• book

From the Publisher

Silent cinema and contemporaneous literature explored themes of mesmerism, possession, and the ominous agency of corporate bodies that subsumed individual identities. At the same time, critics accused film itself of exerting a hypnotic influence over spellbound audiences. Stefan Andriopoulos shows that all this anxiety over being governed by an outside force was no marginal oddity, but rather a pervasive concern in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
            Tracing this preoccupation through the period’s films—as well as its legal, medical, and literary texts—Andriopoulos pays particular attention to the terrifying notion of murder committed against one’s will. He returns us to a time when medical researchers described the hypnotized subject as a medium who could be compelled to carry out violent crimes, and when films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler famously portrayed the hypnotist’s seemingly unlimited power on the movie screen. Juxtaposing these medicolegal and cinematic scenarios with modernist fiction, Andriopoulos also develops an innovative reading of Kafka’s novels, which center on the merging of human and corporate bodies.
            Blending theoretical sophistication with scrupulous archival research and insightful film analysis, Possessed adds a new dimension to our understanding of today’s anxieties about the onslaught of visual media and the expanding reach of vast corporations that seem to absorb our own identities.
 
Published: University of Chicago Press an imprint of UChicagoPress on
ISBN: 9780226020570
List price: $46.00
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Possessed by Stefan Andriopoulos
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

Nautilus
5 min read

Video Games Do Guilt Better Than Any Other Art

The idea that motion pictures can be works of art has been around since the 1920s, and it hasn’t really been disputed since. It’s easy to see why—cinema shares characteristics with theater in terms of acting, direction, music, set design, narrative, and so on. Now we have whole academic departments dedicated to film appreciation, to understanding the emotional and intellectual responses—deep feelings of awe and reverence, among others—that movies can elicit. But video games aren’t assumed to be as artistic as cinema or theater, if it all. In 2010, for instance, the late film critic Roger Eber
Nautilus
4 min read

Are Digital Cameras Changing the Nature of Movies?

This is part one of a three-part series about the movie industry’s switch to digital cameras and what is lost, and gained, in the process. Part two runs tomorrow; part three runs on Friday. Cinema is a blend of art and technology, working together to capture light, one frame at a time, to create the illusion of motion. Sometimes the captured light of cinema amounts to an aesthetic revolution, as with the deep-focus cinematography of Gregg Toland in Orson Welles’ landmark Citizen Kane, the spectacular wide-screen landscapes shot by Freddie Young in Lawrence of Arabia, or the super-slo-mo “bull
The Atlantic
6 min read

Why Are They 'Stars'?

It makes so much sense to refer to certain kinds of celebrities as “stars.” At their heights, those people inspire the rest of us. They shine, larger than life, above us, and around us. They suggest, in their insistent omnipresence, a certain order to the world. To see the stars—or, more specifically, to believe in them, taxonomically—is to endorse a notion that the people before us on our screens, far from us and yet so close, exist, as the author Jeanine Basinger puts it, “on some plane between ours and that of the gods.” But: Why are they “stars,” specifically? Why is Hollywood’s Walk of Fa