Post your thoughts on cinema history.
While reading McGuire’s chapter entitled “The Mobile Frame” and his observation as to how people’s perception of art and reality shifted with the innovation of cinema, I was inspired to consider the future of cinematic art and how that art form will inevitably interact with burgeoning technologies. The Corning Corporation is currently developing a type of glass which functions as something akin to either a television or computer screen. As art shifted with the innovation of the mobile frame during the Renaissance and again experienced another shift as cinema offered a transitory lens, so will this type of glass offer a canvas upon which art and communication will be displayed.
This reading provides an analysis as to how evolving art affects the audience both consciously and subconsciously in our relation to our concepts of existentialism and time space reality. Consider the profound effect new technologies will bring about for audiences and filmmakers alike. As this technology becomes more cost effective it will undoubtedly have an influence as to how our world functions and the overall aesthetic of that world. If you would like to view a clip about this world of glass check it out.
What appears to be happening in cinema, is that it is reverting back to its origins, before the invention of the camera and roll of film, when tools were created which appeared to show movement in some way or another. In Lev Manovich’s “The Visual Culture Reader”, it is stated that cinema is experiencing an ‘identity crisis’. When one takes the fundamental elements of current digital technology practices (for example, basing animation on real-life human movements, editing scenes by ‘painting’ in the computer), they all mimic different techniques used in the very early days of cinema. These techniques were used to to ‘add’ something to the film, which is what the practices in modern technology also seek to do. It seems to me that the introduction of this new technology is scary to many; these programmes are able to create entire films with out the actual ‘raw footage’ (i.e. what originally came out of the camera) being included in the final production. Instead of seeing cinema as currently undergoing an ‘identity crisis’, when one looks at the practices of early cinema versus current cinema, it suggests that what sat inbetween these two periods (when the image captured by the camera was what was shown to viewers) is the ‘odd one out’.
The computer is simply becoming the new camera, and just as cinema has influenced all reas of life, so has the invention of technology. I always see history as a series of cycles, and it seems that the production of cinema using hands on, painterly techniques, is returning.
In both articles “what is digital cinema” and “From film to interactive art: Transformation in media arts” the writers try to asses the direction that the art of cinema is taking coming in to the 21 century and answer the question what is the identity of art cinema.
In “what is digital cinema” the author, lev manovich, claims that the increasing use of visual effects denied from cinema it’s identity and returned it to it’s roots in the art of painting. Personally I don’t agree with manovich because it seems that is definition of cinema is very narrow and that cinema as to be just one thing. Since the second world war, each decade was defined by some movement of film directors or thinkers that tried to answer what is cinema, it’s relation to the audience, what is the purpose of cinema and so on. Eventually the art of cinema has showed that it is not just one thing but it can be interpreted in to many different views, I think that it acts a little like a worm hole, sucking in everything in it’s path and moving on. We explain it by the fact that it is the only art that is dependent on it’s audience in order to survive. In order to survive it has to accept new cultural movements and new technologies so it could stay inventive, innovative and attractive for it’s audience.
On the other hand “From film to interactive art: Transformation in media arts” claims that cinema has lost it’s identity becuase it is no longer the only audiovisual medium. Personally I think that film has not lost it’s identity, for now, but it lost it’s seniority, I think that we all know to approach film as a work of art becuase of it’s set of rules that distinguishes it and becuase of our prior understanding that film is art. But as time moves on and we evolve as a society that is looking for instant products and thrill seeking, than the boundaries between the work of art, such as film, and pure entertainment, such as video game, becomes gray and cinema as we know it might not exist anymore.
I don’t feel like cinema is experiencing an ‘identity crisis’ Lev Manovich’s “The Visual Culture Reader” stated, but something more akin to a growing pain as the next generation of cinematic innovators start to figure out what to do with the new technology that is being made available as tools of their craft, I really like the idea of ‘painting-in-time via what he refers to as the ‘kino-brush’. Form HD to 3D, form bigger, badder, more believable special effects to smaller, smarter, more affordable cameras tomorrow’s cinema producers (as in those who produce amazing digital motion images in whatever form they may take then we probably can’t even imagine right now) will be making the next chapter of the History of New Media.
I like the Phrase ‘living photographs’ that Scott McQuire references in “Visions of Modernity” and while it makes me think of the Wanted posters in Harry Potter’s world it also romanticizes the concept of the ‘motion picture’ and the technology that allows us to fabricate sum of time and space contained within that frame is a very interesting concept to me. The fact that cinema can create the illusion of life through a combination of scenes edited together and in doing so created a whole new place in which characters live or a whole new person that never actually existed is truly the magic of the medium for me.
A professor I once had presented the notion that many things created through science were imagined first within cinema, story, dream, or thought. From Captain Kirk’s device that was before the cell phone to hypothesis of how entertainment will effect the individual in reading Fahrenheit 451, what the human mind imagines and what certain human minds suggest they comprehend and create are amazing things. In “Visions of Modernity: Representation, Memory, Time and Space in the Age of the Camera,” the chapter discussing the mobile frame presents an engaging analysis in stating, “From the first moment its moving images hit the screen, cinema generated a certain disturbance.” It goes on to discuss this idea of spectators and visionaries, creators and creators yet to come are one in the same, “simultaneously distinguishing the naivety of these early spectators from the sophistication of their modern successors, as well as confirming the hyper-realism of the medium even in its infancy.”
I recently found myself watching “Now You See Me,” a new released film on a group of magicians that perform for large crowds in modern times, usually in a huge city. The group ends up robbing banks etc. Within this film the spectacles they present within the film couldn’t help but make me in awe of how far and fast cinema has come and continues to move. Not only cinema, but the human mind, science and visions people have in the future. My argument now comes back to this first sentence, “From the first moment its moving images hit the screen, cinema generated a certain disturbance.” I believe the disturbance is the realization of human creation possibilities and its own analysis of life, the lines that wave in and out and over the realms of fiction within reality within fiction, and the realm of the misunderstood of the monsters we create. To me, many of our inventions are similar to the actual birthing process, we “create” these new beings, but there is only so much we can understand about how and why they are here and who they are, similar to understanding ourselves.
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