Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Hustle & Flow

I was so happy to see that Bolter was not set on pinning catharsis and flow against each other as two mutually exclusive forms of entertainment. The mere fact that “cathartic” films based on video games like “Tomb Raider” and “Resident Evil” do so well at the box office shows that audiences can appreciate both. Similarly, I don’t think anyone could watch a film like “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” or “Gamer” if they had not experienced flow. All forms of entertainment aim to exist in that space between boredom and frustration that will hold your attention for the length of the film. What worries me with this article is how open people appear to be whilst experiencing flow, and the fact that corporations may be exploiting this for economic gain. Are we more likely to consume anything put in front of us whilst in a state of flow? Or do we hopefully see advertisements as disrupting to our flow and are therefore more critical of their presence? Also, the ideas of “catharsis” and “flow” seem counterintuitive to Rose’s idea of audience immersion. Are we able to create our own path whilst in”flow” and participate in the story, or are we (conscious or unconsciously) following the path that game and web designers have set out for us? Finally, listening to the soundtrack Bolter suggested, I couldn’t help but think that the two scores were not that different. I know that Phillip Glass produces minimalist scores to experimental films like the Qatsi series, but he also scores Hollywood “cathartic” films like “The Hours” and “Stoker,” so perhaps these ideas aren’t really separate at all? Are we just using narrative language in two different ways, rather than exploring something completely new and different?

Thu, February 6 2014 » FC2_2014