The study of cinema and photography has recently opened up exciting new possibilities for scholars of modernist literature and culture. The article published here is a striking addition to our knowledge and understanding of how modernist writers such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce responded to the new art of the cinema. What the article does especially well is to articulate the essentially divided response of Virginia Woolf in her 1926 essay, ‘The Cinema’, showing how it reveals both fascination and envy, both appalled recognition of the ‘savage’, anarchic dimensions of popular mass culture and a simultaneous awareness of the vast experimental possibilities of a new artistic medium. I wonder, however, if it is entirely fair and apt to suggest that Woolf ‘deplores’ the ‘savage’ appeal of cinema, even if her response to the spectacle of mass cinema audiences betrays something of the Bloomsbury bohemian hauteur that we find elsewhere in her writing. The ‘savage’ quality surely represents something altogether more complex – that paradoxical modernist preoccupation with the primitive and the archaic that characterises The Waste Land, for instance, or Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Overall, this is a very stimulating essay and it provides a wealth of insights and ideas, including some excellent observations on the early filming of Anna Karenina and on the ways in which Woolf’s response to cinema might be understood in relation to the theories of defamiliarization advanced by the Russian formalists. It would be very good to see some new work on cinematic techniques in Woolf’s novels and stories.