Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, Modernity by Francesco Casetti

By Francesco Casetti

Is it actual that movie within the 20th century experimented with imaginative and prescient greater than the other paintings shape? And what visions did it privilege? during this extraordinary ebook, acclaimed movie pupil Francesco Casetti situates the cinematic adventure inside discourses of twentieth-century modernity. He means that movie outlined a different gaze, not just since it recorded the various century's most vital occasions, but in addition since it made up our minds the way within which they have been received.

Casetti starts by way of studying film's nature as a medium in an age enthusiastic about immediacy, nearness, and accessibility. He considers the myths and rituals cinema developed at the monitor and within the theater and the way they supplied new photos and behaviors that spoke back to rising issues, principles, and social orders. movie additionally succeeded in negotiating different wishes of modernity, evaluating and uniting conflicting stimuli, offering solutions in a global torn aside through clash, and gratifying a wish for everydayness, in addition to lightness, in people's lives. the facility to speak, the facility to notify, and the capability to negotiate-these are the 3 components that outlined film's functionality and outlook and made the medium a appropriate and very important artwork type of its time.

So what sort of gaze did movie create? movie cultivated a private gaze, in detail tied to the emergence of viewpoint, but additionally capable of restoration the immediacy of the genuine; a posh gaze, during which truth and mind's eye have been mixed; a piercing gaze, accomplished via computer, and but deeply anthropomorphic; an excited gaze, wealthy in perceptive stimuli, but additionally conscious of the spectator's orientation; and an immersive gaze, which looked like being contained in the obvious international whereas additionally retaining a feeling of distance. every one of those gazes mixed varied features and balanced them. the end result was once an ever creative synthesis that strived to result in precise compromises with no ever sacrificing the complexity of contradiction. As Casetti demonstrates, movie proposed a imaginative and prescient that, in making opposites permeable, modeled itself on an oxymoronic precept. during this feel, movie is the main to examining and knowing the trendy experience.

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It is a seeing from a point of view and therefore inevitably partial, contingent, and subjective. Yet film discloses an extraordinary capacity in vision: at the movies, we get the heart and the soul of the world. Epstein writes: “There is a pregnant air of expectation. Life sources gush from corners we believed to be sterile and explored. The skin gives off a luminous softness. The cadence of the crowd scenes is a song.  . ”26 How, then, to penetrate this question of the unique and universal, the part and the whole, the limited point of view and that which is beyond?

You live through it without seeing it. It reveals to you the intimate face of all of your vital gestures through which your soul appears and you are not conscious of it. 2 Film offers to the gaze what we would otherwise let slip away. It opens (or reopens) our eyes and allows us to seize the reality in which we are immersed. This is true above all for the human face. ”3 As a result, film ends up giving back to us the polyphony of sentiments occurring on the face. 4 Indeed, every shot brings us straight to 28  framing the world the heart of things.

He and his neighbors are watching the same show, but one seeing more where the other sees less, one seeing black where the other sees white, one seeing big where the other sees small, one seeing coarse where the other sees fine.  . ”17 The result is an undeniably personal vision:18 perception of the world belongs to the individual—it is not a divine, omniscient gaze. This vision is thus also inevitably contingent: perception depends on the “window” through which we look, or rather, the window where we happen to be in the course of our own existence.

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