Skip to main content
City of Cinema: Paris 1850-1907

City of Cinema: Paris 1850-1907

Current price: $55.00
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Delmonico Books
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Mar 1 10:14am
On Our Shelves Now


How film emerged in 19th-century Paris amid an array of social, political, artistic and technological innovations--with works by the Lumiere brothers, M lies, Ch ret and more

City of Cinema traces film's evolution from an obscure entertainment to the most powerful art form of the 20th century. Placing cinema in the context of 19th-century Parisian visual culture, this book brings together posters, paintings, studio and documentary photography, and film stills that evoke Paris as a site of consumption, demonstrate early cinema's relationship with technology and the fine arts, and highlight local and global spaces of film production. It also examines the aspects of 19th-century visual culture that gave rise to cinema as a quintessentially modern medium with an eager audience. Aligning with French beliefs that the nation's culture would be democratized through consumption, cinema reinforced a set of assumptions about French cultural and political authority and disseminated these ideas to the rest of the world.
Presented here are images of and from the street by Jean B raud, Charles Marville, Jules Ch ret and Auguste and Louis Lumi re; the technological experimentation of Lo e Fuller, mile Reynaud and Georges M li's; and the plein-air observations of Camille Pissarro and the staged artifice of Jean-Leon Gerome--all of which can be considered alongside the prototype film studios of Georges M li's, Gaumont and Path .
At the dawn of the 20th century, cinema is as much, if not more, a way of appropriating the world. Through arresting images and incisive texts, this book examines the origins of cinema and its position as a global medium.