Silent Cinema

Before the Pictures Got Small

Lawrence Napper

Wallflower Press

Silent Cinema

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Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231181174

144 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $22.00£17.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231181181

144 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $65.00£54.95

Pub Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780231543507

144 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $21.99£17.95

Silent Cinema

Before the Pictures Got Small

Lawrence Napper

Wallflower Press

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Since the spectacular success of The Artist (2011) there has been a resurgence of interest in silent cinema, and particularly in the lush and passionate screen dramas of the 1920s. This book offers an introduction to the cinema of this extraordinary period, outlining the development of the form between the end of the First World War and the introduction of synchronized sound at the end of the 1920s. It addresses the relationship between film aesthetics and the industrial and political contexts of film production through a series of case studies of 'national' cinemas. It also focuses on film-going as the most popular leisure activity of the age. Areas such as the star system, cinema buildings, musical accompaniments, film fashions, and fan cultures are addressed – all the elements that ensured that the experience of the pictures was 'big'. The international dominance of Hollywood is outlined, as are the different responses to that dominance in Britain, Germany, and the USSR. Case studies seek to move beyond the familiar silent canon, and include The Oyster Princess (1919), It (1927), Shooting Stars (1927), and The Girl with the Hatbox (1927).

About the Author

Lawrence Napper is lecturer in film studies at King's College, London. He is the author of British Cinema and Middlebrow Culture in the Interwar Years (2009) and The Great War in British Popular Cinema of the 1920s: Before Journey's End (2015).