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Intermedial Thought in Classical Film Theory: Balazs, Arnheim, and Benjamin on Film and Radio
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2013 (English)In: The Germanic Review, ISSN 0016-8890, E-ISSN 1930-6962, Vol. 88, no 4, 391-399 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents an analysis of several instances of theorizing across distinct media in the writings of three of the most prominent thinkers in German film theory, Bela Balazs, Rudolf Arnheim, and Walter Benjamin. Against the common identification of the project of classical film theory with commitment to essentialist notions of medium specificity, the article demonstrates the theorists' concern with intermedial issues of exchanges between film and other media. Drawing on examples from the engagement with the newly emergent medium of radio in canonical texts by the three theorists, the article discusses the influence of radio on theorizing about the unique properties of film, its aesthetic possibilities, and course of development. The article finally argues that the vast dynamic changes in the mediascape of the 1920s and 1930s, which saw the coming of sound film, the emergence of radio, and the first demonstrations of television technology, necessitated classical film theorists to adopt intermedial perspectives similar to those that are commonplace in today's writings on digital cinema and new media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 88, no 4, 391-399 p.
Keyword [en]
Rudolf Arnheim, Bela Balazs, Walter Benjamin, cinema, classical film theory, intermediality, radio
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97667DOI: 10.1080/00168890.2013.842874ISI: 000326865700003OAI: diva2:680240


Available from: 2013-12-17 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2013-12-17Bibliographically approved

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ReferencesLink to record
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