Critical Writing Index

Artifice and Old Lace: The Green Screen is Film's New Tabula Rasa

by Michael Atkinson

Modern Painters, July 2007, pp. 40-42

Film Critic Michael Atkinson examines the current world of digital cinema, one in which the actors are real, but the world around them is not. Citing examples of Sin City, 300, and Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, Atkinson identifies the duality of these films, in that they both attempt to create a reality while embracing the merits of their technical achievement. The films exist in a sort of exagerrated nostalgia for the mechanics of old fashioned cinema, both in terms of cliche'd characterization and being aware of the artifice of the finished product. Atkinson argues there cannot be much longevity in this genre, and thus the real merits of artificial cinema can be seen in independant and exprerimental work such as David Lee Fisher's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, where the construction of this reality is acknowledged and examined, rather than made into a spectacle in and of itself.

ITEM 2007.086 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

300Zack Snyder

Sin CityRobert Rodriguez

Sky Captain and The World of TomorrowKerry Conran

Able EdwardsGraham Robertson

The Cabinent of Dr. CaligariDavid Lee Fisher