Future Cinema

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

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Mon, September 26 2016 » Future Cinema

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  1. Mark September 27 2016 @ 11:24 am

    Hi Everyone!
    Thought I’d take this site out for a spin…
    I went to the Expo 67 screenings at Ontario Place over the weekend. It was hosted by our own Janine Marchessault who has written extensively on the event and its films (Link: http://janinemarchessault.info.yorku.ca/2014/10/expo/)
    It was great to see these historical artifacts, especially since they have been seen so rarely since 1967 (some were shown at the Visible Evidence conference a couple of summers ago here in Toronto, but very few screenings outside of that).
    While it was great to see these films, the unique screening spaces in which they were originally shown (six screens: Canada is My Piano; 11 screens in a circle with the audience in the middle: Polar Life; and multiple screens above and below the audience: Labyrinth) could not be replicated at the Cinesphere so the original “experience” of seeing these films was very different.
    Having made two polar documentaries myself, I was fascinated to see Polar Life (showcasing primarily the global Arctic with a little bit of Antarctica). I was impressed by how similar the content seemed to be from my own footage shot 40 years later. But perhaps most interesting to me was seeing in the credits a Production Assistant named “Mark Terry” ! I wonder what he’s doing now…
    The 11 screens originally showing Polar Life were condensed into three on the IMAX screen.
    As we discussed in class last week, Labyrinth had multiple screens above and below the tiered audience and stuck quite closely to Expo 67’s theme of Man and His World. Much of the footage was re-presented in the original “cruciform”, as Janine described it, and, like Polar Life, much of the content is timeless and could have easily been shot today. For those of you curious to see some it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1BT1xt6yq8.
    The other Expos 67 titles shown at this event include: Motion, We Are Young, Man Belongs to Earth, and Canada is My Piano.
    Curious observation #1: In almost all the films there was a scene involving – or shots taken from – a train. Not surprisingly when CPR was a major player in producing films for Expo 67 and in the early history of Canadian cinema.
    Curious observation #2: Three of the films depicting Canadian life included scenes of strippers and their rowdy patrons. No nudity, of course, but interesting to see that this was an important part of social life in the 1960s.
    Janine mentioned that there will be a special screening of all these films – and more if they can excavate new ones – right here at York University next year to celebrate Expo 67’s 50th anniversary.

  2. Mark September 28 2016 @ 12:39 pm

    “Wilderness as Theme” Negotiating the Nature-Culture Divide in Zoological Gardens, by Jan-Erik Steinkrüger from the book “A Reader in Themed and Immersive Spaces”, edited by Scott A. Lukas.

    As a themed space, Jan-Erik Steinkrüger, makes an interesting argument for wilderness as a themed space. It seems contradictory to have a “wild” space be a “themed” space since the latter requires design, control and order – completely opposite attributes of anything wild.
    However, in his examination of the modern zoo, a themed space “at the crossroads of education and entertainment”, he identifies a “basic shift in the object of the tourist gaze” from animals to environment. Making the animals secondary to the experience of the “wilderness” in which they live is becoming the priority for today’s experiential zoo visitor.
    Going back a few centuries in Europe, he points out the origins of zoos belonged to the wealthy upper classes as exotic pets and soon were shared in cages in London gardens and in facades resembling European residential architecture (castles, mosques, palaces), each early incarnation of the zoo defining man’s dominance over wild beasts.
    But in the 1970s there was a move to create a more immersive space in the zoo, by creating “habitat or landscape” immersion, giving the visitor a feeling of being part of the animals’ habitat as opposed to the separation previously in place between caged exhibit and guest. While the modern-day visitor to a zoo is looking for more of a trip around the world, complete with continental environments and its animals, he warns us that this evolving immersion should not deceive us into believing the line between man and beast has blurred in this themed environment. All visitors – and perhaps the animals therein as well – know full well who the hegemonic guest is and who the “exotic” cultural Other is.

  3. Amit September 28 2016 @ 3:13 pm

    Hi everyone , checking in to see how it works, but also wanted to use the opportunity to share this interesting article I read about Magic Leap highly recommended
    https://www.wired.com/2016/04/magic-leap-vr/

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