Publication Details

Yecies, B, Book review of: Sound technology and the American cinema, Screening The Past: An International, Refereed, Electronic Journal of Visual Media and History, 14, 2002.


Sound technology and the American cinema makes an exciting contribution to the fields of film history, film theory, and cultural studies. It offers an in-depth, multi-sourced study of the development of representational technologies, including photography, phonography, and the cinema; each had a convergent role in the permanent adoption of sound into the Hollywood film industry. James Lastra intrigues the reader by constructing a technological genealogy, which connects the ideas and sensibilities of an American culture on the brink of modernity. In doing so, he brings to life a material history of this century's "most influential audiovisual form-the classical Hollywood sound film" (9).