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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

From IBM to MGM

Cinema at the Dawn of the Digital Age

ISBN 9781844573240
Publication Date February 2011
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher British Film Institute

Andrew Utterson's unique study charts the beginnings of digital cinema, addressing both how filmmakers used new digital technologies and how attitudes and anxieties about the rise of the computer were represented in films such as Lang's Desk Set, Godard's Alphaville, Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Crichton's Westworld.

ANDREW UTTERSON Senior Lecturer in Film and Digital Media at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. He is the editor of Technology and Culture: The Film Reader (2005) and co-editor of Film Theory: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies (2004).

Computers in the Workplace: IBM and the 'Electronic Brain' of Desk Set (1957)
From the Scrap-Heap to the Science Lab: The Pioneers of Computer Animation
Tarzan vs. IBM: Humans and Computers in Alphaville (1965)
Digital Harmony: The Art and Technology Movement
'I'm Sorry Dave, I'm Afraid I Can't Do That': Artificial Intelligence in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Expanded Consciousness, Expanded Cinema: A Techno-Utopian Counterculture
To See Ourselves as Androids See Us: The Pixel Perspectives of Westworld (1973)


...a stimulating and very engaging read.' - Illuminations
'Utterson adroitly draws out the tensions between 'technophobic' film portrayals of computers and an avant-garde of digital utopians engaged in computer-aided art (spare a thought for the sad fate of the 'lightpen'), who tempted directors to adopt their technology, as with Westworld's pixellated point-of-view shots. Quirky techno-anecdotes abound: the hacking of scavenged second-world-war ballistics computers; the origin of ASCII art; talk of a computer that makes a 'Freudian slip'; and even an evocative appeal to 'robotic ontology'. Is it time to watch The Matrix again yet?' - The Guardian
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