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The Question of Poetic Cinema

  • Tom Gunning
Chapter

Abstract

What is poetic cinema? The term denotes a relation to the literary genre of poetry, but that definition has changed through the centuries. The Greek term poesis could be applied to any work of fiction, including drama and the epic. However, the modern understanding of the term derives primarily from the romantic valorization of lyric poetry. Twentieth-century critics identify poetry with a use of language different from the everyday and stresses qualities of sound or the use of metaphor. Theories of poetic cinema have tended to refer to films which privilege cinematic devices such as editing and composition. Two schools of poetic cinema are discussed: Surrealism and the postwar American avant-garde films.

Keywords

Poetic cinema Poetry Avant-garde Metaphor Sound 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Gunning
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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