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Useful Cinema

Edited by
Charles R. Acland
Charles R. Acland

Charles R. Acland is Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. He is the author of Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture, also published by Duke University Press, and the editor of Residual Media.

Haidee Wasson is Associate Professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University. She is the author of Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Art Cinema and a co-editor of Inventing Film Studies, also published by Duke University Press.

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Haidee Wasson
Haidee Wasson

Charles R. Acland is Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. He is the author of Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture, also published by Duke University Press, and the editor of Residual Media.

Haidee Wasson is Associate Professor in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University. She is the author of Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Art Cinema and a co-editor of Inventing Film Studies, also published by Duke University Press.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-9416-7
Publication date:
2011

By exploring the use of film in mid-twentieth-century institutions, including libraries, museums, classrooms, and professional organizations, the essays in Useful Cinema show how moving images became an ordinary feature of American life. In venues such as factories and community halls, people encountered industrial, educational, training, advertising, and other types of “useful cinema.” Screening these films transformed unlikely spaces, conveyed ideas, and produced subjects in the service of public and private aims. Such functional motion pictures helped to shape common sense about cinema’s place in contemporary life. Whether measured in terms of the number of films shown, the size of audiences, or the economic activity generated, the “non-theatrical sector” was a substantial and enduring parallel to the more spectacular realm of commercial film. In Useful Cinema, scholars examine organizations such as UNESCO, the YMCA, the Amateur Cinema League, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They also consider film exhibition sites in schools, businesses, and industries. As they expand understanding of this other American cinema, the contributors challenge preconceived notions about what cinema is.

Contributors. Charles R. Acland, Joseph Clark, Zoë Druick, Ronald Walter Greene, Alison Griffiths, Stephen Groening, Jennifer Horne, Kirsten Ostherr, Eric Smoodin, Charles Tepperman, Gregory A. Waller, Haidee Wasson. Michael Zryd

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