The conceptual framework for this essay is the evolution and/or phenomenon of cinema, reflecting on the transformation of material (technology), aesthetics, culture, and modes of experience. You may incorporate any material on the course, including all material archived in the online learning object.
1. “We confront something [the digital image] that looks like photography, and continues to serve many of its cultural functions. Yet a felt change is occurring, or perhaps has occurred, in our phenomenological relation with these images.” D. N. Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film. What precisely has changed in the era of digital cinema? What are the implications of this change for our experience of images?
2. The digital image takes an imprint of loss. Discuss.
3. Cinema is the world remembered for us through a technological apparatus. Discuss.
4. “All cinema is a special effect.” Sean Cubitt, The Cinema Effect. Offer a reading of Cubitt’s position. You may wish to draw on Manovich’s reading of Vertov in this context, to which Cubitt makes reference.
5. According to Rombes, digitality negotiates a tendency toward ‘effect’ and intimacy. The digital image is inherently fragile. Discuss.
6. Discuss the figuration of ‘The One’ in The Matrix. Note: for this question, you must incorporate The Matrix and at least one other film from the primary screenings.
7. Steven Shaviro has recently suggested that new media images call for a reconsideration of our thinking about cinema, cinematic images, and cinematic experience. Offer a reading of contemporary cinematic experience with reference to Cloverfield, Southland Tales, and/or Tree of Life.
8. Discuss the implications of cinema’s new mobility in the age of digital technology.