Above: A cinema in Paris. Credit: Kotivalo.
At a recent job interview (yes, I am looking for a new challenge) I was asked by one of the panelists the following question: "What, for you, is the cinematic?" Looking back, the answer I gave at the time was somewhat rambling and nothing like this considered response, here below, that I could have breezily responded with.
What for you is the cinematic?
The cinematic for me is the experience of sitting furtively--done-by-stealth; secret, clandestine, surreptitious--in a darkened theatre-auditorium space. It is refuge--taking refuge from the day. A form of escapism, as was conceptualized by Jean Baudrillard as "exorcism," that is, a means by which to step away temporarily from the weight of human self-consciousness. For isn't consciousness experienced at the level of the visual as a sort of permanently unfolding movie? To step out of my own movie and watch "another movie" by which I am enabled to take temporary leave of my own rather dreary filmic narrative. That for me, is the essence of the cinematic: getting lost, in darkness--but always with the quality of done-by-stealth and secrecy in place.
(7 August 2018)