More speci cally, the study is concerned with how bourgeois notions of beauty were transferred to the lm image and reconciled with the attraction value of cinema. As a discussion of early lm theory reveals, the concept of “beauty in lm” depended on a taming of lmic motion, something that had already been realized in performance practices of tableaux vivants. In the subsequent analysis of the cultural context of tableaux vivants in European variety theatres, I outline a speci c mode of address, which I term “beauty- as-attraction:” an overlap of the older aesthetics of the beautiful and the more modern aesthetics of attraction. Through concluding lm analysis, I show how tableaux vivants became a model and source of inspiration for early cinema, thus bringing to fruition the two-fold address of beauty-as- attraction in a new media context.

Abstract

This article offers a case study in intermediality and explores relationships between tableaux vivants performances and early cinema around 1900. It locates processes of intermedial exchange not only at the level of form but also at the level of modes of address and reception. More speci cally, the study is concerned with how bourgeois notions of beauty were transferred to the lm image and reconciled with the attraction value of cinema. As a discussion of early lm theory reveals, the concept of “beauty in lm” depended on a taming of lmic motion, something that had already been realized in performance practices of tableaux vivants. In the subsequent analysis of the cultural context of tableaux vivants in European variety theatres, I outline a speci c mode of address, which I term “beauty- as-attraction:” an overlap of the older aesthetics of the beautiful and the more modern aesthetics of attraction. Through concluding lm analysis, I show how tableaux vivants became a model and source of inspiration for early cinema, thus bringing to fruition the two-fold address of beauty-as- attraction in a new media context.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Cinema Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
900 History
Language:English
Date:16 October 2018
Deposited On:23 Jan 2019 16:10
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:09
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:2066-7779
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/ausfm-2018-0001

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