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The Art of the Moving Picture

Vachel Lindsay

Book Overview: 

This book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .These shows work like the express elevators in the Metropolitan Tower. The ideal is the maximum of speed in descending or ascending, not to be jolted into insensibility. There are two girl parts as beautifully thought out as the parts of ladies in love can be expected to be in Action Films. But in the end the love is not much more romantic in the eye of the spectator than it would be to behold a man on a motorcycle with the girl of his choice riding on the same machine behind him. And the highest type of Action Picture romance is not attained by having Juliet triumph over the motorcycle handicap. It is not achieved by weaving in a Sherlock Holmes plot. Action Picture romance comes when each hurdle is a tableau, when there is indeed an art-gallery-beauty in each one of these swift glimpses: when it is a race, but with a proper and golden-linked grace from action to action, and the goal is the most beautiful glimpse in the whole reel.

In the Action Picture there is. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An interesting and entertaining early example of film appreciation and criticism by the outstanding american poet Vachel Lindsay, first published in 1915 and later adjusted and slightly extended in a second edition in 1922.

It is an exploratory study of the art of photoplays or what are now called si

Está divido en dos partes. La segunda es una especulación sobre el poder del cine y el rumbo que debería tomar para engrandecer EEUU. Más allá del carácter profético conseguido y, por tanto, impresionante, es un poco denso.

Eso sí, la primera parte, donde analiza el cine hasta el momento y lo clasifi

A beautiful ode the Moving Picture, but it does have an unnecessary detour into hieroglyphics.

This book by Vachel Lindsey is an attempt to analyse film from a linguistic-based model of film theory. In her book - specifically the section referring to hieroglyphics - she compares the art of film with various different types of language systems. While this style of looking at film is useful to

Weird and kind of a tedious read, but lovable and insightful at the same time.