Tom Gunning

Biography

Tom Gunning works on problems of film style and interpretation, film history and film culture. His published work (approximately one hundred publications) has concentrated on early cinema (from its origins to the WW I) as well as on the culture of modernity from which cinema arose (relating it to still photography, stage melodrama, magic lantern shows, as well as wider cultural concerns such as the tracking of criminals, the World Expositions, and Spiritualism). His concept of the "cinema of attractions" has tried to relate the development of cinema to other forces than storytelling, such as new experiences of space and time in modernity, and an emerging modern visual culture. His book D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film traces the ways film style interacted with new economic structures in the early American film industry and with new tasks of story telling. His forthcoming book on Fritz Lang deals with the systematic nature of the director's oeuvre and the processes of interpretation. He has written on the Avant-Garde film, both in its European pre-World War I manifestations and the American Avant-Garde film up to the present day. He has also written on genre in Hollywood cinema and on the relation between cinema and technology. The issues of film culture, the historical factors of exhibition and criticism and spectator's experience throughout film history are recurrent themes in his work.

Publications

The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity

British Film Institute
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2000

D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film

University of Illinois Press
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1994

 

“The Desire and Pursuit of the Hole: Cinema's Obscure Object of Desire,” in Erotikon: essays on Eros, ancient and modern, eds. Shadi Baretech & Thomas Bartescherer (University of Chicago Press, 2005)

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“Phantasmagoria and the Manufacturing of Illusions and Wonder: Towards a Cultural Optics of the Cinematic Apparatus,” in The Cinema, A New Technology for the 20th Century, eds. Andre Gaudreault, Catherine Russell and Pierre Veronneau (Editions Payot Lausanne, 2004)

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“Systematizing the Electric Message,” in American Cinema's Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices, eds. Charlie Keil and Shelly Stamp (Berkeley : University of California Press, 2004)

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“Flickers: On Cinema's Power for Evil,” in Bad: Infamy, Darkness, Evil and Slime on the Screen, eds. Murray Pomerance (Albany: SUNY Press, 2004)

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2004

Pictures of Crowd Splendor: The Mitchell and Kenyon Factory Gate Films

in The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon: Edwardian Britain on Film, eds. Vanessa Toulmin, Simon Popple and Patrick Russell (British Film Institute) pp. 49-58
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2004

“Never Seen This Picture Before; Muybridge in Multiplicity,” in Time Stands Still: Muybridge and the Instantaneous Photography Movement, eds. Phillip Prodger (Oxford University Press, 2003)

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“Ghosts, Photography and the Modern Body,” in The Disembodied Spirit Catalogue, eds. Alison Ferris (Brunswick, Me.: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 2003)

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“Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of -the-Century,” in Rethinking Media Change The Aesthetics of Transition, eds. David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press 2003)

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Profiles

Charles Cohen
Charles Cohen
Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art
CWAC 258
773.702.0619
Potters Wheel
Richard Neer
Ancient Greek Art and Architecture
CWAC 259
773.702.5890
Andrei Pop
Andrei Pop
Modern Art and Aesthetics
1130 East 59th Street
773.702.8410
Megan Sullivan
Megan Sullivan
Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art
CWAC 272
773.702.5126