By Yuri Tsivian (with Barry Schneider)
From the Cine Disc Series (edited by Marsha Kinder) & distributed by The Labyrinth Project
Winner of the 2001 British Academy Award for Best Interactive Project in the Learning Category.
This CD-ROM by Slavic studies scholar Yuri Tsivian examines Russian cinema before 1919. It highlights the major stars and principal directors from this period, explores the unique visual style of their films, and links that style to the broader culture in both pre-Revolutionary Russia and other nations (including Italy, Scandinavia, and the United States). Neither a database nor a game - though at various points, it may behave like one or the other - Immaterial Bodies contains a multimedia archive storing 100 film clips and 55 minutes of moving images with 75 minutes of spoken bilingual (Russian and English) commentary, hundreds of stills, and over 125 pages of bilingual texts (which can be switched back and forth at any time). For any given film excerpt, users can chose a musical accompaniment from dozens of period pieces. They can visit a 3-D representation of the Paris Morgue or stroll along city streets like a modernist flaneur. Each visitor can explore Immaterial Bodies according to her own interests and desires. Immaterial Bodies offers a choice of ten possible openings, or "pathways", into the contents: Acting, Production Design, Lighting, Mobile Framing, Staging, Books, Pictures, Rooms, Dreams & Visions, and Music. One can move easily from one pathway to another, jump to other material related to what is being viewed, or investigate specific areas of interest through the Search Index of over 500 terms.
Produced by Barry Schneider, this title is the second in the "Cine Discs" series of bilingual CD-ROMs on national media cultures, whose general editor is Marsha Kinder, Director of the Labyrinth Project at the University of Southern Californias Annenberg Center for Communication.