Dreams Rise in Darkness: The White Magic of Cinema

David B. Clarke

Abstract


This paper considers Baudrillard’s thought in relation to cinema. It begins with a discussion of the way in which Baudrillard’s work typically invokes film and of the consequent paucity of Baudrillardian studies of cinema, making reference to the literature on Blade Runner and The Matrix. It proceeds to excavate a fuller account of Baudrillard’s conception of cinema, drawing, initially, on Baudrillard’s use of the 1926 German silent film, The Student of Prague, in his conclusion to The Consumer Society. At first blush, this leads to a somewhat dismissive assessment of film qua simulation. Having reached the point where the importance of seduction to Baudrillard’s conception of cinema makes itself evident, however, the paper continues to evoke the other side of Baudrillard’s thought, where additional reference to his remarks on photography allows greater purchase on his understanding of cinema.

Keywords


Baudrillard; The Student of Prague; Cinema

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