Readings for 3/3

When thinking about the relation of cinema to reality, Belasz really made me see a connection with closeups. Belasz wrote, “The close-up has not onnly widened oru vision of life, it has also deepened it. In the days of silent film, it not only revealed new things, but showed us the meaning of the old.” (p 274). To me, this sentence shows that us, as viewers, have seen a lot in our lives, but have also overlooked a lot of things. We may pass flowers as we walk down the street, but a close-up really intensifies the way the flowers look, the texture, and even sometimes the way that it could smell. Close-ups really exude reality and sometimes we take what we see in person for granted. Authors like Bazin and Kracauer claim that reality is something that is “redeemed” and “revealed” through cinema, which I think reiterates what Belasz was trying to say. Kracauser also talks about the relationship between photography and cinema, and that one has helped the other develop. He claims that the physical properties of cinema are identical to those photoraphy and yet, it is “uniquely equipped to record and reavel physical reality and, hence, gravitates towards it.” He also claims, “If film grows out of photography, the realist sand formative tendencies must be operative in it also.” Kracauer was trying to state that photography itself harbored a lot of realism in pictures by capturing things on film that were real, even if they weren’t able to move. With the invention of film, they can not only capture these real things, but also have them move which makes that realism come to life.

Walter Benjamin’s essay focuses a lot on authenticity of artwork and how most of it is man-made and reproducible.  I absolutely agree with his views on him thinking that the value of the artwork is then depreciated because it doesn’t have the same kind of effort that went into it the first time.  The artist who made that artwork put a lot of creativity, thought, and time into their piece and someone else comes along years later and just takes the idea.  But on the other hand, Benjamin also writes about how maybe mechanical reproduction can be a good thing, “…for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual.”  To me, this sentence makes a statement.  I could be thinking about it incorrectly, but it seems as though he’s tired of art being so traditional and original; it’s a new age.   Reproduced art was now designed for more reproducibility.

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1 Comment

  1. lschwartz100 Said,

    March 2, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    I took that last statement you quoted a bit differently. I thought that Benjamin did not like the fact that technology was changing art. I thought he said that the fact that we are reproducing art makes it unoriginal and unauthentic. I think he is saying that technology has a negative impact on art.

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