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Speak Simply: HER by Spike Jonze

AI Artificial Intelligence Cinema Her Her Film Op-Ed Plato's Cave Speak Simply Spike Jonze
_ _ When I left the theatre, I heard the people next to me telling each other that they had “mixed feelings” about her. Granted, we’re probably not used to omniscient AI being portrayed in films as benevolent (and when they are, they’re given very human bodies 1), much less loving and capable of being loved. But I won’t full-throttle into Wot-I-Think about her here. Read more...

Look and Look Again: Clang's Diptychs and Butterflies

Cinema Studies Deconstruction featured John Clang Op-Ed Photography Post-Structuralism Spatiality Yenlin
When I say you are dreaming, so am I — Inneryennings Yenlin writes beautifully on John Clang’s photo-essay “Twilight Dreams of a Papilio Demoleus” and relates it to the motif of dream, specifically recalling the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi’s dream about the butterfly. But perhaps that’s where it gets a bit fuzzy, like all dreams do when you begin to wake up. Clang’s work is dreamy, in the sense that she describes, that one has to navigate the tension between “dream” and “reality” in most of his work. Read more...

On Gamic and Cinematic Excess

Authenticity Battlefield Battlefield 4 Baudrillard Botting and Wilson Cinema Studies Digital Humanities Embodiment Enactment Excess FPS Game Studies Hypertext Intertext Kill Screen Kristin Thompson Ludology Modern Warfare Op-Ed Postmodernism Shooters Simulacrum Simulation Spatiality Tarantinian Ethics Theory
The Siege of Shanghai doesn’t have a plot for its unchecked materiality to overthrow. But it does have a structure. The five flags are laid out so as to create zones of control, chokepoints at which armor can be obstructed or destroyed, sight lines, multiple access points for infantry, etc. Returning players grok these elements almost instantly, routing themselves through the less-exposed paths and finding vantage points on well-traveled areas. Read more...

In My Hands: A Glimpse

We often try to touch something to find out if it is really there. Material presence of an object is determined by its material tangibility, or in other words, “I can touch it, therefore it is there. Film theorists often looked to the “plastic” materiality of film, photographic and cinematic alike, as proof of their “here-ness”. This became of exceptional importance when it came to discussing the “realism” of the filmic image: that the plastic materiality of the filmic image would anchor its validity as index to its referent. Read more...
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