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BIC Excellence Award

Marketing Modernity
Victorian Popular Shows and Early Cinema

By Joe Kember

Marketing Modernity
Hardback, 304 pages £75.00
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9780859898010
Format: 234mm x 156mm
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PDF, 304 pages £75.00
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9780859899321
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Subjects: Film History
Series: Exeter Studies in Film History

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.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 304 pages
 234mm x 156mm

 PDF , 304 pages

BIC Code:
  BUS070110, HIS015000, HIS018000, PER004030, SOC022000
 University of Exeter Press


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Exeter Studies in Film History