The peephole was a central feature of Edison’s Kinetoscope, an early cinematic exhibition device through which many audiences saw their first moving images. The line of movement of a man’s hat as he passes it from one hand to the other, the mesmerising flow of a woman’s dress as she dances, the expression on a person’s face as he sneezes, these single shots were the peephole’s micro-cinematic moments. Although the Kinetoscope is no longer with us, Peephole believes that digital technologies offer the possibility for screen criticism to return to the novelty of this time of early cinema and draw attention, once again, to the micro-elements of the screen.
Peephole features short essays on single shots of film, television and other screen media. Gesturing back to the cinematic moments viewed through the peephole, each piece is presented alongside a brief animation of the shot under discussion. In restricting writers to a single shot, Peephole aims to push the boundaries of screen criticism and, in returning to this moment of early cinema, experiment with ways of thinking and writing about film.
Peephole is edited by Whitney Monaghan.