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Tom Gunning on Loie Fuller

by Brett Service

In this sequence from 'Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies' (2008), Tom Gunning testifies to the otherworldly appeal of Loie Fuller's serpentine dance, as captured by Edison, and subsequently by numerous imitators. For Gunning, the modality of the dance, the use of color, and the address to the spectator encapsulate the appeal of cinema's early attractions. References to imitators also speaks to the international movement of cinematic techniques and innovations. Fuller's talents aside, Gunning suggests that there is something inherently fascinating about moving bodies in space. Are there residues of this fixation in later cinematic traditions? Are subsequent forms of representational media also accompanied by early experiments with representing moving bodies in space for enraptured viewers?

Picasso & Braque Go to the Movies (2008): Tom Gunning on Loie Fuller

Film historian Tom Gunning describes the onscreen appeal of Loie Fuller and her serpentine dance in the context of cinema's early attractions, from 'Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies' (2008).

from Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies (2008)
Creator: Arne Glimcher
Distributor: Arthouse Films
Posted by Brett Service