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City of Cinema: Paris 1850-1907

How film emerged in 19th-century Paris amid an array of social, political, artistic and technological innovations—with works by the Lumiere brothers, Mélies, Chéret 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. Hardcover, 192 pages.

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