Cinema and Mass Media in Modernity. Walter Benjamin and the Reproducible Image

Presentation (Elaboration), 2011

8 Pages, Grade: N/A Professional Lecture

Abstract or Introduction

From the beginning of photography, photographers had always attempted to produce photographs which could be accepted by the same criteria as painting. This was changed however by new people such as Moholy-Nagy, Rodchenko, Man Ray etc. who we already discussed in the tutorials.

One of the first theories of film in the English Language was Vachel Lindsay’s The Art of the Moving Picture, which was published in 1915 which described the motion picture as a great high art. In fact, experiments in Electronic Media had originally begun in 1877 with the sound recordings Edison had made with his cylinder phonograph and the Gramophone (1898) and continuing with radio and silent movies of the 1920s and then talking cinema from 1926 which came out with the Jazz Singer.

Following photography and its technological discoveries, Film production would continue to reveal the new link between art and the new developments in science during the early 19th century and the invention of film in the 1890s. Through its system of production, the rules of understanding images changed for everybody in significant ways. This period would be when the new mechanical technologies such as photographic, cinematic, and arriving soon after, television or televisual images would all be infinitely reproducible. This fact would change the role of images in society and greatly increase the influence upon us.

In the era of the new films being made from the early 20th century, which had come out of the experiments that were taking place in photography one could say that then motion was added to the photograph. Because of this, early film could in this way be seen as early photoplays and the people best qualified for this had been the painters, architects and sculptors such as Edwin S. Porter in America, Georges Melies in France Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein in Russia, D.W. Griffith in America who represent some of the most important of these at the time.

This lecture discuss the validity of Walter Benjamin’s ideas within an historical context in relation to the effects of the photographed or filmed image and the mass reproduction of images in society.


Cinema and Mass Media in Modernity. Walter Benjamin and the Reproducible Image
University of Western Sydney  (School of Communication Arts, College of Arts)
BA Design
N/A Professional Lecture
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
408 KB
Lecture took place in Sydney, August, 2011 by Dr Cyrus Manasseh
Film, Photography, Design, Mass Media, Walter Benjamin
Quote paper
PhD Cyrus Manasseh (Author), 2011, Cinema and Mass Media in Modernity. Walter Benjamin and the Reproducible Image, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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