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By James Naremore

In 1895, Louis Lumière supposedly stated that cinema is "an invention and not using a future." James Naremore makes use of this mythical comment as a kick off point for a meditation at the so-called dying of cinema within the electronic age, and as a manner of introducing a wide-ranging sequence of his essays on video clips previous and current. those essays contain discussions of authorship, variation, and performing; commentaries on Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Vincente Minnelli, John Huston, and Stanley Kubrick; and stories of newer paintings by way of non-Hollywood administrators Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Raúl Ruiz, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. vital subject matters recur: the kinfolk among modernity, modernism, and postmodernism; the altering mediascape and dying of older applied sciences; and the necessity for powerful severe writing in an period whilst print journalism is waning and the arts are devalued. The publication concludes with essays on 4 significant American movie critics: James Agee, Manny Farber, Andrew Sarris, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.

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That sounds phony or false: one wants to say that both are present in both. But there is more to it, ontologically more. Here I think of a fine passage of Panofsky's: Othello or Nora are definite, substantial figures created by the playwright. They can be played well or badly, and they can be "interpreted" in one way or another; but they most definitely exist, no matter who plays them or even whether they are played at all. The character in a film, however, lives and dies with the actor. 16 If the character lives and dies with the actor, that ought to mean that the actor lives and dies with the character.

Types: Cycles as Genres I 31 One hardly disputes this, or its importance. " I am not now asking how one would know that these are the unique and specific possibilities (though I will soon get back to that); I am asking what it means to call them possibilities at all. Why, for example, didn't the medium begin and remain in the condition of home movies, one shot just physically tacked on to another, cut and edited simply according to subject? ) The answer seems obvious: narrative movies emerged because someone "saw the possibilities" of the medium—cutting and editing and taking shots at different distances from the subject.

And I am suggesting that we don't know either of these things about ourselves. Is the difference between auditory and visual transcription a function of the fact that we are fully accustomed to hearing things that are invisible, not present to us, not present with us? We would be in trouble if we weren't so accustomed, because it is the nature of hearing that what is heard comes from someplace, whereas what you can see you can look at It is why sounds are warnings, or calls; it is why our access to another world is normally through voices from it; and why a man can be spoken to by God and survive, but not if he sees God, in which case he is no longer in this world.

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