Cinematic Appeals follows the effect of technological innovation on the cinema experience, specifically the introduction of widescreen and stereoscopic 3D systems in the 1950s, the rise of digital cinema in the 1990s, and the transition to digital 3D since 2005. Widescreen cinema promised to draw the viewer into the world of the screen, enabling larger-than-life close-ups of already larger-than-life actors. This technology fostered the illusion of physically entering a film, enhancing the semblance of realism. Alternatively, the digital era was less concerned with the viewer's physical response and more with information flow, awe, and the reevaluation of spatiality and embodiment. This study ultimately shows how cinematic technology and the human experience shape and respond to each other over time.
About the Author
Ariel Rogers is assistant professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Moving Machines
1. "Smothered in Baked Alaska": The Anxious Appeal of Widescreen Cinema
2. East of Eden in CinemaScope: Intimacy Writ Large
3. Digital Cinema's Heterogeneous Appeal: Debates on Embodiment, Intersubjectivity, and Immediacy
4. Awe and Aggression: The Experience of Erasure in The Phantom Menace and The Celebration
5. Points of Convergence: Conceptualizing the Appeal of 3D Cinema Then and Now
What People are Saying About This
Today films are shown on iPhones, IMAX screens with massive 3D images emerging, and personal computers. With consummate research and critical insight, Rogers's book shows this is nothing new. Cinema has often introduced novelties in its image: CinemaScope in the 1950s; digital images in the 1980s; and 3D with its long history. This book makes us recognize the variety of things cinema has been, is now, and will be.
Rogers shifts attention from the more theoretically glamorous aspects of new digital media, instead focusing this well-grounded historical study on how digital cinema has changed industrial practice and audience experience.