Just Another Kind of Cinema

Imagine, you get waken up by the strong noise and shake of a flight landing, arriving Netherlands, for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. You go straight to the cinema KINO for a Tiger Short Collection screening. You settle down in a rear seat, then lights off, the world seems to leave you alone with the huge screen. Then out of blue, the shorts are fantastic and you wish to share your surprising look with the companion next to you but only find out he falls asleep due to the interrupted drowsiness of the flight landing.


Above depicts a typical cinematic experience relating directly to Casetti’s theory of cinematic machine, which involves consistent and distinctive components—theatre, screen, audience, and the film itself—that are arranged in an order susceptible for a true cinematic experience.….. Any change to anyone of these elements leads to a different type of experience. (Casetti, 2015) In this case, would it be a different experience if the companion next to you is sober instead of asleep? What if the size of the screen changes? Or perhaps the screening takes place in an open ground at night rather than in a darkened room?


Why not throw ourselves into the environment of film festival like IFFR to sort things out? Film festivals and art fairs are total assemblages, where the journey from cinematic machine to assemblage becomes obvious. The alternative use, I prefer this term rather than ‘development’, of technology of different times enables the appearance of varieties of cinema to be existent. It’s not so much a transformation as an approach to freedom, right as the photo below, a box where you are allowed to enjoy a lonely time with a homeless film, under sunshine or in a beautiful rain.


By Wandi Lou

Casetti, F. (2015). The Lumière Galaxy: Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come. New York : Columbia University Press.

Photos by Hiroshi Sugimoto and from IFFR

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