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From Light to ByteToward an Ethics of Digital Cinema$
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Markos Hadjioannou

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677610

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677610.001.0001

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Tracing an Ethics of the Movie Image

Tracing an Ethics of the Movie Image

(p.177) 5 Tracing an Ethics of the Movie Image
From Light to Byte

Markos Hadjioannou

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines how the nonindexical structure of numerical calculations affects the existential guarantee of the movie image, along with its ethical implications. More specifically, it considers how celluloid’s luminous transcriptions bring reality and viewer in touch with ethics. It shows that the digital technology’s relation to the world is founded on the viewer/user’s creative intervention or spectatorial activity. To expound on the ethical positioning of movies, the chapter explores what responses the digital elicits in comparison with the power structures of celluloid film, and how the spectator can sense her or his connection with the world even though the digital screen only structurally alludes to the real. It also discusses Stanley Cavell’s phenomenological reflections on cinema, which focus on the existential isolation expressed by mediated reality, and Gilles Deleuze’s ethics to determine how celluloid can elicit a belief in the world despite the distance the screen presents between subject and reality.

Keywords:   numerical calculations, ethics, digital technology, celluloid film, spectator, digital screen, Stanley Cavell, Gilles Deleuze, movie image

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