Cinema in Full Circle, According to Manovich

In Lev Manovich’s book “The Language of New Media”, Chapter 6: What is Cinema; Manovich describes the relationship between cinema and new media. He describes this relationship as being two vectors.

The first vector relates to the process of cinema to new media and second, from computers to cinema.

Manovich summarizes the effects of computerization on cinema as:

  • The use of computer techniques in traditional filmmaking, such as, 3-D computer animation, digital painting, virtual sets and actors, and motion capture.
  • The new forms of computer-based cinema, such as, location-based entertainment, motion graphics, net.cinema which is films that have been designed specifically for Internet distribution, hypermedia interfaces, interactive movies and games that are structured around film-like sequences, and animated, filmed, and simulated sequences.

Manovich also mentions that the effects do not include new distribution technologies like digital film projection.

Manovich discusses cinema and the possibility of interactive narrative and states that computer media is not exactly narrative. Manovich makes known that computer media has redefined cinema because the old characteristics of cinema have become default options.

Manovich elaborates on this idea in that the new techniques that are being used to solve technical problems and traditional cinema is still preserved. So, even though computers are used as a tool for production, cinema is dependent on a narrative form and reality effect.

Throughout this book Manovich has concentrated on visual culture and media, but mainly on cinema. Throughout this book Manovich also has concentrated on using the history and theory of cinema so that he could provide the reader with a map for understanding how logic drives both the technical and stylistic development of new media. He also traced out the role cinematic language has on new media interfaces. He calls this “cultural interfaces” which are the interfaces between the user and cultural data.

Lastly, the effect of computerization provides one with an opportunity to see the world in new ways, which were not available to the man who simply had a movie camera.

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