The Art of the Moving Picture


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.8 stars; 4 reviews)


"This 1922 book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood. The highlight of the book might be “The Motion Picture of Fairy Splendor,” which examines the relationship between film storytelling, magic, myths, legends and bedtime stories. It’s discombobulating, in a good way, to read Lindsay’s attempts to grapple with what, precisely, cinema is. Being supposedly sophisticated 21st century people, we all feel as though we know what cinema is, and don’t need to have the basics explained to us, but this is really just vanity and ignorance talking. Bottom line: You haven’t really, seriously thought about movies — what they are, and what they can and cannot do, and become — until you’ve read this book." (Salon.com)

(7 hr 6 min)

Chapters

DEDICATION AND A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DENVER ART ASSOCIATION 8:56 Read by Chuck Williamson
BOOK I - THE GENERAL PHOTOPLAY SITUATION IN AMERICA, JANUARY 1, 1922 42:53 Read by Chuck Williamson
BOOK II - THE UNCHALLENGED OUTLINE OF PHOTOPLAY CRITICAL METHOD / CHAPTER I - T… 7:55 Read by Barbara Clements
CHAPTER II - THE PHOTOPLAY OF ACTION 13:27 Read by Availle
CHAPTER III - THE INTIMATE PHOTOPLAY 17:48 Read by K.G.Cross
CHAPTER IV - THE MOTION PICTURE OF FAIRY SPLENDOR 11:01 Read by K.G.Cross
CHAPTER V - THE PICTURE OF CROWD SPLENDOR 18:51 Read by John Gonzalez
CHAPTER VI - PATRIOTIC SPLENDOR 25:58 Read by klbonds
CHAPTER VII - RELIGIOUS SPLENDOR 14:06 Read by Shannon EH Sobota
CHAPTER VIII - SCULPTURE-IN-MOTION 24:28 Read by Delmar H Dolbier
CHAPTER IX - PAINTING-IN-MOTION 20:36 Read by Delmar H Dolbier
CHAPTER X - FURNITURE, TRAPPINGS, AND INVENTIONS IN MOTION 24:07 Read by Jacob Paul Starr
CHAPTER XI - ARCHITECTURE-IN-MOTION 18:46 Read by ToddHW
CHAPTER XII - THIRTY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PHOTOPLAYS AND THE STAGE 23:16 Read by David Nicol
CHAPTER XIII - HIEROGLYPHICS 23:57 Read by K.G.Cross
BOOK III. MORE PERSONAL SPECULATIONS AND AFTERTHOUGHTS NOT BROUGHT FORWARD SO D… 24:07 Read by Robert Hoffman
CHAPTER XV - THE SUBSTITUTE FOR THE SALOON 11:48 Read by Jacob Paul Starr
CHAPTER XVI - CALIFORNIA AND AMERICA 10:22 Read by Joannemmp
CHAPTER XVII - PROGRESS AND ENDOWMENT 24:27 Read by Barbara Miller
CHAPTER XVIII - ARCHITECTS AS CRUSADERS 8:57 Read by ToddHW
CHAPTER XIX - ON COMING FORTH BY DAY 10:46 Read by Jacob Paul Starr
CHAPTER XX - THE PROPHET-WIZARD 21:33 Read by Robert Hoffman
CHAPTER XXI - THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD 18:44 Read by klbonds

Reviews

The more things change...

(5 stars)

This book was written in 1922, during the silent movie era, but many of Lindsay's observations about the different types of screen genres are valid today. Historical epics, comedies, love stories, dramas--the basic framework of these is still recognizable in today's movies, over 90 years on! An interesting side note: Lindsay singles out the work of Sessue Hayakawa, a Japanese silent-screen comedian. This turns out to be the same Sessue Hayakawa who portrayed Colonel Saito, the brutal but ineffective prison camp commander, in The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957).