Digital Era Nostalgia

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Digital Era代写 The digital era provides new affordances but has also prompted a surge of nostalgia.

Discuss through an analysis of one screen text

Digital technologies have changed how the world looks and works.  Digital Era代写

There are blurred borderlines between the limitations in the digital era. All of us alive appreciate what we see and experience in the digital world. Every technology is becoming better and smarter. Digital cameras are becoming smaller, lighter, sharper, and more powerful. People are walking around with powerful capturing power in their pocket in the form of smartphones.

We are working from homes or hotels while enjoying our time connecting remotely with our offices through cloud-based technologies such as TeamViewer. Not only that, almost every industry is infiltrated by digital market including the film industry. People love the explosion of technologies that are making things better and easier particularly in making films and effects. However, there is emerging nostalgia by clinging to the antiquity in cinematic production.

Generally, it is easier to see how digital technologies are being used as the commodification of history  Digital Era代写

That is, the imitation of old media production styles. The modern digital cinemas are longing for celluloid as part of sufficient experience of film in the context of new media ecology. The digital remediation of analog aesthetics is referred to as analog nostalgia. According to Iseli et al. (2017, p. 947) nostalgia is the state of longing or a wishing affection for past aesthetics. In this sense, analog nostalgia is wishing to have back the earlier methods and tools in the process of media and film digitization. As such, this essay will inquire the digital affordance to analyze the surge of nostalgia in visual media.

Scorsese’s Hugo will be evaluated to have a better perspective on the issue of digital nostalgia. Hugo is the perfect match for the illustration of relationship between media, memory, and history. The film is widely viewed and studied not because of artistic qualities of early cinemas but also the celluloid filmstrip as is material basis. According to Bordwell (2012, p. 7), Hugo is typically an analog film projection, which includes the commodification of the analog tools. The film involves quoting works that have features of analog connotations in a digital media production in a manner that is more or less self-reflexive.

Digital Technologies New Affordances in Cinematography  Digital Era代写

Modern technologies have advanced to unprecedented levels. The differences in technology changes are apparent when one compares the powerful digital cameral of today with the analog ones from the early 1900s. Not only conventional cameras but the smartphone cameras have undergone evolution over time. The developments have resulted in digital affordance We have come from point-and-shoot mechanics of cameras, and now we have phones with the capability to record 360-degree view. The new 3D technology allows filmmakers to insert characters in a film. Other techniques used in modern film making include drone cameras, algorithmic video editing, and cloud-based technologies. These technologies are well portrayed in Hugo franchise.

Before the analysis of digital affordance in Hugo, it is essential to understand its meaning.  Digital Era代写

According to Selwyn (2012, p. 82), technology affordance is readily available perceivable interaction possibilities in tools and techniques. In film production, affordability is how digital technology has contributed to the creation and form of film. Shaw and Sender (2016, p. 2) observed that digital affordance could recognize heterogeneity in society. Shaw and Sender focused their study on the queer behaviors that have gained acceptance in the community and how they are shaping the development of new digital technology affordance to accommodate these behaviors. Whatever, the discourse of the technology, the affordance is the ability to achieve things in life that humans find limited.

Hugo was the most compelling and ingenious movie of its time due to the creativity and emotional effects used. Scorsese used skillful and restrained used 3D imagery to bring the world back to 1930s of a young boy named Hugo Cabret. Hugo was forced by circumstance to live to his alcoholic uncle after his clockmaker father died. The uncle tended the clocks in a grand Paris train station. When his uncle went missing, Hugo had to look for himself and sometimes had to snitch foods from station vendors and was constantly evading station gendarme Gustav whose aim was to send him to the orphanage.

Literary, 3D is a gimmick yet powerful tool that allows film creators to have great things for their audience.  Digital Era代写

In Hugo (2011), the application of 3D technology has revealed Scorsese’s cinematic genius. The use of 3D in filmmaking is challenge to the filmmakers to explore the new potential as Scorsese proves. Hugo is an expansion of cinematography capabilities. Using the film, Scorsese interlaces the history of silent cinema with what is one of his personal stories.

Digital Era代写
Digital Era代写

Early cinema making has turned out to be a key element in modern movie making. As a result, there is a unique relationship between the form and content, as seen in Hugo, which uses contemporary cinema technologies, including shots on 3D on the Arri Alexa, a smart camera that is used to tell a story of the antiquity. In so doing, Hugo’s film acts a bridge between the start of cinema and the changes that have revolutionized the medium.

Also, the film is a mediation between the era of celluloid to the age of digital and in this sense try to recreate the lineage of cinema creation from old times to the modern era. One example of 3D is when the station master played by Sacha Baron Cohen appears to come closer and closer to the cinema and then to the audience (figure 1). His face reaches a point as he leans forward that it intrudes through the screen to a zone customarily left between the viewer and film. The perfect grammar to explain the effect is “extreme foreground close-up.”

