Introduction : Total Cinema: Film and Design

Bakk, Ágnes Karolina and Gyenge, Zsolt and Horváth, Olivér (2022) Introduction : Total Cinema: Film and Design. DISEGNO: A DESIGNKULTÚRA FOLYÓIRATA, 6 (1). pp. 4-10. ISSN 2064-7778

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The movie screen is up in flames and the audience flees in panic, thinking an atomic bomb has just been dropped. The director rubs his hands: film and the outside world have blended into one—at least in Joe Dante’s Matinee (1993), set in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. May this be the “myth of total cinema” described by André Bazin in 1946, according to which the art of film was never really driven by its accidental technological history but by a desire to grasp reality in its entirety, to reconstruct “a perfect illusion of the outside world in sound, color, and relief”? Dante’s larger than life director pays homage to B-movie showman William Castle, who shied away from little when it came to engagement, be it narrative, visual, or somatic. Castle appeared on screen offering the audience a (faux) choice between alternative endings, used 3D illusionism, and installed “buzzers” in the seats and skeletons flying over the auditorium—not unlike Eisenstein’s Proletkult theatre which included tightrope-walkers over the viewers’ heads and firecrackers under their bottoms. Is it possible to unite the effects of agitprop theatre, the illusion of agency in American trash films and the immersive formats of our time into a single conceptual framework? And if it is, would that be cinema? Film theorist Andrew Dudley already claimed in 1997 that “[t]he century of cinema offered a fragile period of détente during which the logosphere of the nineteenth century with its grand novels and histories has slowly given way—under the pressure of technology, of the ascendance of the image, and of unfathomable world crises—to the videosphere we are now entering.”

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > PN Literature (General) / irodalom általában > PN1993 Motion Pictures / filmművészet
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 31 Dec 2022 10:19
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2022 10:20

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