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The Shape of Motion Cinema and the Aesthetics of Movement


The Shape of Motion Cinema and the Aesthetics of Movement

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/17/2021
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In The Shape of Motion: Cinema and the Aesthetics of Movement, author Jordan Schonig provides a new way of theorizing cinematic motion by examining cinema's "motion forms": structures, patterns, or shapes of movement unique to the moving image. From the wild and unpredictable motion of flickering leaves and swirling dust that captivated early spectators, to the pulsing abstractions that emerge from rapid lateral tracking shots, to the bleeding pixel-formations caused by the glitches of digital video compression, each motion form opens up the aesthetics of movement to film theoretical inquiry.

By pairing close analyses of onscreen movement in narrative and experimental films with concepts from Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Henri Bergson, and Immanuel Kant, Schonig rethinks longstanding assumptions within film studies, such as indexical accounts of photographic images and analogies between the camera and the human eye. Arguing against the intuition that cinema reproduces our natural perception of motion, The Shape of Motion shows how cinema's motion forms do not merely transpose the movements of the world in front of the camera, they transform them.

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