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When a film remembers its filming: the new Hollywood zoom

O'Brien, A. (2012) When a film remembers its filming: the new Hollywood zoom. Journal of Media Practice, 13 (3). pp. 227-237. ISSN 2574-1136

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1386/jmpr.13.3.227_1


In film studies, the zoom is often thought of as a technique relating to thought and attention, removed from and irrelevant to a film's grounded, spatial identity. However, by making visible the physical compromises involved in the act of filming, the zoom can also draw our attention to the physical circumstances of a production's existence in the pro-filmic world. The present article argues that this quality has been overlooked in writing on the zoom, which has tended to characterize it as either a practical tool or a psychological effect. The rise of location shooting in the New Hollywood of the late 1960s and early 1970s was roughly contemporaneous with the rise of the zoom in American cinema, and provides an important context for this reappraisal of the technique. It was in this period that ‘location’ became not only an important practice, but also a common theme for films, and sometimes a key selling point. The New Hollywood zoom was thus especially well positioned to operate as a subtle reminder to audiences that a film's production is a physically located process — and that the fictions we witness are a product of people going somewhere and filming something.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:78221

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