Call for papers - REBECA - Revista Brasileira de Estudos de Cinema e Audiovisual 15

Cinema is an art and a technology from the last century. As such, it needs a profound revaluation.

The above provocation calls attention to some questions permeating much of today’s cinematographic thought and practice. Among other things, it suggests an outdating of film form in the face of significant changes in visual and audio processes and of the ways those processes are articulated in the 21st century. The ‘death’ of classic film form is a recurring and problematic theme among researchers and filmmakers. Bellour, within a more traditional view, defines the projection of a film in a dark room as ‘a unique experience of perception and memory’ (2012, p. 14). David Linch, a little more incisive, affirms that ‘never in a trillion years’ film experience will be thoroughly reproduced in a cellphone (apud Gaudreault; Marion, 2013, p. 36).

For many, film experience is inevitably attached to a very specific apparatus. Some may consider the contemporary mediascape as offering particular conditions of spectatoriality, linked to new screens and to new speakers: a ‘cinema of suggestions,’ as Wasson (2007) describes. Modes of seeing and listening are constructed in the articulation between technologies, spaces and varied social phenomena. Shaviro, for example, affirms that ‘digital technologies, together with neoliberal economic relations, have given birth to radically new ways of manufacturing and articulating lived experience’ (2009, p. 2).

Despite this, the projection room is still a symbolically important element for the affirmation of film as an artistic, critical and industrial practice. Recent audiovisual production models, however, permeate and destabilize certain relations crystallized over two centuries of the moving image. The popularization of audiovisual devices, their connection to increasingly fast networks, the configuration of new habits of consumption of sounds and images and, perhaps more importantly, the reformulation of historically cultivated forms and codes of audiovisual expression, make possible other forms of cinema. The very differentiation between mainstream film industry and other audiovisual products – a phenomenon that was reinforced by widespread practices and economic interests – makes less and less sense. Today’s dependence on gigantic and ubiquitous databases has effects not only on how film elements are conceived and organized, but also interferes with the constitution of global and local cultural repertoires. In this sense, the separation between industry and personal productions is increasingly tenuous. The balance between the standardization of production and consumption of sounds and images and the proposition of distinct narratives about the world is a point that needs further investigation.

 To think of this ‘post-cinematographic’ scenery is to enable the emergence of new, original and promising research objects for which more appropriate analytical tools must be developed. Some of those objects have been around for some time, but classic theories of cinema were never that efficient to analyze them within their specificity. Music videos, electronic games, video installations, sound art (or digital art in a broader sense) are examples that, although recognized in the sphere of arts or of economy, do not fit adequately in many of the models of traditional film investigation. What, then, to speak of the most recent, amateurish practices lost in the everyday information labyrinth? Mashups, autotune videos, musicless music videos, personal narratives, fanfics, among many others, are forms of expression that, despite a supposed ephemerality, translate much of the spirit of our time.

We would like to call for a broader reflection on the various issues related to what is usually called Post-cinemas, discussing their aesthetic, cultural, social, political and economic implications. Some of the suggested axes for submitting papers are:

a) Dialogues between cinema and the visual arts, including the new media configurations, collections of sounds and images online and the resizing of the film narratives;

b) The popularization of technologies and the reappropriation of elements of cinematographic ‘language’ in amateur/non-commercial productions;

c) Conflicts between the local and the global in the production of images and sounds. The possibility of self-construction and/or recognition of audiovisual alterities;

d) Post-cinemas and democracy. Post-cinemas and human rights. Post-cinemas and diversity. How the diversification and democratization of ways of making and seeing sounds and images contribute to these themes;

e) An ‘expanded cinema’ theory: how to re-evaluate the classics and how to propose a new horizon for film thinking.

Articles must be submitted through the Journal website.

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