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Scientific Films of the 1920s - 1930s - continued...

Insofar as animal hypnosis involved the restraint or fixing of the animal subject's visual field, Skramlik's film can also be situated within a larger dialogue about the non- or popular-scientific forms of the medium, much of which centered on the psychological effects of film spectatorship. The following year UFA produced another film, also titled "Tierische Hypnose," that was intended for a lay audience.

Skramlik's film points to a feature shared by many of the films mentioned here. By demonstrating both the reality and the value of hypnosis as a technology of the subject it underlines a common endeavor of the scientific film in its different guises. Whether they address hypnosis, the study of conditioned reflexes, the effects of administering bulbocapnine to an ape, or, as in the case of one of Janker's films from 1936, the influence of electricity on the heart and tissues of a narcotized cat, these films repeatedly deployed means for making animal or human subjects amenable to knowledge, treatment, and manipulation. In them, the filmic medium itself thus asserts its claim to a status beyond that of simply another means for the "more or less clumsy reproduction of the image and movement of life."

Reference: Killen, Andreas. 2009. Scientific and Medical Films in the 1920s-1930s. The Virtual Laboratory (ISSN 1866-4784), http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/references?id=art74&page=p0007