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SEHR, volume 5, Supplement: Cultural and Technological Incubations of Fascism
Updated December 17, 1996

entrapped agency

an exploration of the links between cinema and fascism

Melissa Goldman

new reading motions

When you can throw a picture of an express train
on a screen in such a realistic way that persons who
see it scramble to get out of its way
and faint from fright, it's about time to stop.

New York Telegram October 15, 1896

Appearing six months after the first public exhibition of motion pictures in the United States, this article sounded a warning against the potential effects of dazzling cinematic displays. Motion pictures are dangerous, the author claimed, because they may cause viewers to respond to an imaginary representation as if it were in fact real. By locating film's power precisely in its proximity to reality, this argument rejects the underlying premise of earlier critiques of realist art and photography, namely the artistic impoverishment of a genre that attempts merely to record lived experience. Baudelaire, for example, had attacked photography:

More and more, as each day goes by, art is losing in self-respect, is prostrating it- self before external reality, and the paint-er is becoming more and more inclined to paint not what he dreams, but what he sees.[1]

Although just as determined to criticize the filmic form due to its supposed ability to duplicate reality (a dubious claim in itself), the author cited above does so because of a powerful yet unnamed threat associated with mistaking a representation for reality. He insists that film's power derives from the fact that it is too realistic. His view seems reactionary in calling for an end to a new technology that causes fear in naive viewers; yet, this perspective inaugurated a tradition in film criticism that ultimately led to the Frankfurt School argument that opportunities to manipulate viewers through film are ample and effective. In this paper, I explore the possibility that the eventual use of cinema as propaganda by fascist leaders in Germany and Italy was not simply because of its ability to reach a mass audience: rather, the medium of cinema was already riddled with fascist undertones when it developed in the 1890s out of a confluence of technological developments in a particular historical moment.

When cinema was projected for the first time, audiences, in spite of the article cited above, loved the thrilling effect, and viewers streamed in daily to encounter the jolt of the new experience. On December 28, 1895, the Lumière Brothers projected the first films to a paying audience, and, as the myth of the birth of cinema has it, the Paris audience stampeded at the sight of a locomotive barreling toward them in "L'Arrivée d'un train en gare."[2] The novelty of exposure to motion pictures incited a turbulent reaction, eliciting a response of both fear and delight.[3]

In Luis Buñuel's autobiography, My Last Sigh, he compares early cinema to the amusement park, recollecting the naive delight of early audiences. He links the newness of the filmic display to its terrifying incomprehensibility:

I'll never forget, for example, everyone's terror when we saw our first zoom. There on the screen was a head coming closer and closer, growing larger and larger. We simply couldn't understand that the camera was moving nearer to the head, or that because of trick photography (as in Méliès's films), the head only appeared to grow larger. All we saw was a head coming toward us, swelling hideously out of all proportion.[4]

Enthralled audiences and concerned critics seemed to agree - the primal encounter with an unfamiliar filmic device proved terrifying: here, a hideous head, detached from any body and grossly magnified, loomed menacingly over its audience. The pure magnitude of the projected image coupled with its unclear meaning forced a double strangeness on its unsettled viewer. In Buñuel's account, film's radical newness rested on two effects: first, a manipulation of scale resulting in a grotesque distortion of reality; and second, the creation of new formal codes that radically eluded the collective archive of signs and actions. Film acted simultaneously as an eerie spectacle of kinetic effects made possible by technology, and as a formal, readable medium for the transmission of ideas. Both of these aspects of film's newness contributed to its power and to the way in which it could and would be used to effectively bind viewers to a certain vision of reality.[5]

While becoming an outrageously popular means of entertainment, film also disturbed visual practices by creating and enforcing a fledgling system of hermeneutic codes through which mechanical representation of movement could turn into narrative. In the early 1900s, an understanding of basic film design soon replaced general bewilderment at the new sensations, and audiences seemed to lose interest in the technological novelty. With sales threatened, the burgeoning film industry responded with new devices, technological innovations, and growing reserves of new codes for the public to assimilate, such as intertitles, parallel editing, and camera movement. Film began to create an interpretive system through which one could understand a story line via the gestures and tempo of silent action. Viewers needed to adjust, and Buñuel's account reflects this adjustment: though confronted by a representation produced through a camera-eye that seemed homologous to human eyes, a film ultimately required viewers to learn to make sense of non-linguistic film semiotics. New reading motions emerged to enable viewers to read motion.

