i mostly agree, charles, though this raises some interesting questions. what will be the new narrative vehicle? some sort of web based, interactive text/video/audio medium? will viewers/readers play a more participatory role in the creation of the narrative?likewise, what will happen to cinema if it is displaced? i imagine giant flatscreens with cinematic wallpaper (like how warhol wanted his films to function).
dna,part of my answer is here
Nice essay Charles, especially liked this quote.
"The 20th century was not primarily narrated by architecture, or by novels, but film. Dickens, Dostoevsky, Melville were replaced by Chaplin, Tarkovsky and Kubrick."
The three former artists were undoubtedly more gifted. Thankfully the 20th Century is behind us. The internet has brought back the written form to challenge the calculating and dumbing down visual media.
The problem with the idea that cinema has replaced the novel as "the leading medium for human expression" is that it requires vast amounts of money to make a movie that someone who isn't a film geek would ever want to watch. It depresses me to think that "human expression" is available only to the wealthy, or to the friends of the very wealthy. Granted, the novel is an art form available only to those with the free time to write one, but that is a much less exclusive club, and in any case "free time" is always going to be the minimum cost of entry into any artistic medium.
I think novels replaced poetry more than they replaced theater-- that one you can also chalk up to cinema.
dna, if you'd like to know what will happen to cinema when it is displaced, you need only to look at any other form, style, or medium which has ceased to significantly develop and lost its cultural primacy: jazz, the blues, painting, poetry, opera, ballet, the theater, symphonic music, the daily newspaper, and the magazine could all serve as models. Generally, nothing happens to them. They continue to exist, and some people continue to create in their domains; the only differences are that they become fixed in conservative modes (classical or mannerist), and less people are interested in them.
oh, and "Eric": there are too many Erics who post on this blog, including current and former Stranger staff, for you to go by our given name alone.
eric f, that's not true. take a look at how painting developed in the 20th century. as cinema emerged as a most powerful medium for visual narrative, painters looked to non-narrative means of visual expression in painting, and explored the uniqueness of their medium.
Possibly true, but then how does the internet become a material support, a concrete, fetish object?
It's not as simple as "this will kill that," though I love that Hugo bit as much as Mudede does. There can be parallel developments. In any case, painting is generally set against photography, not cinema. I'd set cinema against television, broadcast television against on-demand and DVDs, television against early video art, cinema against late video art... all very messy but, I think, very interesting. Migration of forms, they call it in architectural history.
Okeydoke, Eric F., your point is taken. From now on, the infrequent Slog commenter formerly known as "Eric", not to be confused with "eric" or "Eric F.", will answer to "Eric from Boulder". With apologies to "Matt from Denver".
Yep, probably. The reaction to this should not be fear or retrogressive action but to fearlessly MAKE at the edge of the present form central to the world consciousness. (Or to circle back and be a part of the fine fading of a form.) The movement forward is not like a landmass shifting and burying but like the sea, waves crashing on a beach and drawing back, sending up parts of themselves again and again in new forms. Tarkovsky's films include poetry (and man could he write), Chaplin was as theatrical as anything in film, and Kubrick came out of painting and photography as much as anything with true 'talking pictures'. Art isn't about contests: Ivan's Childhood doesn't have to go in the ring with Great Expectations (I wouldn't give up either one). The only film I've ever seen that read just like a book, at its speed and density, was Heaven's Gate.
Interactive, immersive gaming environments will thrive. They'll become enormously detailed and complex, and profoundly social. I'd like to know how to write one.
I mention these interactive gaming environments because I think they -- more than films -- are a kind of "new novel," a new way to do the things a novel does well. The novel is a political space where writer and reader are both given agency. Meanings are negotiated between roughly equivalent powers: the writer and the reader. Less so with films. The viewer of a film cannot control pace and sequence the way a reader can. The film-maker enjoys a predominance of control over the medium's meanings. Interactive games are much more like novels in this respect. One is never in control nor ever powerless. I think this is the essential pleasure and power of the novel.
Oh, and Erics: why don't you all just use your last names? Then I'll always know when my favorite Erics are posting, rather than having to guess.
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