Cinema As Window

Thomas Elsaesser (2010)  regarded film as the ‘window’, which made me realize that audiences have the ability to let our eyes going through the screen, to the hiding reality behind the screen, despite understanding the world in screen is a fiction world which is not real. For example, when we see a film which is aiming to reflect the reality, the authenticity of film is able to impress and touch the emotion of audience, despite realizing it is unreal. In this case, cinema can be seen as a window, and spectators are concentrating on the real world through the window rather than focus on the ‘decoration’ of the window.

The meaning of reality, as an “inseparable whole” which is mentioned by Andre Bazin and he also said the fact possess an ontological unity which film has to respect. Therefore, the theory of regarding cinema as a ‘window’ aims to highlight the realistic characteristic of cinema. Furthermore, the theory also contributes to the development of sociological and psychological research. Because it is not concerned about the issue of film art, but rather on the audience’s cognition of the metaphor and realism issues which are hidden behind the fiction films. It can be utilized to answer a psychological question: why some individuals are willing to indulge in the world where they realize it is unreal. However, Hollywood blockbusters with fictitious narratives not only cut the relation between spectators and reality but also may crowd out the ‘realism experience’ of audiences through appreciating cinemas.



Elsaesser, T.& Hagener, M. (2010).Cinema as window and frame: Film theory an introduction through the senses.New York: Routledge.

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