Friday, February 25, 2011


Some lovely places on the web to visit; which celebrate and delve into the subject of pre-cinema.  .  .

There are the pictures of the fantastic assortment of magic lantern and other pre-cinematic devices in the George Eastman House's pre-cinema collection.


For a more comprehensive education on pre-cinema, there is a well-designed website giving The History of the Discovery of Cinematography, as researched, compiled & written by Paul Burns.


Pre-cinema did not end with the coming of cinema.  Restored in 2008, here is Bill Brand's wonderful Masstransitscope, from 1980.  A zoetrope that uses the motion of a subway train from which the viewer sees the sequence of passing frames.  It's such a pleasure to ride the train from DeKalb in Brooklyn and see the reactions of people caught by surprise by this magical experience of public art.

Sooner or later there will have to be the Cine Soiree event that takes the form of a soiree on board the subway, where we all meet up and ride the train back and forth to view Masstransitscope together over and over again!  An update, perhaps, of Edna St.Vincent Millay's Recuerdo ("We were very tired, we were very merry—/We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry").


And Tjebbe van Tijen's Imaginary Museum is worth an extended visit; not just on our pre-cinema tour of the web, but also for everything else housed in van Tijen's museum.  Our visit starts with the 2003 panoramic collage scroll, entitled A Panorama of Pre-Cinematic Principles

Long live pre-cinema! Cheers!

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