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Developments in 21st Century Cinema and Film (2000-Present)

jclarke | Wednesday November 27, 2013

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, OCR AS, EDUQAS A Level, EDUQAS AS, EDUQAS A2, Film History, Cinema in Context, Film Industry, Censorship & Regulation, Copyright & Licensing, Film Distribution, Film Marketing, Film Publicity, Film Promotion, Production Companies, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Avatar, World Cinema, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, Hot Entries, Key Concepts, Audience, Film Language, Representation

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Film is technology. It’s an obvious point, and an essential one.

Film established itself as a symbol of the modern, mechanical age of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and so it is particularly interesting to now witness how the medium is moving into the digital age. Indeed, we should perhaps talk not of new technology but of now technology because it is so quickly ever changing and evolving. In Western Europe we live in an increasingly digital and electronic age and since 2000 the film industry has witnessed the rapid impact of digitization on its processes of production, distribution and exhibition.

In her book Cinema and Modernity Gill Branston comments that “far from being ‘dead’, film and cinematic imagery are, and have been, central to higher consumer cultures of the visual, in all their globally unequal spread. It is key to the convergence of screens in the twenty-first century.?  (1) Building on this statement, it might be useful to watch the following presentation by the film editor Walter Murch in which he unpacks a wide range of issues to do with the developments of cinema in the early twenty first century: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYgoDcHhZ-o.

What we will explore in this resource are two issues of the impact of digital technology: in terms of production (the creation of moving images) and in terms of exhibition by which we mean the ways that audiences access what we should perhaps now call digital cinema rather than film. Both of these aspects ultimately relate to the issue of spectatorship.

Cinema’s hardware (cameras, sound recording, editing, and projection facilities and equipment) is changing and, in turn, the software is also transforming, moving from the use of a strip of film to either High Definition video or, increasingly, capturing images through a lens and directly into a microchip or computer file. Adding to the paradigm shift in cinema is the...


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