Victorian Popular Shows and Early Cinema
By Joe Kember
In this innovative study of early film exhibition, Joe Kember demonstrates that prior to the emergence of a specific discipline of screen acting and the arrival of picture personalities, the early cinema inherited its human dimensions from diverse earlier traditions of performance, from the magic lantern lecture to the fairground and variety theatre.
Uncovering new sources, including previously neglected films, industrial documentation, memoirs, trade and popular periodicals, the book reveals a rich landscape of popular entertainments during the mid to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and charts the development of film institutions in relation to this complex industrial context.
Marketing Modernity re-evaluates the relationship between early film and the broader cultural conditions of industrial modernity. Investigating such diverse topics as performance practices in music hall and magic theatre, the celebrity of adventurer-cameramen, and the exhibition of everyday life on screen, Kember argues that early film shows offered new opportunities to recover a sense of intimacy – a quality that was popularly considered to be under threat in the rapidly modernising world of the 1890s and 1900s.
Joe Kember is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Exeter. He has co-written Early Cinema 1895-1914: From Factory Gate to Film Factory (2004) with Simon Popple and writes extensively for journals relating to early cinema, including The Velvet Light Trap, Film Studies, Early Popular Visual Culture and Living Pictures.
New Titles List
Exeter Studies in Film History
- 'Film Europe' And 'Film America' - Cinema, Commerce and Cultural Exchange 1920-1939
- Alternative Empires - European Modernist Cinemas and Cultures of Imperialism
- Alternative Film Culture in Interwar Britain
- The Appreciation of Film - The Postwar Film Society Movement and Film Culture in Britain
- The Big Show - British Cinema Culture in the Great War (1914-1918)
- British Cinema and Middlebrow Culture in the Interwar Years
- Cecil Hepworth and the Rise of the British Film Industry 1899-1911
- Celluloid War Memorials - The British Instructional Films Company and the Memory of the Great War
- Charles Urban - Pioneering the Non-Fiction Film in Britain and America, 1897 - 1925
- A Chorus Of Raspberries - British Film Comedy 1929-1939
- Going to the Movies - Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema
- The Great Art Of Light And Shadow - Archaeology of the Cinema
- Hollywood, Westerns And The 1930S - The Lost Trail
- Legitimate Cinema - Theatre Stars in Silent British Films, 1908-1918
- The Lost Jungle - Cliffhanger Action and Hollywood Serials of the 1930s and 1940s
- Marketing Modernity - Victorian Popular Shows and Early Cinema
- Multimedia Histories - From Magic Lanterns to Internet
- Parallel Tracks - The Railroad and Silent Cinema
- A Paul Rotha Reader
- Popular Filmgoing in 1930s Britain - A Choice of Pleasures
- Reading the Cinematograph - The Cinema in British Short Fiction, 1896-1912
- Silent Features - The Development of Silent Feature Films 1914 - 1934
- The World According To Hollywood,1918-1939
- Young And Innocent? - The Cinema in Britain, 1896-1930