Is film art or distraction? A new way of showing or a new way of seeing? Wherein lies the magical attraction of the close-up? And why do we go to the cinema? As a new medium and a young form of art, film appealed to the imagination of many artists, thinkers and writers. The texts collected in this bundle register with an intense curiosity the effects of the rise of film between 1895 and 1930: the experiences of the first viewers, the new esthetic forms, the reactions of the avant-gardes and the influence of film on the existing culture.

The new book series 'Key texts in film- and media theory' is a unique project for the Netherlands and Vlaanderen. The series is the result of a cooperation between the universities of Groningen, Utrecht, Amsterdam and Antwerpen, which have been supported by (among others) Eric de Kuyper and Emile Poppe, former chief-editors of Versus (the scientific magazine for Film en Performing Arts), former SUN-publisher Henk Hoeks, the EYE Film institute of Amsterdam and the Filmarchive of Groningen, supported by the WETEX fund of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

The series’ aim is to gather for the first time in Dutch the most influential texts of the history of contemplating film and audiovisual media. Alongside revised translations of key texts which were no longer available, like those of thinkers and filmmakers as Menno ter Braak, Sergej Eisenstein, Maxim Gorki, Georges Méliès and Dziga Vertov, this first part of the collection also contains new translations of international key texts that have never before appeared in Dutch, from authors like Béla Balázs, Germaine Dulac, Louis Delluc, Jean Epstein, Siegfried Kracauer, F.T. Marinetti, Hugo Münsterberg, Paul Valéry and Virginia Woolf. All texts have been prefaced and put in their historical context to highlight their subsisting importance to contemplating film and media.

Part two of the series, the Classical Filmtheory (abt 1930-1980), is to be expected in April.

Editorial staff: Frank Kessler (University of Utrecht), Annie van den Oever (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) and Steven Willemsen (Rijkuniversiteit Groningen).

Publisher: In De Walvis, Nijmegen. 2016.

The book (207 p.) is available at the mentioned universities for 15,- euro’s.

For press copies, please contact