Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema

Het tovertoneel
Les Tulipes

By Giovanna Fossati, Tom Gunning and Joshua Yumibe, and Jonathon Rosen Foreword by Martin Scorsese.

We normally think of early film as being black and white, but the first color cinematography appeared as early as the first decade of the twentieth century. This visually stunning book brings a treasure trove of early color film images into print form for viewers to enjoy, examine and dream over their forgotten splendor.

Drawing on the early film archives of EYE Filmmuseum, the authors have carefully selected and reproduced frames from the original films made before World War I, presenting their fascinating and often surprising images and hues. This gorgeous book has been designed to engage readers of all ages and backgrounds. It includes essays on the history of these films, their technical processes, and their preservation, as well as an appreciation of their visual delights.

“I could gaze at the images in this book for hours. They are as fascinating as illuminated manuscripts or magic lantern slides.” - Martin Scorsese

"The most gorgeous collection of photos I've ever seen. These images, somehow still fresh with the power of their novelty, startle the eye every time I behold them. Mysterious and wondrous effect! And such a fascinating history!" - Guy Maddin, director of My Winnipeg and The Heart of the World

“Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema is a brilliant, revelatory book. Illuminated by dazzling reproductions and authoritative essays by leading film scholars, this is the first book to do visual justice to the magical world of early cinema. It is also a masterpiece of book art in its own right." - W.J.T. Mitchell, author of What Do Pictures Want?

Giovanna Fossati is Chief Curator at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture at the University of Amsterdam.

Tom Gunning is Distinguished Service Professor in the Art Department and the Cinema and Media Committee at the University of Chicago.

Joshua Yumibe holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor and Director of film studies at Michigan State University and as Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews.

Jonathon Rosen is painter, illustrator, animator, and faculty member of the MFA Visual Narrative and Illustration/Cartooning departments at The School of Visual Arts in New York.


ISBN 978 90 8964 657 6

e-ISBN 978 90 4852 328 3

€34.95 / £28.50 / $43.50

288 pages, ca. 200 colour illustrations


Available to order on and in the EYE shop.

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