Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ways of Viewing Film Technology

There are several ways to view the history of film technology. A popular choice is by thinking about it as a series of Legendary Moments.

For Example:

  1. The Lumiere Projector of 1895;
  2. The invention of film sound in 1927;
  3. The invention of film colour in 1935
This approach views the history of film technology as a sequence of improvements that are combined in the processing of making film more real. Ultimately this option considers each new technological advance as a solution to a specific aesthetic problem in the making of what is happening on screen closer to real.

The approach can be considered as an example of 'teleological history', which is the concept of history goes towards an assumed and clearly defined end. In the context of film technology it would be towards realism.

The use of teleological historiography is very problematic and there is significant evidence that proves the approach fails to properly explain the history of film technology.

A better way to consider the history of film technology is to view it as the effect of a range of complex forces where each new technology developed and distributed can be regarded as an event. Tied into the event is a convergence of generative mechanisms.

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