The close-up cited by Buñuel was only one filmic technique that early viewers needed to assimilate. Others included understanding that during a film's progression, time moves forward and action continues from one shot to the next. The technique of intercutting used by Porter in Life of a Fireman (1903) showed action in one location and then in another, implying that the events in the two scenes occurred at the same time. Porter's innovation required the audience to recognize that a shift in scene need not imply the passage of time but rather the existence of simultaneous action in different places. Producers and distributors must have been uneasy about people's ability to grasp the new codes: Buñuel recalls that because the pictorial grammar of movies was so new to the audience, there was an explicador who stood next to the screen and explained the action to avoid misunderstandings.[6]

That film may have elicited fear and that it channeled viewers into certain new methods of seeing, positions its invention not only historically but theoretically amid the dizzying unfamiliarity of the fin-de-siècle. The incomprehensibility of the close-up and the terror at feeling as if in the path of a speeding train were a part and a reflection of the changing consciousness of the turn of the century. Into a world of unceasing new sensations, an increasingly mechanized industrial complex, and multiplying information systems (newspapers, telegraphs, telephones), came the cinema, which might stand at once as a trope for all of these changes. Machine culture and technological advances provided the backdrop, and film responded with a medium particularly suited to changes in the status of technology in everyday reality and the renegotiation of relationships between humans and machines, subjects and objects.

I want to argue that the medium of film itself also internalized and symbolized much of what undergirded the emerging fascist ideologies of the early twentieth century. Throughout Europe, proliferating fascist discourses focused and relied on a wide array of theoretical fields including hygiene, efficiency, rhythm, motion, and speed.[7] Using the assumption that, before crystallizing into fascist doctrine, these concepts were part of the historical and cultural matrix of the early twentieth century, some of the stirrings of these ideas can be located in the interpenetration of culture, science, technology, and industry which coalesced in the invention of the motion picture.[8] In its later use of film for propagandistic purposes, the fascist state tapped into a network already inhabited by proto-fascist fibers.

Fascist practice relied heavily on national aesthetics of rituals, symbols, and myths, and within the fascist symbolic universe, a racially-determined body (Aryan or Jewish, in German fascism) represented an ideal or a rejected type. Film codes themselves allowed for a dubious social cohesion based on a shared archive of bodily images and stereotypes; the codes created standard mental pictures of emblematic types easily identified by certain archetypal characteristics. Offensive portrayals were rampant as film's silent semiotics relied on reducing individuals to coded, visually recognizable categories. One blatant example is provided by a film advertised in the 1902 catalog of Biograph films, "Laughing Ben." The description reads: "A quaint old negro [sic] over eighty years of age who laughs continuously."[9] The effect of movies on individual identity formation and on the creation of twentieth century consumer images of national, racial, sexual, and class stereotypes must be reckoned with. Further, when gestures become the key to identifying meaning in a silent world, not only do specific bodies play a symbolic function, but the body itself transforms into an amalgamation or a map of discrete, readable signs to which meanings can be attached and used toward certain ends. As a result, a re-mapping of subjectivity can be brought about by mass-produced shared symbols that serve to re-orient and unify an audience.