Additionally, Scorsese used visual effects to make Hugo trickery alive.  Digital Era代写

According to Issacs (2016, p. 474), reality effects are a sequence of shots of a continuous scene that provide images for editing to achieve more significant and more complex animation of time and space. A scene where the train trips from the track and lands in a heap was created from miniatures that simulated the actual fall. Shots were then taken in actions then edited to add effects, as shown in Figures 2, 3, and 4 below.

Digital Era代写
Digital Era代写

Figure 2: One of the major sequences in Hugo was inspired by a train crashing through the Montparnasse station in Paris in 1895.

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Figure 3

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Figure 4: Before and after shots featuring Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret.

Reclaiming the Past Using Hugo  Digital Era代写

Nostalgia can be termed as a way of resisting a threatening past and less about reclaiming the vanishing history. Today movies are pulling back against the endless rush to change. Hugo is one of the many movies including The Artists and Midnight in Paris that depict analog nostalgia. In its distinctive, ambivalent cinematography, Hugo has celebrated the aesthetic of analog film productions exhibitions in the late 1920s. Notably, it is the same year that Hugo was released that marked the end of decade-long transition from the use of celluloid projections and production of 35mm cameras.

Though the whole chain of cinematic delivery from production, distribution, and exhibition were all digital, others were very emphatic on the use of celluloid, and others have invested in them to preserve film history. The same notion is supported by Verstraten and Fossati (2018, p. 207), who stated that digital technologies should be flexible to accommodate obsolete cinema techniques including color in early films. They agree on the essence of keeping the analog film tradition alive for future references and experiences.

Digital media technologies are being used to access the past and hence form a critical source of filming, making cultural memory.  Digital Era代写

According to Schrey (2014, p. 35), a digital simulation of the past is significant to the present since it is a reenactment of the life that digital films have always lacked. As such, nostalgia is the content or style of media representation, or the media itself be an object of nostalgia. Schrey noted that people view nostalgia in the media materiality and constitution, and the aesthetic created by them. The features of production are not the only forms that shape the perception of the media but also the properties of recording media (Reynolds, 2011, p. 331). The process of media creation can be referenced in filming itself again and again and hence, nostalgia for old film making tools and other aesthetics creating self-reference media.

In this context, Hugo engages the cinema of the past by George Meliere and encourages the people to look back on the past with rose-tinted spectacles. Much of the film is decorated with tones of red and blue, the type of color that evoke the two-strip Technicolor, which was synonymous in late 1920s film making. The film is not overly concerned with modern authenticity by having its setting in the kind of world which every generation of children likes to imagine has only just passed them by.

Just as Geroge Lucas proclamations about the digital future that will see the cost of producing low  Digital Era代写

Hugo became the champion of both shooting on digital video and of the literal and symbolic preservation of early films (Dombrowski, 2012; Sterngold, 1995). The movies have harnessed the capabilities that come with the use of 3D technology. However, the film is a show-off of auteur’s skills using the array of digital technologies. As shown in figure 6 below, the canonization of Scorsese as a great filmmaker came after his breakthrough in creating fantasy using his novelty in 3D filmmaking. He used modern high-definition cinematography, visual effects, and 3D exhibitions to recreate the perfect vision of 1930s Paris. The scene is a digital landscape more akin to an idealized painting than its faithful (and mechanical) reproduction as a photograph.

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Digital Era代写

Figure 6: Vision of Paris in the 1930s which is a nostalgic idealization  

The train station is a paradise to the orphaned Hugo, where he had a life and worked on the mazes of cogs and clockworks. The film gives us a hint of steampunk in the story of automation. Hugo was an intricate mechanical man, the skills that were imparted to him by his father.

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Figure 7: Hugo’s reference to the Lumière Brothers’ L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (1895)  

Figure 7 reminds us of the varnishing time when people were thrilled by the visible things that were tactile. The film shows that children’s toys were more popular because they were more physical with building blocks. The illusionary and impersonal Nintendo Wii was not part of the society. The film has a tone of overwhelming nostalgia in the sense of pain for the lost aesthetics. Hugo acts as a reminder that even though the past is well captured in films that may last for long enough, the world in which these fantasies lived has been lost forever.

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Digital Era代写

Figure 5: Hugo in his time machine

Figure 5 above is Hugo tending the time machine. The image was generated using modern digital and 3D technology to create a world about time and keeping time moving. The clock at the Parisian railroad station brings back to life the work of Georges Méliès. The scene shows old technologies and experiences in old movies. It is also about automata and the whirring mechanisms of a film camera. Hugo was shot digitally, and whirring was virtually non-existence. While it might seem otherwise, the film is nostalgic in its setting and form. It is displaying the robustness of the history of cinema through recreating it in the space of modern cinematic technology. The history of film is enfolded in the narrative of discovery and revelation.

