Imaginary Screens: The Hypnotic Gesture and Early Film

Ruggero Eugeni*

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Ruggero Eugeni argues that film profited from an insistent reference to hypnosis. If in early depictions, hypnotists were pointing their fingers at the subject in order to hit him or her with a shot of magnetic fluid, by the early twentieth century, subjects were induced into a hypnotic state as the hypnotist’s hand waved repeatedly in front of the eyes. This new gestural format, repeatedly staged by the movies of the same period, was instrumental in mirroring and shaping in imaginary terms the film’s screening conditions and the viewer’s experience. At a moment when a nascent cinema might have been defined in a number of ways, the anachronistic figure of the hypnotist’s hand worked to establish the screen rather than the film or the projector as the essential elements of an emerging assemblage.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteScreen Genealogies. From Optical Device to Environmental Medium
EditorC. Buckley, R. Campe, F. Casetti
Numero di pagine23
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • cinema dei primi tempi
  • dispositive
  • dispositivo
  • early film history
  • film screen
  • hypnotism
  • ipnotismo
  • schermi


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