The invention of motion pictures meant the possibility of mechanically storing movement for the first time and the ability to reproduce bodies and objects in motion.[10] With this new representational framework came certain (foreboding) developments in both the discipline of bodies and the display of power. On the one hand, a body's expressiveness coupled with the language of filmic representation provided the possibility to re-create the meaning of its form and its gestures. Taken a step further, a body essentially became human material to be mechanically manipulated and even distorted; it became an edited body for the purpose of visual pleasure or, perhaps, scientific experimentation (see below on time-motion studies). On the other hand, through the workings of science, privileged humans - that is, the filmmakers - were especially empowered with the ability to grant mobility and life to previously inert objects and to make movement out of stasis. The 1902 film entitled "Demolishing and Building Star Theatre, New York" was advertised as "a remarkable picture, showing a theatre torn down and put up in a minute's time."[11] In the same year, "A Mystic Re-Incarnation," portrayed a magician who dismembered and then reassembled the figure of a girl.[12] Film allowed agents of social control to exist who, in inducing worldwide absorption into the cinematic illusion, could control the grid of time and space inherent in the representation of motion, and could store a specific symbol-in-motion to be shown over and over again.

cinema's inheritance

Hugo Münsterberg, one of the foremost scholars of human labor whose work is based on time and motion studies, also authored one of the first works of film theory, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study, in 1916. In his scientific analysis of the workplace, Münsterberg carried out many psychological and physical performance studies of workers in an attempt to ascertain the labor power contained in a body in motion and to envision a more productive industrial subject. His fascination with film is not surprising given that the cinematic medium already had its historical roots in the industrial management of workers and production, in time-motion studies, and the science of work. What was to become the most powerful industrialized production of visual culture stemmed from a photographic instrument designed to dissect animal, and later human, motion into its fundamental parts and to re-assemble it for optimal labor efficiency.

The motion picture camera is foregrounded in this history, particularly in the collaborative efforts on behalf of culture and science in the work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge in California and physician E.J. Marey in Paris. As is commonly known, Muybridge's work with Leland Stanford in Palo Alto culminated in his famous 1877 experiment using cameras tripped off sequentially by a running horse to dissect motion into a series of static images. The resulting pictures showed the progression of a horse's movement.[13] In 1882, Marey invented the photographic gun in his ongoing attempt to analyze movement. This camera shot a series of pictures upon a revolving drum, recording the flight of birds. Later that year, he photographed a man running, and by 1894, this technique was applied to the study of physical labor.[14] As Anson Rabinbach argues in The Human Motor, Marey's work was based on a belief that a systematic understanding of human motion could be reached with the aid of scientific instruments that break bodily motion down into discrete, quantifiable components - a feat unattainable by human perceptive capabilities alone.[15] Rabinbach writes, "[Marey's] chronophotography made possible a science of fatigue and a rationalization of the body's movements - an economy of energy that led to a distinctly European science of work."[16] Taylorism, although different in its means of accomplishing efficiency in the workplace, also relied on "time and motion" studies to link individual wages to individual productivity.

Early cinematic history, then, was immediately bound up with an array of ideological considerations. The worker's body was constructed as a productive machine with an apparatus to prove it. The camera and movie projector, designed to reduce movement to its component parts for the sake of analysis of animals and humans, would create films that entertained by re-synthesizing simulated motion through a rhythmic, regulated succession of static pictures. The convergence in Münsterberg's work of industrial psychology and a theory of film's formidable power makes visible linkages between discourses of mechanization and mind-control that will re-surface in fascist practice. Anson Rabinbach argues that German Arbeitswissenschaft equated work with "performance," and Münsterberg's interest in film, with its roots in factory management of human resources, makes this connection even more explicit.

