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Working space: gravity (Alfonso Cuarón) and the digital long take

Purse, L. (2017) Working space: gravity (Alfonso Cuarón) and the digital long take. In: Pye, D. and Gibbs, J. (eds.) The Long Take: Critical Approaches. Palgrave Close Readings in Film and Television. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 221-238. ISBN 9781137585721

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The digital long take has been celebrated as an expression of the artistic and technical virtuosity of today’s auteur directors, and derided as a betrayal of the Bazinian long take’s capacity for realism. This essay will interrogate both perspectives, examining the digital long take’s highly mobile camera movement, and its relationship to questions of labour, aesthetics and narrative, in a comparative analysis of two key long takes from Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013). The essay will suggest that Gravity’s characterization of movement through space as laborious, and its gradual subversion of normative notions of vision and technology as superior forms of knowledge, construct a platform from which Gravity can explore alternative ways of negotiating the world of the film, and the digitally mediated world beyond it.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:77321
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan


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