Where the Film Has the (Visual) Word?
On the Visuality and Materiality of Illustrated Film Magazines Exemplified by Neue Filmwelt (1947–1953)
Keywords:film periodicals, movie magazine, intermediality, film poster, rotogravure, halftone, typography, film still, German film history
To date, film magazines have primarily seen use as sources when researching individual periods of cinema history, rather than as objects of study themselves. Instead, the following paper brings the visuality, mediality and materiality of film periodicals to the fore. The question being addressed is the following: What kind of film knowledge and film understanding do illustrated film magazines negotiate in their presentation and selection—precisely in their (hitherto mainly disregarded) visuality, in their appearance, in their sensual material presence? The East German magazine Neue Filmwelt serves as an example for this approach. The essay proposes three ways of looking at the visual intermedial relation to film: How the magazine inscribes its words onto the picture; how it appropriates pictures, symbols, signets and typographies associated with cinema; and how it thereby outlines its very own position as a cultural and visual product in connection to film.
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