The ties between the emerging film industry and the world of rapid industrialization go deeper. According to cinematic lore, the popularity of film became solidly entrenched in the U.S. in 1903 when vaudeville actors held a strike for higher wages and the vaudeville houses scurried in search of alternative entertainment to replace the workers and keep their doors open. While machines were supplementing and replacing human labor in the workplace, mechanical entertainment made its own headway. By 1907, the gross income from film production exceeded that of theater and vaudeville combined.[17] The goal of producers was to create as many films as possible in the shortest amount of time in their industrial "factory," and they could barely keep up with demand. By 1908, there were twenty manufacturers in the U.S. churning out one or two one-reelers (the standard sixteen minute film corresponding to the assumption that the viewing public had a negligible attention span) per director per week. A film was shot in one day and put together on an assembly line. Workers in this "shabby" occupation of creating cheap entertainment received no screen credit. In France, the international entertainment company Pathé was founded in 1896 as a global film enterprise, ushering in the concept of mass cultural imperialism. Pathé was set up as a vertical industrial monopoly from the outset, manufacturing equipment and mass-producing films under a supervising director. In 1916, according to Münsterberg's book on film, the industry had produced 125,000 movie theaters that were attended by thirty million people daily all over the globe.[18]

Münsterberg reinscribes the power of film stressed in the New York Telegram article within a discourse of pedagogical use:

The audiences are assembled anyhow. Instead of feeding them with mere entertainment, why not give them food for serious thought?...Political and economic, social and hygienic, technical and industrial, esthetic and scientific questions can in no way be brought nearer to the grasp of millions.[19]

Knowing that film became a medium for overtly fascist propaganda - Hitler's personally commissioned Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl 1935) is the most widely recognized example - gives Münsterberg's enthusiasm an ominous tone. His emphasis on political ends, though, participated in a more general theoretical discourse about openly political art and its capacity for enacting social change. There has always been a hope and desire among politically committed/anti-fascist film theorists and filmmakers that film might be capable of redemptive effects, beginning with Sergei Eisenstein's films and commentaries in the twenties and Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" in the thirties. The dream of social reform through film is echoed by thinkers and practitioners across the political spectrum. To Benjamin and to Eisenstein, the filmic apparatus itself, by dint of its unique form - mechanical reproduction to Benjamin, montage to Eisenstein - allowed for a new artistic practice closely allied with a political agenda. Münsterberg, pre-dating both, also saw film's power in its formal construction, specifically the way film interacts with and reflects the working of the human mind.

Münsterberg's spectator is highly suggestible in his unique role as a participant in the performance. When a viewer watches a film,

the motion which he sees appears to be a true motion, and yet is created by his own mind...the idea of motion is to a high degree the product of our own reaction...we create the depth and the continuity through our mental mechanism.[20]

While a film may deplete a passive viewing subject of agency by informing his or her aesthetic tastes and responses (and if locomotion is indeed a sign of agency, the audience remains still while the images on screen move), Münsterberg tried to restore individual agency in the mental act of synthesizing the static pictures into motion. An extension of this logic, though, proves troubling: if film allows the mind to construct the world, even though what is constructed and projected onto the screen consists of culturally-coded propagandistic images, then the spectator must be responsible for what he or she sees in these images. An exterior world-view is thus not only imposed onto a viewing public, its images are actually created in the minds of those viewers.

In Münsterberg's vocabulary, certain filmic techniques, particularly the close-up, the flashback, and parallel editing, could allow movies to imitate exhilaratingly and make visible the workings of the human mind. He called the flashback "an objectification of our memory function," guided not by external forces but by the laws of the mind.[21] What he does not mention in his explanation, though, is that these techniques further reinforce the potential for subjectivity to be molded through film:

The close-up has objectified in our world of perception our mental act of attention and by it has furnished art with a means which far transcends the power of any stage.... It is as if that outer world were woven into our mind and were shaped not through its own laws but by the acts of our attention.[22]

Münsterberg's theory glorifies film because, as he claimed, it is an art form synchronized with the human mind. If, according to rumors at the time, Münsterberg indeed received payment for The Photoplay from the industry in Hollywood, his phenomenological argument in praise of film becomes riddled with ideological considerations.[23] And yet, predating Louis Althusser by more than fifty years, and despite his intentions, Münsterberg powerfully implied that popular culture contains the potential to "ensure subjection to the ruling ideology."[24] Although his project in praise of film is in complete juxtaposition to Althusser's project, Münsterberg's discourse goes even further than Althusser's in arguing how film might function as an ideological state apparatus. In Münsterberg's conception of its form, film can simultaneously project a certain image and make the viewer's mind conceive that it has produced that image on its own. Münsterberg's mass audience turns from passive duped spectators into ones who actively dupe themselves. They become saturated with agency, but only to fit together the pieces already assembled for them on screen. They become unknowingly trapped into believing that what they see or believe is a creation of their own world view, and propaganda can thereby run its course.

