Siegfried Kracauer, 1930
It is the legs of the Tiller Girls that swing in perfect parallel, not the natural unity of their bodies, and it is also true that the thousands of people in the stadium form one single star. But this star does not shine, and the legs of the Tiller Girls are an abstract designation of their bodies.
The film makes the cult value recede into the background not only by putting the public in the position of the critic, but also by the fact that at the movies this position requires no attention. The public is an examiner, but an absent-minded one.
A (Very) Brief History of Reproducible Art
“I can no longer think what I want to think. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images.”
…a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries…, a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence…, which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.
If you didn’t agree with Duhamel before, you probably do now.