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BEFORE HOLLYWOOD by Paul Clee Kirkus Star

BEFORE HOLLYWOOD

From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen

By Paul Clee

Age Range: 11 - 15

Pub Date: June 27th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-44533-1
Publisher: Clarion

In this lively chronicle of the creative ferment that led up to the invention and industry of motion pictures, Clee describes a host of ingenious devices. It’s all here, from the camera obscura (first depicted in the 15th-century, but using an optical effect described by Aristotle) to the thicket of magic lanterns, dioramas, zoetropes, stereopticons and like exotic artifacts that preceded the first true movie cameras. What really sets this apart from similar histories, though, are the penetrating insights into the strong impact that these inventions, and the wildly diverse uses to which they were put, plainly had on an early general public for whom any image, moving or still, was a relatively rare sight. The boundaries between magic and science were distinctly blurred. Richly endowed with period illustrations and backed by thorough lists of relevant books and Web sites, this entertaining historical panorama will absorb both casual viewers and serious young students of filmmaking, special effects and popular culture. (Nonfiction. 11-15)