Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cinema as the Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Benjamin, Aura and Digital Reproduction
In his ground breaking article entitled 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' Walter Benjamin (Benjamin, 1936) depicted how mechanical reproduction has changed the nature of production and consumption of art work. The most important thing is that the work of art has lost its aura. Aura is indicative of art's traditional association with primitive, feudal, or bourgeois structures of power. For the case of painting, there is always an original one, hanging in a museum or in the house of an elite person. One's claim of seeing Monalisa is not complete until he or she goes to the Louvre and sees the original work of art. But in the case of press, photography or film, one cannot differentiate between the copied one and the master. In the age of reproduction, the work of art loses the aura of originality. Benjamin (Benjamin, 1936) says the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. Even the printed copy of Monalisa can be found in front of the Louvre which contributes, to some extent, to the loss of aura. According to Robert Kolker (Kolker, 1999), Benjamin, unlike most of his Frankfurt School associates, did not look at this loss of aura with alarm. Rather, he thought about the growth of popular culture as something to be understood not as an oppressive reality, but as a potentially liberating one. The mechanical reproduction system could democratis e art. One who has a still camera can be a creator of a work of art.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New book on Digital Cinema in Bangladesh

This book tried to investigate the potentials, trends and challenges of digital film in Bangladesh. The study has studied four digital films as cases to understand the digital film situation in Bangladesh. However, the theoretical notions by Walter Benjamin (1936) and Samira Makhmalbaf (2000) were instructive in guiding this study. According to their approach, new technological art medium always liberate and democratize art forms. Enthusiasts indicate that new filmmakers will embrace digital film as the preferred format and create a new cinema tradition in Bangladesh. Responding to that euphoria of technological liberty, this study has examined the potentials of digital cinema in Bangladesh, the trends of existing digital filmmaking practices and problems of digital cinema in Bangladesh. After in-depth analysis and discussion, this study suggests how to progress digital filmmaking practices in Bangladesh.

Lists of Content

1. Introduction
Film is Dead, Long Live Cinema
Analog versus Digital Technology
Defining Digital Cinema
Origin and Development of Digital Cinema
Digital Intermediate
Distribution and Exhibition
2. The Work of Art in the Age of
Digital Reproduction
Work of Art in the Digital Age

Friday, January 7, 2011

40 Years of Media Experiences in Bangladesh: A Critical Overview

As in other countries, journalism in Bangladesh, too, has experienced three phases. The first was initiated by the politicians, with the media being used as the voice of political parties or for serving political agendas though, for Bangladesh, it was serving the agendas of people also as the country was fighting for rights against West Pakistan central government in 1960s. With time, questions were raised against biased and political journalism and there was advocacy for objective and ethical journalism. Worldwide, behind the introduction of objective journalism, there was a contribution of journalism schools. Today is the age of corporate-owned journalism, a contemporary reality that is both global and local. There are differences in the objective and style of these three kinds of journalism.

Bangladesh as a nation turns 40 in 2011. In this article I will review the trends and developments of journalism in Bangladesh in the last four decades. I will also try to forecast here the trends of the news industry in the coming decade after which Bangladesh will be a 50-year-old nation.