“Cinema is the ultimate pervert art. It doesn’t give you what to desire — it tells you what to desire,” according to Slavoj Zizek, a Slovenian Marxist philosopher. Just like in the article “The MP3 as a Cultural Artifact” by Jonathan Sterne, where an MP3 is said to be promiscuous, Cinema; according to Zizeki — said to be the same. This point will be further discussed later in the paper. This paper aims to show cinema as a medium of communication by explaining what cinema is, and relating it to different theories by notable authors and philosophers. The definition of cinema, how it is a medium of communication, relations to theories, and brief case studies will be explored.
What is Cinema? Cinema can be taken to mean very different things at different times —a physical space (“I am going to the cinema.”), a medium of entertainment (“Casablanca is a cinema masterpiece!”), or even an entire industry with all the connections and entanglements that entails (“I am studying Bollywood cinema.”). (Gordon Gray, x) Although, in this paper cinema will not be referred to as one of these in particular, but in general, the different meanings will be selected to portray different aspects of cinema, both new and old.
Cinema is a medium of communication because it sends a message. A film has a reason for being made. For example, Crash; a movie by Paul Haggis — aims to show the role of race and class in the average society. The movie sends a message by showing that it is essential to wipe out racism in our communities because it fosters unnecessary hatred for people who may be helpful to us sometime. Cinema communicates to us in ways other mediums can’t. It uses visual, and audio (sometimes) to stimulate our minds, and make us aware of things that we may not have been aware of before. In “Synaesthetic Cinema: The End of Drama,” Gene Youngblood discusses how cinema has emerged as the only language that matches the environment we live in. When we walk around a place, for example; downtown Toronto, there are televisions everywhere. These televisions show different advertisements for different products. Communication is occurring when we stop by and look at these huge screens, check out the offers and decide to walk in to a store where the advertised good is being advertised.
Cinema orients us through space and time. In Will Straw’s article, titled “Dimensions of Media”, he points out that media shaped our sense of time by constantly adjusting the distance between past and present. A person who is born in the 21st century could experience the 18th century through media. Cinema is an example of a medium that shapes our sense of time. Even though we are in the 21st century, we can watch movies which take place in a historical setting, at a particular time in history. Videos of past occurrences, such as the unfortunate 9/11 incident which happened in 2001, could be watched in 2014. Because of cinema, such occasions are not easily forgotten, as it may seem like an...