2022 AIGA 50 Books|50 Covers, winner
City of Cinema traces film’s evolution from an obscure entertainment to the most powerful art form of the 20th century. Placing cinema in the context of 19th-century Parisian visual culture, this book brings together posters, paintings, studio and documentary photography, and film stills that evoke Paris as a site of consumption, demonstrate early cinema’s relationship with technology and the fine arts, and highlight local and global spaces of film production. It also examines the aspects of 19th-century visual culture that gave rise to cinema as a quintessentially modern medium with an eager audience. Aligning with French beliefs that the nation’s culture would be democratized through consumption, cinema reinforced a set of assumptions about French cultural and political authority and disseminated these ideas to the rest of the world.