Animating Film Theory

Animating Film Theory

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 49 illustrations Published: March 2014

Art and Visual Culture, Cultural Studies, Media Studies > Film

Animating Film Theory provides an enriched understanding of the relationship between two of the most unwieldy and unstable organizing concepts in cinema and media studies: animation and film theory. For the most part, animation has been excluded from the purview of film theory. The contributors to this collection consider the reasons for this marginalization while also bringing attention to key historical contributions across a wide range of animation practices, geographic and linguistic terrains, and historical periods. They delve deep into questions of how animation might best be understood, as well as how it relates to concepts such as the still, the moving image, the frame, animism, and utopia. The contributors take on the kinds of theoretical questions that have remained underexplored because, as Karen Beckman argues, scholars of cinema and media studies have allowed themselves to be constrained by too narrow a sense of what cinema is. This collection reanimates and expands film studies by taking the concept of animation seriously.

Contributors. Karen Beckman, Suzanne Buchan, Scott Bukatman, Alan Cholodenko, Yuriko Furuhata, Alexander R. Galloway, Oliver Gaycken, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Tom Gunning, Andrew R. Johnston, Hervé Joubert-Laurencin, Gertrud Koch, Thomas LaMarre, Christopher P. Lehman, Esther Leslie, John MacKay, Mihaela Mihailova, Marc Steinberg, Tess Takahashi


"This fecund, vivacious collection will be a vital resource for those interested in film animation."   — T. Lindvall, Choice

Animating Film Theory encompasses a wide concern for moving images and underexplored theoretical and aesthetic issues that thinking through and about animation opens up for readers.” — Amanda Egbe, Leonardo Reviews

"How has film theory discourse engaged animation up until now? And how would engagement with animation enrich contemporary film theory? Animating Film Theory explores these two questions.... Both discourse and engagement questions are thoroughly answered throughout this book, both explicitly and implicitly, and its goal has certainly been met." — Monika Raesch, International Journal of Communication

"The original arguments, concepts, and questions around animation introduced in this extraordinary project make it a major contribution to film and media theory and art theory more generally. Yet this is not just a book about animated films. Rather, it is a broad investigation of possible theories of animation that closely examines 'animation' as a concept with variable senses, and restores it as a central theme of past and current debates on the medium of film." — D. N. Rodowick, author of The Virtual Life of Film

"What a wonderful collection of essays! There is no other book that theorizes animation so thoroughly. The top-notch contributors take on the recent debate about the relationship of digital cinema to animated cinema, and they show us just how expansive the definition of animation can be. People who work in animation, and in film history more broadly, have been waiting for something like this." — Eric Smoodin, author of Regarding Frank Capra: Audience, Celebrity, and American Film Studies, 1930–1960


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Price: $28.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Karen Redrobe (formerly Beckman) is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis and Vanishing Women: Magic, Film, and Feminism and coeditor (with Jean Ma) of Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography, all also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Animating Film Theory: An Introduction / Karen Beckman 1

Part I: Time and Space

1. Animation and History / Esther Leslie 25

2. Animating the Instant: The Secret Symmetry between Animation and Photography / Tom Gunning 37

3. Polygraphic Photography and the Origins of 3-D Animation / Alexander G. Galloway 54

4. "A Living, Developing Egg Is Present before You": Animation, Scientific Visualization, Modeling / Oliver Gaycken 68

Part II. Cinema and Animation

5. André Martin, Inventor of Animation Cinema: Prolegomena for a History of Terms / Hervé Joubert-Laurencin; Translated by Lucy Swanson 85

6. "First Principles" of Animation / Alan Cholodenko 98

7. Animation, in Theory / Susanne Buchan 111

Part III: The Experiment

8. Film as Experiment in Animation: Are Films Experiments on Human Beings? / Gertrud Koch; Translated by Daniel Hendrickson 131

9. Frame Shot: Vertov's Ideologies of Animation / Mihaela Mihailova and John MacKay 145

10. Signatures of Motion: Len Lye's Scratch Films and the Energy of the Line / Andrew R. Johnston 167

11. Animating Copies: Japanese Graphic Design, the Xerox Machine, and Walter Benjamin / Yuriko Furuhata 181

12. Framing the Postmodern: The Rhetoric of Animated Form in Experimental Identity-Politics Documentary Video in the 1980s and 1990s / Tess Takahashi 201

Part IV: Animation and the World

13. Cartoon Film Theory: Imamura Taihei on Animation, Documentary, and Photography / Thomas LaMarre 221

14. African American Representation through the Combination of Live Action and Animation / Christopher P. Lehman 252

15. Animating Uncommon Life: U.S. Military Malaria Films (1942–1945) and the Pacific Theater / Bishnupriya Ghosh 264

16. Realism in the Animation Media Environment: Animation Theory from Japan / Marc Steinberg 287

17. Some Observations Pertaining to Cartoon Physics; or, The Cartoon Cat in the Machine / Scott Bukatman 301

Bibliography 317

Contributors 337

Index 343
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5652-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5640-0
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