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The Virtual Life of Film The Virtual Life of Film

By D. N. Rodowick By D. N. Rodowick
£25.95

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Description: 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 20th 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.

Review: Over the years Rodowick has provided perhaps the most thorough readings and evaluations of contemporary, post-classical film theory any scholar has offered. The Virtual Life of Film offers his speculations about cinema's digital transformation. An important work, it raises vital issues...In the opening chapters Rodowick offers one of the most nuanced and complex descriptions of the photographic in cinema ever presented. -- Tom Gunning Film Comment 20070901 There is much to stimulate, provoke and argue within a book that successfully taps into the scholarly Zeitgeist. -- Ian Christie 

Lucid and forceful, D.N. Rodowick persuasively argues for the enduring relevance of film theory in an age in which film, itself, has been enhanced, extended, and transformed by new media platforms and forms. Skeptical and dialectical, this profound and graceful meditation reconsiders the photographic ontology of cinema and concepts such as "medium," "virtuality," and "automatism"-its aim not only the preservation and expansion of film studies as a humanities discipline but also a recuperation of the important philosophical questions that have been foundational for film theory. This is "must" reading for anyone interested in understanding the nature and experience of the moving image. -- Vivian Sobchack, Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media, University of California, Los Angeles Calmly, intrepidly, Rodowick dives straight into the churning waters of The Virtual Life of Film. Just as cinema anchors new media, so film theory anchors these philosophical speculations that dare to imagine the digital untethered. Neither apocalyptic nor nostalgic, Rodowick appears equipoised as he explores what's behind and in front of this brave new media world. -- Dudley Andrew, R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature, Yale University

Contents: 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

Author Biography: D. N. Rodowick is Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Visual Studies, Harvard University.

 

Description: 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 20th 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.

Review: Over the years Rodowick has provided perhaps the most thorough readings and evaluations of contemporary, post-classical film theory any scholar has offered. The Virtual Life of Film offers his speculations about cinema's digital transformation. An important work, it raises vital issues...In the opening chapters Rodowick offers one of the most nuanced and complex descriptions of the photographic in cinema ever presented. -- Tom Gunning Film Comment 20070901 There is much to stimulate, provoke and argue within a book that successfully taps into the scholarly Zeitgeist. -- Ian Christie 

Lucid and forceful, D.N. Rodowick persuasively argues for the enduring relevance of film theory in an age in which film, itself, has been enhanced, extended, and transformed by new media platforms and forms. Skeptical and dialectical, this profound and graceful meditation reconsiders the photographic ontology of cinema and concepts such as "medium," "virtuality," and "automatism"-its aim not only the preservation and expansion of film studies as a humanities discipline but also a recuperation of the important philosophical questions that have been foundational for film theory. This is "must" reading for anyone interested in understanding the nature and experience of the moving image. -- Vivian Sobchack, Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media, University of California, Los Angeles Calmly, intrepidly, Rodowick dives straight into the churning waters of The Virtual Life of Film. Just as cinema anchors new media, so film theory anchors these philosophical speculations that dare to imagine the digital untethered. Neither apocalyptic nor nostalgic, Rodowick appears equipoised as he explores what's behind and in front of this brave new media world. -- Dudley Andrew, R. Selden Rose Professor of Film and Comparative Literature, Yale University

Contents: 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

Author Biography: D. N. Rodowick is Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in Film and Visual Studies, Harvard University.

 

Additional Info

Additional Info

SKU 9780674026988
Author(s) Rodowick, D. N.
Publisher(s) Harvard University Press
Format Paperback
Original publication date 9 Oct 2007
Number of pages 216

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