On the Screen: Displaying the Moving Image, 1926–1942 (Film and Culture)

October 30, 2020
On the Screen: Displaying the Moving Image, 1926–1942 (Film and Culture)

Today, in a world of smartphones, tablets, and computers,screens are a pervasive part of daily life. Yet a multiplicity ofscreens has been integral to the media landscape since cinema'sgolden age. In On the Screen, Ariel Rogers rethinks thehistory of moving images by exploring how experiments with screentechnologies in and around the 1930s changed the way films wereproduced, exhibited, and experienced.Marshalling extensive archival research, Rogers reveals the rolescreens played at the height of the era of "classical" Hollywoodcinema. She shows how filmmakers, technicians, architects, andexhibitors employed a variety of screens within diverse spaces,including studio soundstages, theaters, homes, stores, and trainstations. Far from inert, screens served as means of structuringmediated space and time, contributing to the transformations ofmodern culture. On the Screen demonstrates how particularapproaches to the use of screens traversed production andexhibition, theatrical and extratheatrical practice, mainstream andavant-garde modes, and even cinema and television. Rogers's historychallenges conventional narratives about the novelty of thetwenty-first-century multiscreen environment, showing how attentionto the variety of historical screen practices opens up new ways tounderstand contemporary media.