In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators after the Cinema

Gabriele Pedulla, Author, Patricia Gaborik, Translator
Gabrielle Pedull%C3%A0, trans. from the Italian by Patricia Gaborik. Verso (Norton, dist.), $23.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-84467-853-2
Reviewed on: 08/06/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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Although occasionally dense, Italian literature professor Pedullà makes his vision of the future of movies in the digital age both interesting and accessible. As with so much else, technological innovations have had unintended consequences in this realm, as making films readily available on the small screen affects, inter alia, the experience of viewing them (movies shown on TVs literally run at a higher frames-per-second rate than they do on the big screen). What was once a communal experience in a darkened theater that shut out the outside world is now often a solitary one undertaken while multitasking at home. To be sure, Pedullà believes the demise of movie theaters is "neither imminent nor even probable," but he does note that "[e]very art continuously creates and recreates its past," and when it comes to film, the inevitable availability of a movie on a smaller screen impacts how movies are created—"If classical cinema was a cinema of bodies, the New Hollywood cinema is one of faces," leaving only "mouths, eyes, and eyebrows" to communicate emotions to the audience. Insights abound, and the author’s facility with so many different disciplines—from ancient Greek philosophy to 20th century semiotics—will ensure that casual filmgoers and academics alike find something salient to ponder in Pedullà’s treatise. (June)
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