Birds of Paradise

Marketa Uhlirova
From exquisitely opulent films of the silent era, to sybaritic experimental productions of the American underground, costume has often played a vital role as a cinematic vehicle of sensuous pleasure and enchantment.Birds of Paradise: Costume as Cinematic Spectacle explores cinema's poetic fascination with animated dress, jewellery and adornment and carefully considers the relationship between screen expressions and those of related time-based forms, especially dance and theatre.Lavishly illustrated, the book examines those episodes in European and American cinema history that most powerfully foregrounded costume as the 'star attraction' on show - early cinema's dance, trick and féerie films of the 1890s and 1900s; popular silent cinema of the 1910s and 20s, especially music hall and orientalist spectaculars; and experimental films of the 1940s-1970s by artists including Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith and James Bidgood.


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