Moreover, the film gives the viewers the irony about the past and present state of cinematics. It has its stereographical gaze far back in the early beginning of filming making and brings the viewers the idea that the early 1900s was the epitome of cinema making and indeed the exiting time. The notion is supported by other movies released in the same period, including The Artists and Midnight in Paris. These movies travel back in time and reminisce to the viewer the sheer thrill of the past tools and life.

Unlike Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris that seems to point out that the past was unsatisfying, Hugo idealizes the yearning of the past.  Digital Era代写 

The protagonist’s quest was to bring the past and lost tools used in film making and use them to mirror nostalgia. Besides, the director uses George Meliere’s films metaphorically of what we have lost in cinema making and life. Undeniably, people would prefer to watch early twenties masterpieces such as Safety Last than less unsophisticated Voyage to the Moon. It is about the enthrallment that comes with the latter. Hugo has excellently brought the past to life using various combinations of 3D images and visual effects to stage action of Meliere’s films theatrically and gives a perfect recreation of hand-tinted colors and hence acts as a reminder that old movies were not just about black and white cinematics.

Additionally, Hugo has succeeded in fantasizing the past in more emotional forms rather than technical terms  Digital Era代写

And hence the film maintains the spirit of Meliere’s movies and brings to the audience by reminding them of how past cinemas were exiting. To forget the past will the refusal of the film that reveals to the world the wonders and inventions that were used in making the early cinemas. Thus, the pain to lose these antiquities is made evident its effect is heartbreaking. Also, Hugo pines the audience for the loss of magical cinemas and by reproducing the magic of the early films.

The combination of the vividly overwhelming present and the romantic allure of the past awaken the bitter taste of nostalgia. It also creates the moment of relief free from doubts and ambiguities commonly in life. It is only the world of movies that can achieve the feat. In the final act, Meliere noted experience had taught him that happy endings only happen in movies. Thus, the audience can smile a smile of relief, and that life is unsatisfying, but cinema is satisfying.

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Digital Era代写

Although the juxtaposition of the past, present, and future in film making may seem ironic  Digital Era代写

It right that nostalgia among other impulses is usual at such times in cultural and technological upheaval. In these cases, the perception of a simpler past creates uncertainty in the presents and perhaps the future of film making. In this regard, nostalgia is a lingering specter on the death of past techniques in film making. People and in this case the filmmakers fear the idea that everything including sweet moments and memories will one day be lost and never recovered. Paradoxically, people are using personal and collective imaginations of the past to which may have never existed to recreate the past.

Therefore, it is clear that the players are anticipating the death of film medium and hence symbolically resist the inevitable digital mummification by looking back at joyous youthfulness. It is undoubtedly sad yet pathetic to see how nostalgia works. It is therapeutic to imagine nostalgia partly as transition to new digital era or just a melancholic impulse to hold on to the past to idealize it. In both cases we risk clinging on and reviving pressing histories beyond the required limits.

Reference  Digital Era代写

Dombrowski, L., 2012. Not if, but when and how: digital comes to the American art house. Film History: An International Journal, 24(2), pp.235-248.

Isaacs, B., 2016. 4.3 Reality Effects: The Ideology of the Long Take in the Cinema of Alfonso Cuarón. Perspectives on Post-Cinema: An Introduction–Shane Denson and, p.474.

Iseli, C., Loertscher, M.L., Spiegel, S., Mennel, P., Weibel, D., Flueckiger, B., and Mast, F., 2017. Nostalgia for Film: The Shift from Mechanical to Digital Cinema Projection. Avanca| Cinema, 2017, pp.947-955.

Schrey, D., 2014. Analog nostalgia and the aesthetics of digital remediation. In Media and nostalgia (pp. 27-38). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Reynolds, S., 2011. Retromania: Pop culture’s addiction to its past. New York: Faber & Faber.

Shaw, A., and Sender, K., 2016. Queer Technologies: Affordances affect ambivalence. Pp. 1-5

Selwyn, N., 2012. Making sense of young people, education, and digital technology: The role of sociological theory. Oxford Review of Education, 38(1), pp.81-96.

Sterngold, J. 1995. Digital Studios: It’s the Economy, Stupid;George Lucas Sees Technology as a Wondrous Tool and a Cost-Cutter. Available from https://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/25/business/digital-studios-it-s-economy-stupid-george-lucas-sees-technology-wondrous-tool.html

Verstraten, P., and Fossati, G., 2018. Between Nostalgia and Utopia: A Conversation on the Legibility of Film Archives. In Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines (pp. 199-211). Brill Rodopi.

 

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