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Archive for February 26th, 2020

It’s the 100th anniversary of the 1920 German expressionist film, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” and Virginia Woolf is mentioned in the headline of the story on The Conversation website that celebrates that fact.

Virginia Woolf screensaver on an old keyboard-style Kindle

Woolf, the article says, “marvelled at how the set design mirrored the emotions felt by the characters and the audience: ‘it seemed as if thought could be conveyed by shape more effectively than words.'”

“The Cinema”

Woolf shared her thoughts in “The Cinema,” an article published in the July 3, 1926, issue of The Nation and Athenaeum. In it, she articulates her fascination with and fear of this newly evolving art form that at the time was strictly a black-and-white, silent medium that she believed was both parasitic and ripe with potential.

It is an art form that starts with the eyes, but the eyes are soon forced to engage the brain, she argues.

We behold them as they are when we are not there. We see life as it is when we have no part in it. As we gaze we seem to be removed from the pettiness of actual existence. The horse will not knock us down. The king will not grasp our hands. The wave will not wet our feet. … Further, all this happened ten years ago, we are told. We are beholding a world which has gone beneath the waves. – Virginia Woolf, “The Cinema”

 

 

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