The collections of the Austrian Film Museum feature a wide range of artworks, objects, apparatus and historical documents. Picturing and describing 50 artifacts from these collections, the book suggests a non-dogmatic reading of film history. The 50 selected items represent a rough timeline, from the pre-cinematic moving image arts to pixelized film grain, tracing a material culture deeply entangled with the history of the 20th century - and far from the reductive idea of cinematic "glamour" that is so often associated with movie memorabilia. The images and texts describe a territory where private lives and politics, art and terror, famous and marginalized films, and desired and despised objects, all engage in conversation with each other. This picture book in 50 chapters begins with a cinema and ends with a cactus (or vice versa).
Paolo Caneppele is a historian and Head of Collections at the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna. He has taught widely on film history and published several books on subjects such as Austrian Silent Cinema, film and comic books, and early film censorship. Alexander Horwath is a curator and writer, and the director of the Austrian Film Museum. Among the publications he has co-edited are books on Peter Kubelka's cycle "What Is Film," Film Curatorship, and Josef von Sternberg's lost film The Case of Lena Smith, all available from CUP.