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Nostalgia for Film: The Shift from Mechanical to Digital Cinema Projection


Iseli, Christian; Loertscher, Miriam Laura; Spiegel, Simon; Mennel, Pierre; Weibel, David; Flückiger, Barbara; Mast, Fred W (2017). Nostalgia for Film: The Shift from Mechanical to Digital Cinema Projection. In: International Conference Cinema – Art, Technology, Communication, Avanca, Portugal, 26 July 2017 - 30 July 2017, 947-955.

Abstract

Today, cinema is digital: 95 percent of all movie theatres worldwide are equipped with digital projection, and, to an overwhelmingly high degree, the films are shot with digital cameras. But still, among filmmakers and critics, the debate on whether photochemical film stock and mechanical projection of film prints are aesthetically superior continues, since there is little scientific evidence to back up either point of view. To date the question as to whether narrative films are perceived in different ways by a cinema audience depending on the projection or recording technology used, has hardly been examined. This paper focuses on the influence of analog mechanical projection and digital projection on the audience. Empirical data gained from audience experiments show that mechanical projection of film prints produced higher levels of emotional reactions. The results suggest that the specific characteristics of mechanical projection – flickering lights and image instability – has a nostalgic effect which seems related to the viewer’s memory of a traditional cinema experience.

Abstract

Today, cinema is digital: 95 percent of all movie theatres worldwide are equipped with digital projection, and, to an overwhelmingly high degree, the films are shot with digital cameras. But still, among filmmakers and critics, the debate on whether photochemical film stock and mechanical projection of film prints are aesthetically superior continues, since there is little scientific evidence to back up either point of view. To date the question as to whether narrative films are perceived in different ways by a cinema audience depending on the projection or recording technology used, has hardly been examined. This paper focuses on the influence of analog mechanical projection and digital projection on the audience. Empirical data gained from audience experiments show that mechanical projection of film prints produced higher levels of emotional reactions. The results suggest that the specific characteristics of mechanical projection – flickering lights and image instability – has a nostalgic effect which seems related to the viewer’s memory of a traditional cinema experience.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Cinema Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
900 History
Language:English
Event End Date:30 July 2017
Deposited On:13 Nov 2020 08:38
Last Modified:13 Nov 2020 20:30
Publisher:Edições Cine-Clube de Avanca
Series Name:Avanca | Cinema
Number:2017
ISSN:0218-4052
ISBN:977-021-84052-0-1
OA Status:Closed

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