chapter  3
24 Pages

The appearance of reality

Arrival of the Train
WithNathan Andersen

A philosophical investigation of both the nature of appearances generally and of the specific kind of appearance that takes place in cinema. The chapter examines in particular the significance of the myth that audiences cowered in fear at the appearance of an oncoming locomotive in the early Lumiére Brothers film, The Arrival of the Train. Analysis of R.W. Paul’s film The Countryman and the Cinematograph, which parodies this naïve response, allows the structural features and conventions governing how film appears and how audiences respond to that appearance to be made clear. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the relationship between cinematic appearances and reality, and of the nature of human experience.