Tachyons, tactility, drawing and withdrawing: cinema at the speed of darkness

Autor

  • William Brown University of British Columbia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26881/pan.2021.26.01

Słowa kluczowe:

speed cinema, tactility, darkness

Abstrakt

Longitudinal, quantitative analyses of cinema have established how Hollywood is getting ‘quicker, faster, darker’. While in some senses the ‘intensified continuity’ of contemporary Hollywood narration is a given, the increased darkness of contemporary mainstream cinema remains unexplored – especially with regard to how its speed and its darkness might be inter-related. If to darken the majority of the screen during a film helps to draw our attention to the salient aspects of the image that are better illuminated, then of course this also allows for a faster cutting rate: in principle, there is ‘less’ information for the viewer to have to take in during each shot, meaning that the film can then cut to subsequent images more rapidly.

However, there are other ways in which we can interpret this ‘darkening’ of contemporary film narration. For example, it perhaps ties in with a widespread sense of disorientation with regard to the increasingly globalized and connected world that digitization has helped to bring about, and which is equally reflected in the rise of the contemporary ‘mind-game’ or ‘puzzle’ film that is a staple of contemporary Hollywood. The darkness in such films thus gives expression to uncertainty and disorientation.

More than this, though, we might use physics to understand the darkness of contemporary cinema in a more ‘meta-physical’ fashion. While it is accepted that light is the ‘fastest’ phenomenon in the known universe, there nonetheless remain unilluminated aspects of the physical universe that defy light as the limit of speed – and which convey the interconnected nature of matter in the contemporary universe. For example, polarized particles have been proven simultaneously to respond to stimuli – at a speed faster than it would take light to travel from one particle to the other, a phenomenon that baffled Albert Einstein, who referred to this process as ‘spooky action at a distance’. Not only does this process suggest what Karen Barad might refer to as the entangled nature of all matter, but it also suggests speeds beyond, or at least different, to that of light. In this essay, then, I shall theorise a ‘speed of darkness’ that can help us to understand how the darkening of contemporary cinema ties in with the interconnected, invisible (‘spooky’) and ultra-rapid nature of the digital world. Perhaps it is not in the light but in the darkness that we can identify the key to understanding contemporary mainstream cinema and the globalized, digital world that produces it.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Bibliografia

Agamben, G. (2009). What is an Apparatus? Trans. by Kishik, D. and Pedatella, S. Stan- ford: Stanford University Press.

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the University Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Bordwell, D. (2006). The Way Hollywood Tells It. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Bordwell, D., Thompson, K. (2008) Film Art: An Introduction. 8th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Brown, W. (2013). Supercinema: Film-Philosophy for the Digital Age. Oxford: Berghahn.

Brown, W. (2014). Complexity, Simplicity and Digital Narratives. In Hollywood Puzzle Films. Buckland, W. (ed.). London: Routledge.

Brown, W. (2018). In Order to See You Must Look Away: Thinking About the Eye. In Seeing into Screens: Eye-Tracking and the Moving Image.

Dwyer, T., Perkins, C., Redmond, S. and Sita, J (eds.). London: Bloomsbury.

Buckland, W. (ed.) (2014). Hollywood Puzzle Films. London: Routledge.

Crary, J. (2013). 24:7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. London: Verso.

Cubitt, S. (2004). The Cinema Effect. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Cubitt, S. (2014). The Practice of Light: A Genealogy of Visual Technologies from Prints to Pixels. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Culp, A. (2016). Dark Deleuze. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Cutting, J. E., Brunick, K. L., DeLong, J. E., Iricinschi, C. and Candan, A. (2011). Quicker, faster, darker: Changes in Hollywood film over 75 years. “i-Perception” 2.

Deleuze, G. (2005). Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Trans. by Tomlinson H. and Galeta, R. London: Continuum.

Doane, M. A. (2002). The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, The Archive. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Elsaesser, T. (2009). The Mind-Game Film. In Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema. Edited by Warren Buckland. Oxford: Blackwell.

Hobson, J. A (1995). Sleep. New York: Scientific American Library.

Lippit, A. M. (2005). Atomic Light (Shadow Optics). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Ma, Xiao-song, Zotter, S., Kofler, J., Ursin, R., Jennewein, Brukner, Č. and Zeilinger, A. (2012). Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping. “Nature Physics” 8.

Maldacena, J., Susskind, L., (2018). Cool horizons for entangled black holes. “Arxiv.org”. 11 July 2013. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1306.0533.pdf. (accessed 31 January 2018).

Manovich, L. (2001). The Language of New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Megidish, E., Halevy, A., Shacham, T., Dvir, T., Dovrat, L. and Eisenberg, H. S. (2013). Entanglement Swapping between Photons that have Never Coexisted,’ “Physical Review Letters” 110, no. 21.

Naremore, J. (2008). More Than Night: Film Noir and its Contexts. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pedullà, G. (2012). In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators After the Cinema. Trans. by Gaborik, P. London: Verso.

Penrose, R. (1989). The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics. London: Vintage.

Pettey, H. B. and Palmer, R. B. (eds). (2014).. International Noir. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Randall, L. (2006). Warped Passages: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions. London: Penguin.

Randall, L. (2015). Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. London: Vintage.

Salt, B. (2004). The Shape of 1999. “New Review of Film and Television Studies” 2, no. 1.

Schivelbusch, W. (1995). Disenchanted Night: The Industrialisation of Light in the Nineteenth Century. Trans. by Davies, A. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Shin, Chi-Yun, Gallagher, M. (eds.) (2014). East Asian Film Noir: Transnational Encounters and Intercultural Dialogue. London: I.B. Tauris.

Shaviro, S. (2010) Post-cinematic Affect. Ropley: Zero Books.

Smith, T. J., Levin, D., Cutting, J. E. (2012). A Window on Reality: Perceiving Edited and Moving Images. “Current Directions in Psychological Science” 21, 2.

Wood, A. (2007). Digital Encounters. London: Routledge.

Wolchover, N. (2017). Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes. “Quanta Magazine”, 23 October. https://www.quantamagazine.org/newfound-wormhole allows-information-to-escape-black-holes-20171023/. (accessed 31 January 2018).

Zeilinger, A. (2003). Quantum Teleportation. “Scientific American Special Issue: The Edge of Physics”.

Opublikowane

2021-10-19 — zaktualizowane 2022-01-24

Jak cytować

Brown, W. (2022). Tachyons, tactility, drawing and withdrawing: cinema at the speed of darkness. Panoptikum, (26), 19–38. https://doi.org/10.26881/pan.2021.26.01

Numer

Dział

Artykuły