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The elusive form of film

Nagib, L. ORCID: (2021) The elusive form of film. NECSUS. ISSN 2213-0217

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Film scholars in the new millennium have to live with an existential dilemma. Their very raison d’être, i.e. ‘film’, has become a chaotic constellation of audiovisual artefacts, mostly in digital form, bearing little or no relation to the endearing perforated film strip that continues to illustrate so many of our activities. Whether as synonymous to ‘film’ or as the name of film theatres, ‘cinema’ is equally undergoing an identity crisis in an environment dominated by giant Video-on-Demand (VoD) streamers, cashing in on the easy pleasure of home-viewing, which in pandemic times has become impossible to resist. For decades now we have been juggling with alternative appellations to account for the elusive object we study and teach, two of our favourites being ‘screen’ and ‘lens-based’ media. However, modes of audiovisual production and exhibition have evolved beyond these descriptors, some of them dispensing with lenses for their creation (as in CGI, or Computer-Generated Imagery) or the traditional screen for their fruition (as in VR or Virtual Reality productions). Even the adjective ‘audiovisual’ reveals its limits, when it comes to works addressing our haptic and olfactory senses, as well as our vision and hearing, examples including AR (Augmented Reality) and expanded-cinema experiments.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:101832
Uncontrolled Keywords:Film studies; the future of film
Publisher:Amsterdam University Press


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