Cinema as Modernism
This chapter examines the once controversial claim that the revolutionary impact of modernist art might as easily be found in cinema as in “higher” arts like literature, painting, and music. It also extends the inclusion of cinema in canonical modernism to consider both how cinema helped constitute modernism itself and how discourse on cinema, serving as an index of what had changed in modern life, produced the kind of comprehensive narrative about culture now integral to cultural studies. In order to also focus on what cultural studies can say about modernism, the chapter discusses the pivotal modernist tension between mass culture and revolutionary art, considering, on the one hand, avant-garde film and, on the other, auteur cinema, which has both popular and avant-garde forms.
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