The Mysteries of Cinema

Movies and Imagination

$49.99

Ranging from the late 19th century to the present, this exhilarating survey explores the ways the medium of cinema has changed the way we see the world.

This book is not yet published, but will be available from April 2021.

ISBN: 9780500022993 Category:

Peter Conrad

Description

Cinema has always been excited by speed, and it enjoys sending the body on furious kinetic chases; at the same time, it stealthily probes our minds, invading our dreams and titillating our desires. Although this is an art kindled by light and inflamed by colour, it is nurtured by darkness and can reduce life to an insubstantial shadow-play. Either way, as Peter Conrad argues in this brilliant book, the movie camera has given us new eyes and changed forever our view of reality. The Mysteries of Cinema sets out to map this ambiguous territory by taking us on a thematic rollercoaster-ride through movie history. Directors and critics speculate about the nature of cinematic vision, and there are contributions to the debate from writers like Kafka, Virginia Woolf and Joan Didion, artists including Salvador Dalí, George Grosz and Fernand Léger, and the composers Arnold Schoenberg and Dmitri Shostakovich. The book begins from the audacious innovations of silent film, and examines the influence of French surrealism and German expressionism; it accounts for the appeal of Hollywood genres like the Western, the horror film and the musical, and ends by considering the fate of the moving image in our visually glutted society. Combining contagious enthusiasm with an eye for the subjective quirks of filmmakers and the allure of favourite performers, Conrad delivers an astonishing addition to the literature on the seventh art.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 8 April 2021
Number of pages 344
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.4 cm
Weight 300 g
Peter Conrad taught English literature at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1973 to 2011. He has written more than twenty books, including Orson Welles: The Stories of his Life; The Hitchcock Murders; How the World Was Won: The Americanization of Everywhere; Creation: Artists, Gods & Origins; Modern Times, Modern Places: Life and Art in the Twentieth Century; and Mythomania: Tales of Our Times from Apple to ISIS.