Dvds, video games, and the cinema of interactions

Richard Grusin


The “cinema of interactions” in the title of my paper alludes to Tom Gunning’s paradigmatic conception of early cinema as a “cinema of attractions.” Borrowing from the idea that electronic textuality marks what has been called the late age of print, I argue that the history of cinema up to the present moment can be seen as an extension of early
cinema. In describing the current cinematic moment in this fashion, I do not mean to suggest that film will disappear in the face of video games and other digital media, but rather that it will continue increasingly to be engaged with the social, technological, and aesthetic forms and practices
of digital media. This engagement will not be marked (as many digital enthusiasts contend) by the emergence of a distinctively new digital medium (and the concomitant abandonment of the technologically outmoded medium of celluloid film), but rather by the emergence of multiply networked, distributed forms of cinematic production and
exhibition. Indeed I am convinced that in this sense we already find ourselves with a digital cinema—not as a distinctively new medium but as a hybrid network of media forms and practices.


English Language; English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2006n51p69

Copyright (c) 2006 Richard Grusin

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