As almost (or, truly, virtually) every aspect of making and viewing movies is replaced by digital technologies, even the notion of "watching a film" is fast becoming an anachronism. With the likely disappearance of celluloid film stock as a medium, and the emergence of new media competing for an audience, what will happen to cinema--and to cinema studies? In the first of two books exploring this question, D. N. Rodowick considers the fate of film and its role in the aesthetics and culture of moviemaking and viewing in the twenty-first century.
Here Rodowick proposes and examines three different critical responses to the disappearance of film in relation to other time-based media, and to the study of contemporary visual culture. Film, he suggests, occupies a special place in the genealogy of the arts of the virtual: while film disappears, cinema persists--at least in the narrative forms imagined by Hollywood since 1915. Rodowick also observes that most so-called "new media" are fashioned upon a cinematic metaphor. His book helps us see how digital technologies are serving, like television and video before them, to perpetuate the cinematic as the mature audiovisual culture of the twentieth century--and, at the same time, how they are preparing the emergence of a new audiovisual culture whose broad outlines we are only just beginning to distinguish.
D. N. Rodowick is Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.
Part I: The Virtual Life of Film 1. Futureworld 2. The Incredible Shrinking Medium 3. Back to the Future Part II: What Was Cinema? 4. Film Begets Video 5. The Death of Cinema and the Birth of Film Studies 6. A Medium in All Things 7. Automatisms and Art 8. Automatism and Photography 9. Succession and the Film Strip 10. Ways of Worldmaking 11. A World Past 12. An Ethics of Time Part III: A New Landscape (without Image) 13. An Elegy for Film 14. The New "Media" 15. Paradoxes of Perceptual Realism 16. Real Is as Real Does 17. Lost in Translation: Analogy and Index Revisited 18. Simulation, or Automatism as Algorithm 19. An Image That Is Not "One" 20. Two Futures for Electronic Images, or What Comes after Photography? 21. The Digital Event 22. Transcoded Ontologies, or "A Guess at the Riddle" 23. Old and New, or the (Virtual) Renascence of Cinema Studies Acknowledgments