Since the late 1950s, the idea that hidden, imperceptible messages could influence mass behaviour has been debated, feared, and ridiculed. In Swift Viewing, Charles R. Acland reveals the secret story of subliminal influence, showing how an obscure concept from experimental psychology became a mainstream belief about our vulnerability to manipulation in an age of media clutter.
Modernity, as has often been observed, was fundamentally concerned with questions of temporality. The period around 1900, in particular, witnessed numerous efforts to define, discipline or 'liberate' temporal experience. Within this broader framework of thinking about temporality, 'rhythm' came to form the object of an intense and widespread preoccupation.
By exploring the use of film in mid-twentieth-century institutions, including libraries, museums, classrooms, and professional organizations, the essays in Useful Cinema show how moving images became an ordinary feature of American life.