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Animating Film Theory


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Table of Contents

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. Andre Martin, Inventor of Animation Cinema: Prolegomena for a History of Terms / Herve 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

About the Author

Karen 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.


"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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