Future Cinema

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

The Dichotomy of Art

Posted on | February 13, 2014 | No Comments

I enjoyed Michael Longford’s essay. There are certainly many interesting things that can be done with this technology. What caught my attention, however, was that this new medium’s capabilities seem to be calling back to the early days of cinema and the supposed Lumiere/Melies dichotomy. New forms of expression often have to imitate those that came before them, but the resemblance here is uncanny. There is the realistic actuality reenactments of the historical work being opposed, in a way, by the fantastic paranormal activities of the more formalist and spiritual work. Again, it’s the common matter of fiction versus non-fiction.
And the more I think about it, the more it seems that this dichotomy is, for one reason or another, the single most prevalent dichotomy in new media: the realistic versus the fantastic. Why is that? And are the two styles really mutually exclusive? Many people, in a variety of media, have brought the two together, although later into the medium’s lifespan. What is it about primitive media that makes this cohesion so difficult?
And, as a final question, what the hell was Norman Klein talking about? I have been a bit restless all week, so I am willing to admit that my state of mind may have something to do with it, but I tried repeatedly to read his essay and his disjointed style made no sense to me. It sounded like a coke fiend trying to explain calculus while going through withdrawal. I hope I’m not the only one with this issue.


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