Time, video, and the end of cinema

Bulent Eken
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The discussions of the end of cinema tend to privilege the emergence of digital technology as a turning point. In this paper, I argue for the centrality of the category of the “viewer”, which as a concept makes visible the essence of the medium of cinema. This essence is the preservation of time in which the viewer has a stake in relation to his or her memory. This then shows the limits for a possible discussion of the end of cinema. If there is a certain type of film that leaves no room for the spectator, then this could mark one sense of an end. I take the mainstream entertainment cinema that is based in staging a “spectacle” as an example. The temporality of cinema is also surpassed in the direction of video, which does not preserve time by constructing image-objects but participates in a time-matter in which all is already an image.

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