Film allowed for a new means of communicating movement and rhythm through a regulated and mechanized series of still images, and anything that moved - and precisely dynamism itself - could be made into a film.[25] The earliest so-called films (not yet able to be projected to a group audience) made possible by Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope, patented in 1891, had relied foremost on the public's fascination with the novelty of motion. These first movies showed simple activities such as a man sneezing, a girl dancing, a boxing match, a horse eating hay, or a baby taking a bath. A 1931 film history of the early period states: "Animation, action, speed, were the principal elements sought by the manufacturers."[26] The motion picture's novelty was that it provided a form for showing movement qua movement. The illusion of motion was perceived by the viewer because of the constant regulation of the speed of flashing images, and the condition making the impression of movement possible was the rhythm governing this speed.[27] Actual fascist practices, parades and party rallies in particular, were often bodily manifestations of mass movement - the synchronization of stimulated subjects-in-motion. Although preserving the image, rather than the immediacy, of a mass of bodily presences, film did provide a mechanized and standardized (and rhythmic) artistic form for the visual representation of motion so important to fascist aesthetics.[28]

Significantly, movies of boxing matches yielded the greatest financial rewards.[29] Documentaries of fights provide an interesting case in that in some U.S. states attending boxing matches was illegal, and yet watching them on screen was legal and very popular. Curiously, in the eyes of the discriminating authorities, an actual censored event became an acceptable fiction, an illustration, when on screen. Thus, an event lacking societal approval when presented live could be widely appreciated when mediated by celluloid. The viewers, though, needed to sustain the belief that what was on screen was, although a re-projection of an event, equal in content to the real thing. Documentary film, or any type of film that purported to record events like a human eye looking at everyday reality, straddled this dialectic between illusion and reality, simultaneously maintaining them both.

The film of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight, shown by the Veriscope Company in May 1897, purported to reveal a foul missed by the referee. A New York World article called it "a triumph of science over the poor, imperfect instrument, the human eye" proving "that the veriscope camera is far superior."[30] The movie camera did more than record reality as we see it, and film companies capitalized on the fulfillment of Marey's wish to register human sensations and movements beyond those perceivable by the unaided human eye. Film may have represented motion, but it also could dissect that motion into instants. Movies could provide pictorial documents of events that eluded or were invisible to the naked eye, and they could be used to convince a viewing audience of veracity, whether that claim was indeed real or imaginary. That potential would develop into a full-blown propaganda industry.

A 1903 film by Georges Méliès entitled "The Inn Where No Man Rests" points toward the demons lurking behind the screen on which movement is represented.[31] In this film, as in many of Méliès's works, he innovates with stop-motion photography and early editing where shooting can be stopped and the scene altered so that when shooting begins again, a magical, and usually humorous, transformation seems to have taken place. Everyday objects turn into people, things disappear, and the impossible becomes possible, all with the effect of a profound upheaval of grounded reality. The plot is simple: a man enters his room at an inn, attempts to prepare for bed, and the objects in the room come alive, jumping and dancing, refusing to let him rest. Despite its slapstick nature, the film is also unsettling. We are supposed to have the security that coat stands do not turn into people when we turn our back, boots do not walk away from us to climb the wall, and beds remain firmly planted on the ground. Film, like contemporary rapid industrial changes, could prove otherwise, eliciting deep discomfort by destroying one's security in what was familiar. Inorganic matter could be made animate, and, to voice its unspoken corollary, organic matter might be turned into dead objects. Film, ultimately, turned stasis into animation - energetic motion - for an immobile viewer, and in the process, both disturbed that which grounded reality precisely by remaining stationary and also rendered the viewing subject motionless.

