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Lecture 1

FILM 279 Lecture Notes - Asta Nielsen, Thomas Edison, Kinetoscope
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7 Pages
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Winter 2017

Department
World Cinemas
Course Code
FILM 279
Professor
Thomas Lamarre
Lecture
1

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FILM 279 lecture 1
Early film history and archeology of possible futures
o What does it mean today (digital media converters) to think and speak of
film history?
o Radical break?
Lose forever the analogic support, radically separated from
previous work?
o Unified trajectory?
o Business as usual
Some things have not changed, cinema is an art, but also a
business
Economically and techn. Continuation of smt, of what started at
the beginning of 20th century
Post photographic era
This particular moment of digitalisation is a moment of all
possibilities (looking at the past and rethinking the practice of
visual culture
Breaking the frames
To look back at original cinema, and recognize a variety of
and heterogeneity of practices
Convergence of diff practices that brought about the
emergence of cinema
o Discourse that goes beyond cinema itself
o Could’t hae started if ot supported y other ietios phoograph
o To think about cinema means to think about a more broad field
We do’t hae fil history, e hae film histories
Not when is cinema, more what is cinema
Supressed histories: Alice Guy
Already in the 1st year: global cinema
Folded in 2 parts in mid-century in 1950s
o Digital age, cinema of attraction
o 1950s itself is smt that becomes invisible, gets unspoken
o post WWII, fascism, holocaust
o central that happens in mid century
o what is the task of cinema? What do we want from images what is their
responsibility
fiction/documentary
o dialogue kept open b/w these 2 modes
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not chronology, but network of relations
expended field of relationship with industry. Science, documentary
locatedness of knowledge
o of being in a place
o how do we know the past?
o the past is an encounter: importance of field scholar, students as living in
a certain present, encounter the past through your present
Walter Benjamin
o We construct history and it is tied up with our locatedness (here-and-
now)
o Agaist the eteral piture of the past, Bejai proposes that the task
of the historical materialist is to explode the continuum of history
o Iages/photo/iea play a ruial role i Bejai’s historial
methodology.
Past= picture,
Film history is about interruptions
Urgency to think of knowledge, role of media in sct, work toward
change
o To articulate the past, does’t ea to reogize ho it really as
o We know the past from our present, through the fears of our present
o Media archeology of film history
Search not for a beginning, but search for network, paying
attention to the dogs that did not bark (presence of sounds)
(essence of sound) (spoken presence)
Cinema lives within other frameworks
o Involved in discipline
o Control
Absence of God in cinema
o Loss of faith in perception
o Farther and farther distance we have b/w the technology and the object
When is cinema? /what is cinema
o Impossible to separate
o
movement toward controlling the image through narrative
progression from cinema of attraction to narratives
reading: digital moment is a moment that marks the end of story telling
o the narrative is tied up to the indexical
o when connected to the digital, narrative disappear itself
cinema: discourse of control, of fear, of military
Cinema
The scene of modernity
cinema if one of a long string of invention with industrialization
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Description
FILM 279 lecture 1  Early film history and archeology of possible futures o What does it mean today (digital media converters) to think and speak of film history? o Radical break?  Lose forever the analogic support, radically separated from previous work? o Unified trajectory? o Business as usual  Some things have not changed, cinema is an art, but also a business  Economically and techn. Continuation of smt, of what started at the beginning of 20th century  Post photographic era  This particular moment of digitalisation is a moment of all possibilities (looking at the past and rethinking the practice of visual culture  Breaking the frames  To look back at original cinema, and recognize a variety of and heterogeneity of practices  Convergence of diff practices that brought about the emergence of cinema o Discourse that goes beyond cinema itself o Couldn’t have started if not supported by other inventions (phonograph) o To think about cinema means to think about a more broad field  We don’t have film history, we have film histories  Not when is cinema, more what is cinema  Supressed histories: Alice Guy  Already in the 1st year: global cinema  Folded in 2 parts in mid-century in 1950s o Digital age, cinema of attraction o 1950s itself is smt that becomes invisible, gets unspoken o post WWII, fascism, holocaust o central that happens in mid century o what is the task of cinema? What do we want from images what is their responsibility  fiction/documentary o dialogue kept open b/w these 2 modes FILM 279 lecture 1  Early film history and archeology of possible futures o What does it mean today (digital media converters) to think and speak of film history? o Radical break?  Lose forever the analogic support, radically separated from previous work? o Unified trajectory? o Business as usual  Some things have not changed, cinema is an art, but also a business  Economically and techn. Continuation of smt, of what started at the beginning of 20th century  Post photographic era  This particular moment of digitalisation is a moment of all possibilities (looking at the past and rethinking the practice of visual culture  Breaking the frames  To look back at original cinema, and recognize a variety of and heterogeneity of practices  Convergence of diff practices that brought about the emergence of cinema o Discourse that goes beyond cinema itself o Couldn’t have started if not supported by other inventions (phonograph) o To think about cinema means to think about a more broad field  We don’t have film history, we have film histories  Not when is cinema, more what is cinema  Supressed histories: Alice Guy  Already in the 1st year: global cinema  Folded in 2 parts in mid-century in 1950s o Digital age, cinema of attraction o 1950s itself is smt that becomes invisible, gets unspoken o post WWII, fascism, holocaust o central that happens in mid century o what is the task of cinema? What do we want from images what is their responsibility  fiction/documentary o dialogue kept open b/w these 2 modes
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