Berkeley Film & Media Seminar


Amplified Light and Modulated Looking: Histories of Small Screen Experimentation

Fri, Oct 24, 2014, 12:00 am

142 Dwinelle Hall

Haidee Wasson - Associate Professor, Film Studies; Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University

The history of portable film projectors offers us a very different view of what cinema has been — not big but small, not only moving but also still, permanent but just as often provisional. Through the lens of the portable projector and its small screen, cinema’s apparatus has long been less a singular ideal and more an iterative process, serving a range of aesthetic experiments, epistemological projects, corporate and governmental mandates. This presentation will provide a framework for thinking about what it means to integrate portability into our assumptions about cinema’s past, using a cluster of case studies beginning in 1939 and ending in 1959. Particular attention will be paid to the specific dynamics of the portable projected image, with a particular focus on the dynamics of light.This will include an examination of a number of consumer and military experiments with daylight cinema, rear-projection boxes and cones, ceiling cinema and immersive cinema.