Below the surface: Siegfried Kracauer’s ‘test-film’ project (New Formations 61, Summer 2007)

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Format: Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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Graeme Gilloch, Jaeho Kang

Gilloch and Kang discuss ‘Below the Surface’, a 24-page screenplay dating from 1945 for a so-called test film of approximately 20 minutes duration, designed as a social psychology experiment to investigate anti-Semitism among US audiences. The authors examine Kracauer’s involvement in the project and how it represents his theory of film as a dream image for the collective unconscious, suggesting that it is a fantasia of Critical Theory due to the motifs, concepts and figures that it contains.