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The Photoplay A Psychological Study   By: (1863-1916)

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The Photoplay A Psychological Study by Hugo Münsterberg is an enlightening exploration into the world of early film and its impact on our minds. While the title may sound daunting, this book is an incredibly accessible and engaging read. Münsterberg delves into the psychology behind the photoplay, seeking to understand why it captivates audiences and how it affects our emotions.

What separates this book from others on the subject is Münsterberg's unique perspective as a psychologist. He provides a comprehensive analysis of the various aspects that encompass a film, such as lighting, composition, and editing techniques. By dissecting these elements, Münsterberg reveals the power that films hold over our subconscious minds.

One of the standout features of this book is its ability to bridge the gap between early cinema and modern filmmaking. Although it was published over a century ago, Münsterberg's observations and insights remain highly relevant today. His exploration of how films elicit emotional responses and manipulate our perception is a timeless examination of the art of storytelling through moving images.

Additionally, Münsterberg's writing style is both scholarly and accessible. He presents complex psychological theories and experiments in a manner that can be easily understood by readers without a background in psychology. Furthermore, he incorporates numerous examples from popular films of the time, which adds a layer of tangibility to his theories.

One aspect that could be considered a drawback is that the book feels somewhat outdated in terms of its focus on early cinema. While Münsterberg occasionally touches upon the moral and social implications of movies, the book primarily centers on the technical aspects. Nonetheless, this historical perspective offers a captivating glimpse into the beginnings of a medium that has evolved so drastically in the present day.

Overall, The Photoplay A Psychological Study is a fascinating exploration of the inherent power of film. Münsterberg's insights into the psychological impact of the photoplay provide a deeper appreciation for the art form and its ability to evoke strong emotions. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of film, psychology, or the intersection of both.

First Page:

THE PHOTOPLAY

A PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY

BY

HUGO MÜNSTERBERG

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK LONDON 1916

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER PAGE

1. THE OUTER DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOVING PICTURES 3 2. THE INNER DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOVING PICTURES 21

PART I. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE PHOTOPLAY

3. DEPTH AND MOVEMENT 44 4. ATTENTION 72 5. MEMORY AND IMAGINATION 92 6. EMOTIONS 112

PART II. THE ESTHETICS OF THE PHOTOPLAY

7. THE PURPOSE OF ART 133 8. THE MEANS OF THE VARIOUS ARTS 155 9. THE MEANS OF THE PHOTOPLAY 170 10. THE DEMANDS OF THE PHOTOPLAY 191 11. THE FUNCTION OF THE PHOTOPLAY 215

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I

THE OUTER DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOVING PICTURES

It is arbitrary to say where the development of the moving pictures began and it is impossible to foresee where it will lead. What invention marked the beginning? Was it the first device to introduce movement into the pictures on a screen? Or did the development begin with the first photographing of various phases of moving objects? Or did it start with the first presentation of successive pictures at such a speed that the impression of movement resulted? Or was the birthday of the new art when the experimenters for the first time succeeded in projecting such rapidly passing pictures on a wall? If we think of the moving pictures as a source of entertainment and esthetic enjoyment, we may see the germ in that camera obscura which allowed one glass slide to pass before another and thus showed the railway train on one slide moving over the bridge on the other glass plate... Continue reading book >>




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