Magical Suspension: The Movies as a Fun Experience
This book builds upon the author’s extensive previous work on the movies, adopting a more comprehensive and inquisitive stance for the study of moving pictures as a cultural movement and ludenic innovation. It returns to earlier analysis and commentary on this new invention and recreation quickly termed “the movies”, and develops the initial impression of both moviegoers and observers that the movies appealed because they were fun. As such, the book examines the characteristics that made films so enjoyable, namely their use of magic, presentation of myth, and persistence of mnemonic recollection. The enduring appeal of moving pictures remains consistent, even though the medium has proliferated and diversified, so much so that now a good portion of the human race spends a great deal of time looking at moving pictures. The book is eclectic and exploratory, designed to urge consideration of moving pictures in this larger perspective as something that has changed and perhaps enriched the lives of many people, leaving inquirers the task of calculating the enormous significance and consequences of our motion picture experience for the conduct of our lives. Such an effort is not without merit, since it now seems quite clear that the whole world is watching.
James Combs is a Professor Emeritus from Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He is the author of twenty-four books, and is currently working on another, tentatively entitled Cinemuse, exploring the expansive learning potential for cinematic experience in the human future for both good and evil. He lives quietly in a mountain cabin with Sara and ten stray cats, hoping someday soon to make a valedictory trip to England for one last taste of pub food and Bombay gin.
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