Post-Cinema:Watch and Game

Written by Liang Xiong


“One general background for any discussion of post-cinema is the familiar debate over the supposed ‘end’ of film or cinema in the wake of digitalization” (Shane Denson, Julia Leyda, 2016, P6).

From the very beginning, the film is a product of the high integration of technology and art. The development of the movie has been accompanied by advances in science and technology, every time the technological changes will have a subversive impact on the film field. Post-cinema in the image production relative to the traditional film showing freer and more diverse features, but it is not a subversion of the traditional film theory, as these composite images produced by the computer special effects still have some level of authenticity, merely they are a kind of virtual reality.

“In today’s cinema of interactions the photographic ontology of classical cinema gives way to a digital ontology where the future, not the past, is the object of mediation—where the photographic basis of film and its remediation of the past gives way to the premediation of the future more characteristic of video games and other digital mediation and networking” (Shane Denson, Julia Leyda, 2016, P70).

If we say in the post cinema era, the film is similar to a game, then it is not just a watch for the game, but more like a request for the audience to actively participate in the match. In the traditional cinema, all eyes of the spectator are concentrated on the film screen. However, in the post cinema era, the theater is no longer the only viewing space, the new display mode brought by the digital technology has broken the continuity of time of the traditional movie; the viewers could control the film as much as playing the game, not only could pause, replay, but also could create more possibility of participation, such as the interaction between the audience and the film director, or between the public and the actor; even the story of film is no longer fixed, using vote via the Internet and another interactive way, the audience is possible to participate in and decide the story of the movie. This is certainly subversion for the traditional way of film production.


“To create new forms of knowledge suitable to the changing conditions of moving image technologies brought about by the changes in media technologies, forms, and practices that have accompanied what has come to be called the digital revolution” (Shane Denson, Julia Leyda, 2016, P85).

In the post cinema era, the ways for the film production and distribution has undergone tremendous changes, the audience’s viewing experience is constantly updated, with the continuous development of digital technology, the future film is more worth looking forward to.



Shane Denson, Julia Leyda (2016). POST-CINEMA: Theorizing 21st-century film. United Kingdom: REFRAME Books.

Assassin’s Creed | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | 20th Century FOX. YouTube. Available from  [Accessed 28 March 2017].



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