Professor Paul Coates links film to 19th century supernatural art, focusing mainly on European arthouse cinema.
In a book which ranges freely over the work of Godard, Rosi, Altman, Copolla, Herzog. Wenders, Antonioni, Wajda, Krystoff, Zanussi and Skolimowski. Paul Coates restores the cinema to its lost heritage: that of nineteenth century supernaturalist art, the romantic notion of the living double, and the operatic ideal of 'the total work of art'.
Focusing on the surrender to a ghostly fleeting image which viewing film necessitates, Coates examines the ways in which major contemporary directors play with the ambiguous reflections that are their medium. Polish cinema's roots in the theatre and in surrealism are traced in a fresh and penetrating analysis.
The Story of the Lost Reflection makes a decisive break with currently fashionable structuralist and auteur theories by emphasising the importance of the experience of the viewer. Its publication is certain to generate controversy and not a little relief.