Thursday, September 30, 2010

Digital and French Impressionism

The audience gasped last night when this shot – in which Godard links digital photography to the work of the French Impressionist painters – appeared in Film Socialisme. This is not the first time that he has made this link (see the second half of Éloge de l'amour), and it doesn't work as well here when seen in isolation from the shots that came before it, but it's dazzling nevertheless. And the link may be a vital one for those of us working in the new medium, if only we could remember the revolutionary goals of those nineteenth century painters, dedicated to light and sensorial experience. 

1 comment:

  1. Although I am yet to see the film (I'm going on the 8th), this comparison is thrilling already. I've always wondered what drew me to cellphone photography specifically. The older cellphone cameras (with 1.3 or less Megapixel sensors) are not at all crisp and tend to blend colors and borders into an inexact, yet unique representations. Perhaps McLuhan is right in his hypothesis that only when a technology is outmoded or obsolete is it adapted by the artist. I'd like to hope that it won't take that long before digital cameras are realized as true styluses.