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By Murray Leeder

In 1896, Maxim Gorky declared cinema "the country of Shadows." In its silent, ashen-grey global, he observed a land of spectral, and ever in view that then cinema has had a different dating with the haunted and the ghostly. Cinematic Ghosts is the 1st assortment dedicated to this topic, together with fourteen new essays, devoted to exploring the numerous variations of the films' phantoms.

Cinematic Ghosts includes essays revisiting a few vintage ghost motion pictures in the genres of horror (The Haunting, 1963), romance (Portrait of Jennie, 1948), comedy (Beetlejuice, 1988) and the paintings movie (Uncle Boonmee Who Can bear in mind His earlier Lives, 2010), in addition to essays facing a few motion pictures from around the globe, from Sweden to China. Cinematic Ghosts lines the archetype of the cinematic ghost from the silent period till this day, supplying analyses from various ancient, aesthetic and theoretical dimensions

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Extra info for Cinematic ghosts : haunting and spectrality from silent cinema to the digital era

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Balzac wrote his description of photography about a decade after Daguerre’s first successful experiments. While Cousin Pons was being published in 1846, the United States was seized by a different sort of manifestation which led to a new worldwide metaphysical system, spiritualism. First in the small village of Hydesville, New York, and later in the city of Rochester (coincidentally to become the industrial home of both Eastman Kodak company and Xerox), a pair of young girls, the Fox sisters, were subject to a consistent rapping noise, which was eventually interpreted as a coded message from a spirit of a murdered peddler.

29 It was claimed that all the great spirit photographers— Mumler, Wylie, Hudson, Mrs. Deane, among others—were spirit mediums. Besides this human figure the other sine qua non was the sensitive plate. Recognizable spirit photographs were supposedly created without using either lens or camera. 30 While spiritualism had always had a sensational and spectacular aspect, there is no doubt that the new emphasis on manifestations led to an even greater theatricality. , 177. Paul Coates describes each spirit photographer he treats in his book as a medium.

177. , 170–3. 26 27 Phantom Images and Modern Manifestations 27 But there is no doubt that in what we could term the second generation of spiritualists—after the Civil War—the medium becomes enframed in a sort of apparatus, and this apparatus is frequently under the control of a man. Men assumed a variety of mediatory functions, serving as business managers for women mediums28 or show-biz masters of ceremony who mediated between audience and medium, or, as in the case of Florence Cook, the medium became a subject exposed for male investigation.

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