Chapter

“Now, where were we?”: Ideal and Actual Early Cinema Lecturing Practices in Britain, Germany and the United States

Judith Buchanan

in The Sounds of the Silents in Britain

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199797615
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979738 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797615.003.0003
“Now, where were we?”: Ideal and Actual Early Cinema Lecturing Practices in Britain, Germany and the United States

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This chapter demonstrates that there could be a considerable gap between the ideal film lecture advocated in the trade press, and real-life instances of less-than-perfect actual lecturing. Like the lanternist before him, the film lecturer was able to draw on his live showmanship effectively to “author” a film by an analogous speech act, making and remaking the show as required by the particular live situation. Campaigns in the trade press which promoted the erudition and eloquence of the lecturer, and the publication of set lectures to accompany particular films, contributed to a standardized notion of the cinematic lecture. However, an examination of a detailed transcription of one that accompanied the screening of a film of Othelloin Berlin in 1912 shows that the reality could be very far from ideal.

Keywords: film lecturer; trade press; Shakespeare; Othello; Berlin; Cecil Hepworth; W. Stephen Bush; Professor Dr Sellmann

Chapter.  7553 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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