Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I understood the aura to be the presence of time and space in which the film took place, when it was actually seen through the lens. The aura is what makes film unique because it captures the not only the visual appearance, but the moods caused by hardships during a moment in history. A film's aura is much different than that of a painting because, unlike a film which can be mass produced, a painting cannot be reproduced and therefore has one authentic concrete object that is the painting itself.

I think it is both good and bad that the aura in films are withering away. I think its bad because current history and our modern way of life is not properly documented to represent our generation. A lot of films are highly manipulated with fake props to simulate some other time period losing the aura of present time. At the same time, I believe the withering away is good because it seems to leave more room for creativity and manipulating environments and scenarios to get across ideas. The withering of the aura could be a metaphor for the dependency on roles and the machine in our day and age.

With Emak Bakia, Man Ray seems to try to lose the aura by using many locations and generalized scenery to take away the authenticity of the actual time and space during the filming. He is also minimizing the aura by reinforcing the idea of mechanical reproduction through the objects he films, many being objects that are mass produced, or the machines that make the objects. He is also embracing the mechanical aspects of the camera such as slow motion and sped up shots, and stop motion to make everyday objects move. He is playing with the fact that the camera is a mechanical device and should be treated as such instead trying to make it seem like the viewers perspective. Man Ray also uses repetition of many manipulated shots to further emphasize mechanical reproduction.

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