Image - Coll. Quebec Cinematheque
Matthew Solomon was recently awarded the LSA Michigan Humanities Award, a fellowship that provides a term off with salary for those working on projects in the humanities and qualitative social sciences.
Solomon's project, “Méliès: Material Culture and the Moving Image," focuses on the material practices Georges Méliès used to generate his extraordinary body of work in film, theater, and the graphic arts, and on the specific materials these practices involved. Unlike prior studies, it shifts emphasis from authorship and film form to the specific Second Industrial Revolutionhistorical contexts in France in which Méliès’ work was produced and consumed. It argues that Méliès’ conception of what he called "the new profession of cinéaste" was formatively shaped by life in late-nineteenth-century Paris during the age of the Incohérents, when he transitioned from boot manufacture to a brief but portentous stint as a political cartoonist and director of perhaps the world’s foremost magic theater.