Charles Musser, Professor of American Studies and Film Studies, Yale University, will explore controversies surrounding American versus French cinema that emerged as early as 1896, when the Lumière Cinématographe arrived in the United States and Edison’s Vitascope made its debut. Who invented cinema? How did French and American motion picture art diverge? Were early movies a cosmopolitan (and international) phenomenon or a nationalistic (and jingoistic) one? The answers will not only help pinpoint ideological and cultural differences, but also reveal dimensions of early cinema that still reverberate today.
Co-sponsored by NYU’s La Maison Française and Grey Art Gallery.