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Arnheim Film Essays

They can be educated, but not these days – not so long as the work needed to earn their daily bread is either nonexistent or so overtaxing that the worker drops dead tired into bed at night.

In the fall of 1957 the University of California Press expanded Arnheim’s 1933 book Film by four essays and brought that landmark work back into print as Film as Art.At the cinema they look for the sensation of the waxworks, the ventriloquist – the doll looks and talks like a man!Similarly, technicians see their task as being to conquer sound, colour, and space, and they’re going to reach their goal damned fast.I mainly rated this low because I disagree with his predictions/musings on non-silent film and the mechanics in the second part of the book were pretty dull, at least for me.Arnheim's anatomical survey of how film form differs perceptually from the then-hegemonic contention that "film is a mechanical reproduction of reality" merits some praise for its counter-hypothesis to realist film theory.The developments of the past two years have made this whole pious swindle painfully clear.For the people would rather have pictures than a bible.Thus a cult of the image quickly arose, one that has since turned into a spiritual epidemic.Everywhere that there had been words – that is, thoughts – there was now raw, pointless viewing.Arnheim’s method, provocative in this age of technological wizardry, was to focus on the way art in film was derived from that medium’s early limitations: no sound, no color, no three-dimensional depth.2.5As much as this book likes to think it's relevant today (see opening of book), it's really not.The reason Arnheim wrote this was to disprove claims at the time that film was not art because it was mechanically imitating reality (or something similarly stupid); which today holds no ground and was something I wasn't even familiar with.

386 comments

  1. Gestalt psychology was the foundation of Rudolf Arnheim's approach to art. Reviewing. München Carl Hanser Verlag; Eng. trans. Film essays and criticism.

  2. Beginning in the mid-20s he wrote articles and reviews on film, art and. as well as a great number of his essays, have been translated into many languages.

  3. In the fall of 1957 the University of California Press expanded Arnheim's 1933 book Film by four essays and brought that landmark work back into print as Film as.

  4. Jul 24, 2004. The most eminent feature of Arnheim's theory of film is the author's sceptical. This quotation from the essay “The End of St. Petersburg, plus.

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