Professor Doane publishes new book: Bigger Than Life

Bigger than life high res

March 24, 2022

Bigger Than Life
The Close-Up and Scale in the Cinema

In Bigger Than Life Mary Ann Doane examines how the scalar operations of cinema,
especially those of the close-up, disturb and reconfigure the spectator’s sense of
place, space, and orientation. Doane traces the history of scalar transformations
from early cinema to the contemporary use of digital technology. In the early years
of cinema, audiences regarded the monumental close-up, particularly of the face, as
grotesque and often horrifying, even as it sought to expose a character’s interiority
through its magnification of detail and expression. Today, large-scale technologies
such as IMAX and sound surround strive to dissolve the cinematic frame and
invade the spectator’s space, “immersing” them in image and sound. The notion of
immersion, Doane contends, is symptomatic of a crisis of location in technologically
mediated space and a reconceptualization of position. scale, and distance. In this
wav. cinematic scale and its modes of spatialization and despatialization have
shaped the modern subject. interpolating them into the incessant expansion of

“Mary Ann Doane’s highly innovative, theoretically brilliant, and eloquently incisive
consideration of the history of the filmic close-up and its relation to scale will undoubtedly
make Bigger Than Life a field-changing work.”-Maggie Hennefeld, author of Specters of
Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes

Duke Press
November 2021 | 376 pages, 127 illustrations, including 4 in color
978-1-4780-1448-5 | $28.95 paperback $20.27 with discount

Special offer: Use coupon code E21DOANE to save 30% on
the paperback when vou order from dukeupress edu.

Read the Introduction