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Film After The Cinema
Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the digital transformation that was already taking place in all spheres of human life. In this paper, I will investigate the implications of this transformation for the film. As governments try to keep the virus in check, cinemas have been forced to shut down all over the world. The fears that the cinema as we know it might come to an end abound. But the streaming of films is witnessing an unprecedented growth. Many film production companies are directly premiering films on streaming platforms. Netflix, Amazon and others that already dominated the digital media landscape are now taking over the revenues of standard cinemas. The death of cinema has been predicted before, with the introduction of television in the 1950s and the advent of video cassettes in the 1980s. How the recent digital transformation differs from these events? How did the closure of cinemas as physical spaces change the films, especially how the film language changed? I will analyse those contemporary audiovisual contents where these transformations are the most manifest. I will ground the exploration of the new digital film language and its aesthetic in the concept of “the dispositive” (from French “le dispoisitif”) as the situation and a setting in which films are being watched - the combination of the apparatus of distribution and projection on the one hand, and the viewer as the concrete, idiosyncratic, individual person watching the film on the other. This will enable us to see the end as a new beginning.