The death of cinema, remote control zapper

-Jiarui Zhang

In his generation, British director Peter Greenway has become the most exciting art theatre film-makers. In 2007 Korea’s Pusan film festival, his word has inspired a good deal of reflections about cinema and the new media. “If you shoot a dinosaur in the brain on Monday, it’s tail is still waggling on Friday. Cinema is brain dead. Cinema was dead on 31 September 1983, when the remote-control zapper was introduced to the family, because now cinema has to be interactive, multi-media art. (Coonan, 2008)”


It is not hard to understand why, the rise of digital technologies has been a finish and a start. Since the majority of audiences and critics equate cinema with storytelling, digital media is understood as a form which will let cinema express its stories in a new means. As exciting as the ideas of a spectator participating in a plot, selecting different routes through the storytelling and relating with characters address one aspect of cinema which is narrative (Willis and Willis, 2005).0003s_0001_home-cinema-lp1

Not only for the viewers, Digital Cinema also refers to the use of digital technology in the art of movie-making. Movies tell a story using cinematic language. This language includes camera angle, camera motion, filming, editing, soundtrack, and visual effects. The digital techniques change all these things and make them easier to manipulate and control. Pictures are more exquisite, effects are more realistic, editing is simpler to track and implement. At a word, digital cinema gives a new platform for filmmakers to tell better stories.


Coonan, C. (2008b) Greenaway announces the death of cinema – and blames the remote-control zapper.

Available at: (Accessed: 3 February 2017).

Willis, H. and Willis (2005) New digital cinema: Reinventing the moving image (short cuts). LONDON: Wallflower Press.

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