Silent film comedies were obsessed with images of shape-shifting women: housemaids dismembered their own limbs or stretched these limbs beyond human proportions, magical nicotine fairies miniaturized their entire bodies, and housewives metamorphosed into reptiles or celestial satellites. In this article, I look at female corporeality in transitional silent cinema as itself a trick technique. I argue that filmmakers used female metamorphosis in order to negotiate between trick attractions and integrated narrative effects - between filmmakings spectacular mass appeal and its institutional legitimacy.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.
- Early cinema
- Segundo de Chomón
- Trick film