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The End of Cinema?A Medium in Crisis in the Digital Age$
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André Gaudreault and Philippe Marion

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231173575

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231173575.001.0001

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A Medium Is Always Born Twice…

A Medium Is Always Born Twice…

(p.104) Chapter Five A Medium Is Always Born Twice…
The End of Cinema?

André Gaudreault

Philippe Marion

Columbia University Press

This chapter revisits a model of the “double birth of media.” The expression “the double birth of cinema” refers to, on one hand, the invention between 1890 and 1895 of a device for capturing-restoring moving images—Lumière Cinématographe being the most successful example—and, on the other, the establishment of an institution for producing and exhibiting moving pictures. Cinema, however, cannot be simply reduced to merely projecting photographic images; it is not something one “invents.” There is no cinema patent because cinema is not a technique but rather a social, cultural, and economic system. The justification for the double birth model is its implied refusal of a one-dimensional conception of something as complex as the emergence of a new medium. The chapter argues for a pluralistic view of cinema's birth, one that projects how the history of cinema is a succession of deaths and beginnings.

Keywords:   double birth of cinema, Lumière Cinématographe, moving images, cinema, new medium, history of cinema

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