Through archaeological, conceptual, and rhetorical insights, Miriam Hansen puts play (Spiel) to work in Cinema and Experience. When she engages Walter Benjamin's treatment of film in the “Artwork” essay, she retrieves Spiel from Spielraum, naturalizing a somewhat idiosyncratic (if literal) translation of the latter. “Room-for-play” becomes a phenomenological chronotope that illuminates the leap from Benjamin's account of children's capacity to remake the material world to a broader aesthetico-political agenda. Spielraum or Spiel-Raum aggressively spatializes in two significant registers: first, it invokes those inadvertent sites of play in One-Way Street where the child assures us of vast and unsuspected possibility, and second, it dimensionalizes film into cinema and thus into a realm of collective experience.

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