The cinema is dead? Post cinema.

Paul Valery suggested at the beginning of twentieth century that all the arts have the physical part, but one that cannot be dealt with ever again. In the past twenty years, no matter the material, the space or the time is not the same as the past. These new situations will surely transform arts and technology, thus promoting the invention, and perhaps even subtly changing the concept of art itself (Benjamin, 2008).

The introduction of a new product or process may have unexpected uses and consequences on the inventor and users. In 1946 the birth of the world’s first computer, ENICA, heralded a new digital era for mankind. By the 1970s, with the rapid development of computer technology, movie art in the age of mechanical reproduction began to build, borrow and recover the original simplicity of film. It is more realistic and vast image engineering – the merging of digital technology and traditional film – has revealed a new form of cinema: post-cinema (Gomery & Allen, 1985:216).


Post-cinema is the digital virtual image generation technology involved in the production process of the film. The Wachowski brothers’ film “The Matrix” uses three-dimensional animation software to simulate the freezing of time. In the actual shooting process, the application of digital technology is mainly reflected in the control of the scene. In 1977, George Lucas, a science fiction filmmaker in the United States, created the first computer programme to control the motion of the camera, as demonstrated in “Star Wars”. Computer image generation technology (CGI) has been in use since the 1990s and allows the creator to achieve their vision. This new method of representing the world leads film audiences to a more perfect image. For example “Jurassic Park” transports the audience back to the world of dinosaurs; they can run together with “Forrest Gump” and get an understanding of the concept of personal history; and “The Matrix”. uses dreams to make people seem closer to controlling time. “Final Fantasy” takes filmmaking a step further by using computer image generation technology to replace live performance. This suggests that film has become a reality and that perhaps the next film will no longer need to use photography, as a computer will be all that is needed to complete it.

final fantasy

“The cinema is dead”, Godard said (Witt,1999:331 ). Godfrey Cheshire predicts that digital projection will inevitably replace film screenings, and the speed with which this happens will be faster than people think. Before long this change will be deeply engrained into every aspect of the film industry (Cheshire, 1999). Emerging technology is a more subtle and important way of converting film, and is not limited to those who make a loaded mesh tongue picture. Digital technology is changing the role and function of traditional technology, such as the film shooting technology, and it has a profound impact on an audience’s understanding of the nature of the film (Prince, 2004).


Written by Yilei Peng


Benjamin, W. (2008). The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Penguin UK.

Cheshire, G. (1999). The death of film/The decay of cinema. New York Press12(34).

Gomery, D., & Allen, R. C. (1985). Film history: theory and practice. New York: Alfred A. Knopf216.

Prince, S. (2004). The emergence of filmic artifacts: Cinema and cinematography in the digital era. FILM QUART57(3), 24-33.

Witt, M. (1999). The death (s) of cinema according to Godard. Screen, 40(3), 331-346.

Images 18th March 2017].[Accessed 18th March 2017]*&imgrc=WxmnIG9i0-VBvM:.[Accessed 18th March 2017]


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