The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive

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Harvard University Press, 2002 - Performing Arts - 288 pages
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Hailed as the permanent record of fleeting moments, the cinema emerged at the turn of the nineteenth century as an unprecedented means of capturing time--and this at a moment when disciplines from physics to philosophy, and historical trends from industrialization to the expansion of capitalism, were transforming the very idea of time. In a work that itself captures and reconfigures the passing moments of art, history, and philosophy, Mary Ann Doane shows how the cinema, representing the singular instant of chance and ephemerality in the face of the increasing rationalization and standardization of the day, participated in the structuring of time and contingency in capitalist modernity.

At this book's heart is the cinema's essential paradox: temporal continuity conveyed through "stopped time," the rapid succession of still frames or frozen images. Doane explores the role of this paradox, and of notions of the temporal indeterminacy and instability of an image, in shaping not just cinematic time but also modern ideas about continuity and discontinuity, archivability, contingency and determinism, and temporal irreversibility. A compelling meditation on the status of cinematic knowledge, her book is also an inquiry into the very heart and soul of modernity.

 

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Contents

The Representability of Time
1
Freud Marey
33
The Afterimage the Index and the Accessibility
69
Temporal Irreversibility and the Logic of Statistics
108
Dead Time or the Concept of the Event
140
The Emergence of Cinematic Time
172
The Instant and the Archive
206
Notes
235
Bibliography
267
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About the author (2002)

Mary Ann Doane is George Hazard Crooker University Professor of Modern Culture and Media and of English at Brown University.

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