Cinematic media in digital culture

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Periods of important technological changes greatly influence film theory, as new films usually raise the key question: what is actually a film? This problem has been discussed by film theorists over many decades.

Today’s film industry, in which digital technology is being successfully integrated in the traditional narrative media and combined with the established visual paradigms, clearly demonstrates how classical artistic approaches can go along with new technical developments.

Contemporary documentary cinema is a vivid example of the ways in which digital technology can expand and deepen the area of cinematic media. Basing themselves mostly on traditional formats, media makers create products which could be rightfully considered as new genres.

By restructuring cinema’s borders film scholars widen the scope of their studies. One of the ideas attracting their attention is that of “expanded cinema”. This concept, suggested by Gene Youngblood, is usually related to experimental media, in which the perceptive context is the key aspect of artistic creativity.

The principal task of film researchers has been to follow the continually changing horizons of cinema — in the context of film history. New schemes of development often create new problems which can be solved only by means of new critical tools.

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Bakulev Gennady P.

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), professor, professor of Russian and foreign languages chair

All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography after S.A.Gerasimov

Author for correspondence.


  1. Friedberg Anne (2000) ‘‘The End of Cinema: Multimedia and Technological Change’’, in C. Gledhill and L. Williams (eds), Reinventing Film Studies, London: Arnold, 2000, pp. 438–452; here p. 448.
  2. Manovich Lev (2001) The Language of New Media, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001.
  3. Navarro Vinicius (2015) New Cinemas: Film and Digital Media // Film Studies, Vol. 12. Spring, 2015, pp. 36–44.
  4. Rosen Philip (2001) ‘‘Old and New: Image, Indexicality, and Historicity in the Digital Utopia’’, in Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2001, pp. 301–349.
  5. Youngblood Gene (1970). Expanded Cinema. NY: P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1970. 444 p.

Copyright (c) 2019 Bakulev G.P.

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