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Raymond BellourCinema and the Moving Image$
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Hilary Radner and Alistair Fox

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474422888

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474422888.001.0001

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An Elegy for Cinema1

An Elegy for Cinema1

(p.70) Chapter Four An Elegy for Cinema1
Raymond Bellour

Hilary Radner

Alistair Fox

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes how Raymond Bellour in the twenty-first century enters into the on-going debates about the end of cinema that commenced in France in the late 1980s. The chapter underlines how he focuses largely on the changing shape and nature of the dispositif (or viewing situation, including the assumptions that a spectator brings to the viewing experience) in response to new technologies, with an emphasis on moving-image installation art shown in the museum or gallery. Whereas some scholars, such as Francesco Casetti, among others, have claimed that digital technologies and the proliferation of diverse viewing platforms mark a further development, a continuation of what was once cinema (and perhaps even the nineteenth century novel, the photo-roman, the comic book. etc.), Bellour sees these changes as constituting a fundamental break, an ontological shift in the nature of the medium. For Bellour, the dispositif – the apparatus, or physical setting and its technological and psychic potentiality for interaction, as well as the codes that inform this interaction, within which the viewer confronts and makes meaning out of a narrative, visual or otherwise – is fundamental to the experience of cinema and the ideas that it generates. This section offers an exploration Bellour’s understanding of these crucial changes, the implications of which animate discussions about contemporary media across the disciplines.

Keywords:   Raymond Bellour, the end of cinema, the dispositif, the embodied spectator, cinema and the emotions, Francesco Casetti, La Querelle des dispositifs, moving-image installation art

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