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  • 5.1 : 1996 : PDF: What Was Cinema? by Seth Feldman
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    What Was Cinema?

    The Martin Walsh Memorial Lecture (1996)
    by Seth Feldman

    Abstract: Andre Bazin's "The Myth of Total Cinema" introduces to post-War film theory the concept of cinematic idealism, i.e. is there an idea of cinema that must pre-exist its manifestations? Throughout the history of post-War film theory, this question has continued to shape discussions of the medium. We see it most recently in Susan Sontag's proclamation that because the idealism of cinephilia is dead, cinema itself has lost a certain visibility. In academic discourse, the issue of cinematic idealism is current in the dispute between the larger body of academic theorists and the challenge posed by a school of thinkers loosely centered around Noel Carroll and David Bordwell. This article examines the role of cinematic idealism in the contex of post-War histories of both cinema studies and the evolution, most particularly the technological evolution, of the moving image.

    Résumé: "Le mythe du cinema total" d'Andre Bazin propose … la theorie cinematographique de l'aprŠs-guerre le concept de l'idealisme cinematographique: y-a-t-il une idee du cinema qui pre-existe les films mˆmes? La question pŠse sur la discussion du media tout … long de l'histoire de la theorie du cinema depuis la deuxiŠme guerre mondiale. Nous en avons un recent example dans l'affirmation de Susan Sontag selon laquelle puisque l'idealisme de la cinephilie est mort, le cinema lui-mˆme a perdu une certaine presence. Dans les milieux universitaires, la question de l'idealisme cinematique se retrouve dans les querelles de bon nombre de theoriciens et surtout dans la problematique posee par un groupe de penseurs qui gravitent autour de Noel Carroll et David Bordwell. Le texte traite de la question de l'idealisme cinematique dans le contexte du cinema d'aprŠs-guerre, des etudes cinematographiques et l'evolution, notamment technologique, de l'image mouvante.

    PDF: cj-film-studies51_Feldman_Walsh.pdf