Mayer, Ruth (2017):
"In the Nick of Time? Detective Film Serials, Temporality, and Contingency Management, 1919–1926." The Velvet Light Trap 79.Spring: 1-35.
Journal Article

The American film serial of the 1920s is a particularly underresearched cinematic format. This article investigates the genre’s “time politics” in close regard to its serial structure, focusing on two popular detective serials of the period. The serials are aware of and reflect upon their own position in a longer history of cinematic storytelling (including a decade of serials), and they also respond to the larger cinematic and extracinematic context of the day, which is heavily imbued with the forces of standardization and serialization. The detective serial, as the most popular genre of the format, epitomizes this serial creativity. It can thus be seen as an exemplary instrument in a larger apparatus of modernist contingency management.