Tuesday, 25 October 2011

200words: tacita dean

Let the dead bury their dead..” Luke 9:60

So, we're not scaremongering, this is really happening, 16mm film is no longer printed at Deluxe, and so no longer in England. This, apparently, is no mere passing of the cinema baton to younger model mediums, this is a death marked by a Unilever-sponsored season of mourning.

Only living things die.

Film lived. Any of us who have ever stood, like children, spellbound before the flickering light on a screen, delighted, know that it lived in the currency it carried: the holy moment of the creative act conveyed, unabstracted, uncoded, from the cinematographer's eye to yours. Film's creative act comes at a cost: that cost is a risk: that risk is the power of art.

Digital production is about another power. Power over time by the elimination of cost by the evaporation of space. It is not nostalgia to decry the rising tide of this infinitely expedient medium. To live digitally is to live a pixel's life, as discontinuous, reductive, isolated packets of data without meaning.

So, film went out with a fizzle. A silent dirge, a bitter 11 minutes of carefully made, forgettable imagery, raging against the digitalising of the light. I have seen too much, have you seen enough?



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