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Dreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media: Book by Adam Lowenstein

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

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ISBN: 9780231166577    Publisher: Columbia University Press Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 280        Language: English
Adam Lowenstein argues that Surrealism's encounter with film can help redefine the meaning of cinematic spectatorship in an era of popular digital entertainment. Video games, YouTube channels, Blu-ray...Read more
Adam Lowenstein argues that Surrealism's encounter with film can help redefine the meaning of cinematic spectatorship in an era of popular digital entertainment. 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 special capacity to record the real is either disappearing or being fundamentally changed by new media's different technologies. The Surrealist movement offers an ideal platform for resolving these tensions, undermining the claims of cinema's crisis of realism and offering an alternative interpretation of film's aesthetics and function. The Surrealists never treated cinema as a realist medium and understood our perceptions of the real itself to be a mirage.
Reading 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 tracing their influence in 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, this innovative approach puts past and present cinema into conversation to recast the meaning of cinematic spectatorship in the twenty-first century.
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About the author: 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... Read more
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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Review:
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...Read more
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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