Magic, Spiritualism, and Cinema: Viewing Dispositives and Illusionist Spectacles in France in the Early Twentieth Century

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_88C640ED5463
Type
A part of a book
Publication sub-type
Chapter: chapter ou part
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Magic, Spiritualism, and Cinema: Viewing Dispositives and Illusionist Spectacles in France in the Early Twentieth Century
Title of the book
Illusion in Cultural Practice: Productive Deceptions
Author(s)
Berton Mireille
Publisher
Routledge
Address of publication
London
ISBN
9781003188278
Publication state
Published
Issued date
05/10/2021
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Editor
Rein Katharina
Chapter
6
Language
english
Abstract
In the early twentieth Century, the debate about ghosts, in which sceptics and believers opposed one another on the subject of paranormal phenomena, crystallized discourses of illusionist mise-en-scène. Prestidigitators, cinematographers, and scientists wondered about the probity of spiritualist mediums who claimed to be able to give life to spirits coming from the other world. This started a heated dispute between champions and opponents of Spiritualism, which involved challenging adversaries as part of standardized performances. The comparison between the three viewing dispositives of magic, Spiritualism, and cinema shows that, beyond partisan disputes, the stakes of such debates rested mostly in the mastering of illusionist spectacles aimed at stunning the public during a time when mass culture relied on the attraction of both magic and hyper-realistic representations.
Keywords
magic, illusionnism, spiritism, spiritualism, Georges Méliès, spiritualist medium, mediumship, trickery, fraud, cinema, early cinema, féérie, Paris, ghosts, ghost, paranormal, mise-en-scène, Jule-Eugène Legris, spirit photography, early mass culture, fin-de-siècle Paris, 1900, early cinema, théâtre Robert-Houdin, Robert-Houdin, magicians, spectacles
Open Access
Yes
Create date
22/10/2021 10:12
Last modification date
23/10/2021 5:38
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