Physical Redemption: Psychophysics, Messianism, and the Origins of Kracauer’s Theory of Film

Siegfried Kracauer’s Theory of Film (1960) represents a monumental achievement in the history of film theory and a milestone in Kracauer’s own career. At the work’s core, Kracauer proposes that film can “redeem” reality by revealing otherwise unknown aspects of the material world. As this paper argues, the notion of “redemption” invoked by the work draws …