Simulation in Cinema

  • Temenuga Trifonova


SPECIAL EFFECTS: SIMULATION IN CINEMA There are perhaps two main reasons for the resentment many film critics feel for special effects: first, special effects distract the viewer from the supposedly most substantial aspect of the film, narrative; second, special effects present a danger to what is assumed to be the essential realism of film. New digital technologies, so the argument goes, corrupt the purity of the filmic image: Image manipulation through external montage is one matter, in which shots are intercut for emotional or associative impact. But Digital Domain, ILM, and their brethren are creating a new sort of montage - montage within the frame, without the familiar warning, or ‘limit' signals we have been trained to look for (wipes, matte lines, differences in film stock grain, inaccurate image-sizing and other flaws). These visual clues alerted us to the artificiality and the constructed-ness of the manufactured image we see...