Dreaming of Cinema

Dreaming of Cinema : Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media

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Video games, YouTube channels, Blu-ray discs, and other forms of "new" media have made theatrical cinema seem "old." A sense of "cinema lost" has accompanied the ascent of digital media, and many worry film's capacity to record the real is fundamentally changing. Yet the Surrealist movement never treated cinema as a realist medium and understood our perceptions of the real itself to be a mirage. Returning to their interpretation of film's aesthetics and function, this book reads the writing, films, and art of Luis Bunuel, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Andre Breton, Andre Bazin, Roland Barthes, Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, and Joseph Cornell and recognizes their significance for the films of David Cronenberg, Nakata Hideo, and Atom Egoyan; the American remake of the Japanese Ring (1998); and a YouTube channel devoted to Rock Hudson. Offering a positive alternative to cinema's perceived crisis of realism, this innovative study enriches the meaning of cinematic spectatorship in the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 385.55g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • B&W Illus.: 38,
  • 0231166575
  • 9780231166577
  • 757,399

Table of contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: Cinema as Digital Dream Machine 1. Enlarged Spectatorship: From Realism to Surrealism: Bazin, Barthes, and The (Digital) Sweet Hereafter 2. Interactive Spectatorship: Gaming, Mimicry, and Art Cinema: Between Un chien andalou and eXistenZ 3. Globalized Spectatorship: Ring Around the Superflat Global Village: J-Horror Between Japan and America 4. Posthuman Spectatorship: The Animal in You(Tube): From Los olvidados to "Christian the Lion" 5. Collaborative Spectatorship: The Surrealism of the Stars: From Rose Hobart to Mrs. Rock Hudson Afterword: Marking Cinematic Time Notes Bibliography Index
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Review Text

"This book adds a much needed perspective to the intellectual history of ideas about cinema as a medium. Lowenstein turns technological teleology on its head, arguing that new media studies urgently needs a theory of cinema-both what it was and what it continues to be." - Karl Schoonover, University of Warwick
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Review quote

Lowenstein turns technological teleology on its head, arguing that new media studies urgently needs a theory of cinema-both what it was and what it continues to be. -- Karl Schoonover, University of Warwick Just how should we access cinema today? Adam Lowenstein, perfectly positioned between two eras, can tell us. Not through nostalgia, that's certain, but through every modern means possible. Curiously this returns him to the Surrealists who were already living our future. He deploys their strategies (serendipity, automatism, collective creativity) first in ingenious analyses of visual and narrative experiments, and then, more daringly, in striking instances in which DVDs, blogs, museum installations, and YouTube take cinema beyond film. A risky mission that Lowenstein pulls off dexterously. -- Dudley Andrew, Yale University This highly imaginative and innovative book argues for an expanded sense both of the medium of cinema and of the forms of spectatorship that cinema yields, and it finds the promise of surrealism alive in contemporary media practices. Dreaming of Cinema will be of great interest to a wide range of film and media scholars. -- Richard Allen, New York University Here's a smart, sophisticated book that takes a topic-surrealism-that has been thoroughly (some would say exhaustively) investigated and gives it new life... This fascinating, obsessive, wide-ranging book will provoke a great deal of discussion. CHOICE
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About Adam Lowenstein

Adam Lowenstein is associate professor of English and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also directs the Film Studies Program. He is the author of Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film.
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