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Abstract

An examination of the cinema's relationship to romanticism demonstrates the problematical business of periodizing an art movement and showing its relationship to a specific political/historical movement. Although the cinema did not exist during the years roughly 1798-1850, it is fair to say that the international cinema from its inception has embodied the controlling spirit and dialectic of Romanticism. It is extraordinary that relatively little has been said about the connections of film to the sensibility that arose with the emergence of industrialism and the bourgeoisie in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Lecture given at the Romanticism Past and Present Institute for secondary school faculty, sponsored by Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut Humanities Council. The writers of these essays had the specific task of selecting and presenting their material with secondary school faculty and their students in mind.

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