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BIC Excellence Award

Parallel Tracks
The Railroad and Silent Cinema

By Lynne Kirby

Parallel Tracks
Hardback, 348 pages £75.00
Published: 1997
ISBN: 9780859895286
Buy this Book

Paperback, 348 pages £27.50
Published: 1997
ISBN: 9780859895309
Buy this Book

Subjects: Film History
Series: Exeter Studies in Film History

From its earliest days, the cinema has enjoyed a special kinship with the railroad, a mutual attraction based on similar ways of handling speed, visual perception, and the promise of a journey. PARALLEL TRACKS is the first book to explore and explain this relationship in both historical and theoretical terms, blending film scholarship with railroad history.

This highly original work reveals the profound impact that the railroad and the cinema have had on Western society and modern urban industrial culture. It will be eagerly received by those involved in film studies, American studies, feminist theory and the cultural study of modernity. It will also have appeal to general readers interested in silent films or in the history of the railroad.

Contents: Inventors and hysterics - the train in the pre-history and early history of cinema; romances of the rail in silent film; the railroad in the city; national identity in the train film.

“The triumph of this book is in bringing film theory and social history together to form a powerful collective that makes this examination of these two key industries compulsive reading." (Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1998) "Kirby's well-researched and well-written text places the separate, but as the author convincingly argues, conceptually related phenomena of silent cinema and the railway within both historical and theoretical contexts." (American Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 1998)

Lynne Kirby is a Senior Producer at Court Television Network. Her articles on the railroad and cinema have appeared in major American film journals.

Parallel Tracks
Parallel Tracks - The Railroad and Silent Cinema - Hardback cover

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 348 pages

 Paperback , 348 pages

BIC Code:
  HIS054000, PER004030, SOC002010, TRA004000
 University of Exeter Press


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Exeter Studies in Film History