10. The Digital Revolution
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10 THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION T H E D I G I T A L R E V O L U T I O N • 575 . . . The manifestos in this chapter address, in various ways, the rise of digital technology and its impact on the cinema. Many, responding to the challenges set out by the Dogme ’95 manifesto (which offers a seemingly utopian potential for cinema when conveyed through digital video and handheld camera immediacy, with ensuing challenges to feature-film conventions in narrative, characterization, sound, and cinematography), raise issues surrounding the DIY approach to filmmaking and are particularly concerned with the ways in which young, aspiring filmmakers can make films inexpensively, while at the same time addressing the specificity of the digital image. The digital image’s easy mutability, replicability, and dispensability are all of particular concern here. Related aspects discussed in this chapter concern the rise of multiple screening formats and the ongoing question of convergence. As Janine Marchessault and Susan Lord note in their introduction to Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema: “The stories consumed in the industrialized democracies of the world are received through a multiplicity of hybrid and networked screens, creating a fragmented reception that increasingly characterizes our waking hours.”1 The manifestos in this chapter reflect the fragmentation of screen sites and the perils and possibilities that emerge from this development. Stan VanDerBeek ’s “Culture: Intercom and Expanded Cinema: A Proposal and Manifesto,” an expanded cinema manifesto from 1966, foreshadows the world of interconnectivity that the digital can open up. Ana Kronschnabl’s well-known “Pluginmanifesto” also foregrounds the DIY aesthetic, outlining at the same time the need for a new form of cinema to accompany the new ways in which films are viewed in a digital and virtual world. Other manifestos, such as Khavn de la Cruz’s “Digital Dekalogo,” address questions of access in the face of rising film production costs and the face of globalization. Samira Makhmalbaf ’s “The Digital Revolution and the Future of Cinema” addresses access, as well, but Makhmalbaf also maps out the ways in which digital production has changed not only our means of access but how we understand the cinema itself. ...


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