This essay examines the display of technological objects, consumer goods, and other materials within the earliest Spanish realist cinema, as well as the manipulation of things in pioneering fantasy films, to reveal how Spanish filmmakers projected the modernity of Spain and thereby addressed foreign objectification of their nation as exotic or different. Through an analysis of several actualities, point-of-view rail films, and factory films produced in Barcelona between 1900 and 1930, as well some key Segundo de Chomón trick films shot in the city, this article shows how this early Barcelona film culture deployed material forms to mark the agency and cosmopolitanism of turn-of-the-century Spain and to contest the “cabinet of curiosities vision” that French actuality filmmakers in particular had once imposed on the nation.

You do not currently have access to this content.