[Tig] Floating in the Digital Experience (NYT)

alex black enigma at turingstudio.com
Mon Jan 4 20:12:23 GMT 2010

I've read reams (and reams and reams) of handwringing analysis about  
the death of cinema, though I haven't read very much that relates that  
so fervently looked-for death to changes in the technology used to  
produce cinema. I also take issue at this line:

"filling our screens with images that, more and more, have been  
created algorithmically rather than photographically."

While in small part she is of course correct, in the only meaningful  
sense she is not: Avatar was created from trillions of data points  
captured from real human beings and real environments. That data was  
obviously manipulated to create the images, but should be  
characterized as 'capture' as opposed to 'generation'. A lot of that  
work was photographic capture. The world "feels real" precisely  
because it is based on data from the real world.

Cinema is alive, well in some ways and deeply ill in others, and I  
think has about zero chance of disappearing as a medium without  
tectonic changes in related technology. The change from celluloid to  
silicon isn't in the same galaxy as the kind of change necessary to  
signal the death of cinema as we have known it.


> Manohla Dargis, film critic for The New York Times, wrote an  
> engaging piece on cinema for yesterday's edition:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/movies/03dargis.html
> She cites Susan Sontag's 1996 essay on The Decay of Cinema:
> http://tinyurl.com/sontag-cinema

alexander black
turing: web applications
colorflow: digital post

888.603.6023 / main
510.666.0074 / direct
root at turingstudio.com


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