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Cinema Between Media

An Intermediality Approach

Jørgen Bruhn, Anne Gjelsvik

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Offers new tools from intermediality studies for analysing contemporary cinema

Cinema has always been a mixed medium, sharing its basic form with photography, borrowing heavily from performing arts and the novel, and combining medialities like painting and music. But although it could be argued that cinema is the intermedial art form par excellence, this insight has not affected film analysis as much as might be expected. Seeking to change our perceptions of cinema as a medium, Cinema Between Media draws on case studies of films like Zero Dark Thirty, Citizen Kane, Howl and Birdman to rethink cinema as an aesthetic form, and to raise new ideas about the practice of film analysis.

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Chapter 1: Introduction Cinema Between Media

Chapter 2: Media behind the Scene: Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane

Chapter 3: Cinematic Theatre: Alejandro G. Inárritu’s Birdman

Chapter 4: A Novelist on Film? Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs

Chapter 5: Between Cinema and Photography: Jan Troell’s Eternal Moments

Chapter 6: Mixing senses and media: Epstein and Friedman’s Howl.

Chapter 7: Surveilling Media: Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.

Chapter 8: Cinematic representations of a "super wicked problem": climate change in documentary film (Ice and the Sky and Chasing Ice)

Chapter 9: Conclusion

List of illustrations

Film references


About the Author

Jørgen Bruhn is Professor of Comparative Literature and Intermediality at Linnaeus University.

Anne Gjelsvik is professor in film studies, Department of Art and Media Studies at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim Norway.


A highly accessible introduction to a powerful and exciting set of critical ideas, Cinema Between Media illuminates the way narrative film is cross-hatched with the signs and artifacts of multiple media forms. This pathfinding book offers a new way of understanding cinema, and explores the promise of media-sensitive analysis for both classic and contemporary film.

- Professor Robert Burgoyne, Freie Universitat Berlin

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