In Méliès's film, the man keeps running around the room, in a frenzied response to this crisis of de-familiarization, trying to put everything back in its place. But the objects have taken over, and by the end of the three-minute film, the various moving objects transform into demons, affirming the monstrosity of what was once recognizable and is no longer, chasing the man until he finally escapes through the window. The inanimate material comes to life as demonic moving energy that defeats and banishes the human completely. The technology, the filmic machine, takes over, destroying the agency and taking the place of the human star.

Thirteen years later, Futurism will privilege film as an artistic medium precisely because of its ability to put objects into motion, replacing human subjects. A 1916 Futurist manifesto envisions a revolutionary art based on "Filmed Dramas of Objects":

Objects animated, humanized, baffled, dressed up, impassioned, civilized, dancing - objects removed from their normal surroundings and put into an abnormal state that, by contrast, throws into relief their amazing construction and nonhuman life.[32]

Its insistence on breaking away from any artistic antecedents precludes Futurism from recognizing that the roots of film as a drama of objects are deeply embedded in the film tradition dating back to Méliès. Ironically, Méliès's work was often derided for this very characteristic; originally a popular stage magician, his films are still often interpreted as mere expansions of his magical illusions onto celluloid.[33] Yet, Méliès perceived film's inventive capacities which would later be revitalized by the Futurists. Significantly, though, "The Inn Where No Man Rests" was actually a condemnation of what Futurists would soon insist upon - that an art form enlivening dead objects could be refreshingly liberating. In his short yet provocative gothic comedy, Méliès envisioned a situation where the energized human inventions demonically turn on man and ultimately overtake him. Motion pictures, because predicated on energetic motion and structured by rhythmic animation, were simultaneously exciting to Futurists and unsettling to Méliès. Film's integral role in fascist propaganda did not stem solely from its ability to be seen and internalized by millions of viewers. In its essential composition, film - motion pictures - contained the seeds to be sown by fascist practice.

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Notes

[1] Charles Baudelaire, "The Salon of 1859," Selected Writings on Art and Literature, trans. P.E. Charvet (New York: Penguin Books, 1972) 297.

[2] David A. Cook, A History of Narrative Film (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990) 11.

[3] I think it is important to question the myth of initial terror and reconsider the interplay of belief and credulity that must have been a part of the first filmic experience. Tom Gunning argues that the audience's pleasure was not merely a result of what they saw represented in the films, but more due to the enactment of motion itself. He interrupts the myth to show that film performances were carefully constructed to begin with a projected static picture on screen which would slowly come to life as the projector was cranked. See Tom Gunning, "An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator," Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film, ed. Linda Williams (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995).

[4] Luis Buñuel, My Last Sigh, trans. Abigail Israel (New York: Knopf, 1983) 33.

[5] This position has dominated film theory for the past fifty years from Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception," Dialectic of Enlightenment, trans. John Cumming (1947; New York: Continuum, 1982), to Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses," Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, trans. Ben Brewster (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970), to Jean-François Lyotard, "Acinema," Narrative, Apparatus, Ideology: A Film Theory Reader, ed. Philip Rosen (1978; New York: Columbia University Press, 1986). Lacanian and Marxist-based film theory has convincingly argued that the cinematic apparatus is a powerful instrument in binding the viewer to a particular social and psychological construction. See, for example, Teresa de Lauretis, Alice Doesn't: Feminism, Semiotics, Cinema (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1984) and Jean-Louis Baudry, "Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus," Cinetique (1970).

[6] Buñuel 32.

[7] See Holbo and Golston, in this collection.

