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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathImmersion/Participation

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illusionary world of the video, without endangering their own physical safety.

The Art of the Spectacle

The growth of the cinema itself is closely connected to the modern era and its metamorphosis through mass media into a cinephile culture. Regardless of whether its forerunners were the panorama, the panopticum, the wax museum, the amusement park, or the architecture of 19th-century metropolises, which brought about the flaneuer, cinema has evolved into the pinnacle medium of the 20th-century entertainment industry—despite (or perhaps because of) its popularization through television. [4] The reception aesthetics of the cinema, which Panofsky recognized not merely as «luxury» but as a «necessity» of modern life, [5] has strongly influenced the artistic developments of the past decades. Despite its technical requirements, however, something survived in the cinema that has been viewed with more suspicion in the modern era: the popular rhetoric of the nineteenth-century stimulation machines coupled with a genre-like narrative style, the result being the


melodrama. To the present, at the heart of this culture of distraction (which resulted from the aforementioned development of the cinema) is the human need to be in another place, to take on another identity. This urge is satisfied by a perfect illusion, which, with the help of optical effects and new picture-making technologies, causes the frames that define the image as an image by circumscribing it to disappear: As his visual field is expanded, the observer is able to imagine that he is part of what he perceives. [6] This sort of stimulus aesthetic first began to be investigated as early as the eighteenth century. The English country garden was an imaginative area, which one entered as if one were stepping into a living painting. It allowed the visitor to be transported to another reality, as if he were wandering through a naturally staged film set. We could consider it to be an immersion tool, whose visuality anticipated the cinematic effects of Hollywood movies. Alexander Pope’s instructions for artfully concealing fencing in parks, or alternating between rural accents and fantastically staged surprises such as classical temples, monuments, artificial ruins, illuminated waterfalls,

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