[8] The equation that I am implying between proto-fascism and a more general paradigm for the turn-of-the-century situation is knowingly problematic; my assumption (like that of the other papers in this collection) is that fascism incubates in the episteme of this particular period. It is beyond the scope of this paper to formulate the very critical distinction between what may seem to be homologous conceptual frameworks but which evolved into very different historical/political situations - in particular, the absence of fascism in the U.S.

[9] Kemp Niver, Biograph Bulletins (Los Angeles: Locare Research Group, 1971) 72.

[10] Niklas Luhmann attests to the importance of film for this very reason when he claims that its invention created new possibilities in the communication of movement. See Niklas Luhmann, "Modes of Communication and Society," Essays on Self-Reference (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

[11] Niver 70.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Muybridge's photograph collection from the period when he was employed by Stanford (1872-1880) is located in the Stanford University Archives.

[14] Anson Rabinbach, The Human Motor (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990) 116. Also see François Dagognet, Etienne-Jules Marey: La passion de la trace (Paris: Hazan 1987).

[15] The early fascination with entertainment films will capitalize on the knowledge that film dissects action into previously invisible parts. The most popular Edison film of 1896 will be "The May Irwin Kiss" which shows a couple kissing. The Sunday World of April 26, 1896 discusses the production under the headline "The Anatomy of a Kiss." See Charles Musser, The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 (New York: Scribner's, 1990) 118.

[16] Rabinbach 116.

[17] Richard Griffith and Arthur Mayer, The Movies (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957) 9.

[18] Hugo Münsterberg, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study (New York: Appleton and Company, 1916) 18.

[19] Münsterberg 27.

[20] Münsterberg 70-71.

[21] Münsterberg 95.

[22] Münsterberg 88-91.

[23] Matthew Hale, Jr. Human Science and Social Order (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980) 144-145. Hale argues that Münsterberg publicly scoffed at motion pictures until 1915 at which point he ostensibly reversed his position. Convinced of the aesthetic possibilities of film, he started frequenting the studios in Hollywood.

[24] Althusser 133.

[25] On the inseparability of specific images and the concept of movement itself in film, see Gilles Deleuze, Cinema I: The Movement-Image, tr. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), Chapter 1.

[26] Benjamin Hampton, A History of the Movies (New York: Covici-Friede Publishers, 1931) 36. The Kinetoscope was a peep-show type of apparatus designed for a single viewer with films of less that a minute each. The projection of films onto a screen for a large audience came in 1896 almost simultaneously in New York, London, Berlin, Brussels, and Paris.

[27] For a study of the connection between visual perception and the impression of movement, see individual essays in The Cinematic Apparatus, ed. Stephen Heath and Teresa de Lauretis (New York: St. Martin's, 1980).

[28] For a study of rhythm and fascist aesthetics, see Golston in this collection.

[29] Filmed boxing exhibitions began in earnest as early as 1897 with the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight. Soon a new genre of facsimile reproductions of fights sprang up alongside the documentaries. My information on boxing matches comes from Musser, chapter 7. For a more thorough history of boxing, see Nat Fleischer, The Heavyweight Championship (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1949).

[30] Musser 198.

[31] This film is available on Film Classics: The Origins of Cinema (Library of Congress), vol. XI.

[32] F.T. Marinetti, Marinetti: Selected Writings, ed. tr. R.W. Flint (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971) 141.

[33] See, for example, Eugen Weber, France: Fin de Siècle (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1986) 173. "Méliès saw no difference between the tricks made possible by his kinescope and those of his make-believe. The film studio he built at Montreuil in 1897 was designed as a theater stage, with all the traps, flies, and springboards needed to have infernal or divine beings appear and disappear, swing through the air, or swim through the waves: 'on a smaller scale, a pretty faithful reproduction of a théatre de féerie.'" There are, of course, notable exceptions to this widely-accepted view, by such early film scholars as Tom Gunning and André Gaudreault. I have been influenced by their work as well as by the approach of Stan Brakhage in his homage to Méliès in Stan Brakhage, The Brakhage Lectures (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1972).