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Stephen Prince

Digital visual effects bridge art and science in ways that have expanded the expressive tools available to filmmakers. Digital imaging also has enlarged a domain for realism in cinema based on indexical and perceptual factors. Examining these factors, the article questions the visual skepticism that often surrounds discussion of visual effects in film studies. A conjunction of art and science has characterized cinema throughout its history, especially in the era of “philosophical toys” from which the medium originated. The article examines that era in light of what it suggests about digital imaging today and the aesthetic forms that it enables.

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Synthetic Beings and Synthespian Ethics

Embodiment Technologies in Science/Fiction

Jane Stadler

The screen is the material and imaginative interface where biology meets technology. It is the nexus between science and fiction, where technological and ethical concerns surrounding synthespians, representations of replicants, and manifestations of synthetic biology come into play. This analysis of digital imaging and cinematic imagining of virtual actors and synthetic humans in films such as Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017) examines the ethical implications of digital embodiment technologies and cybernetics. I argue that it is necessary to bring together science and the arts to advance understandings of embodiment and technology. In doing so, I explore commonalities between ethical concerns about technobiological bodies in cultural and scientific discourse and developments such as the creation of virtual humans and “deepfake” digital doubles in screen media.

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Charlie Michael

For those of us accustomed to thinking of French cinema as a low-budget, philosophical alternative to Hollywood, the past few years might have been a bit disorienting. Established auteurs (Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Agnès Varda) and challenging newcomers (Gaspard Noé, Catherine Breillat, Erick Zonca) continue to impress, but their idiosyncratic views are now complemented by an increasing number of what look a lot like, well, French “blockbusters.” These are popular genre films that feature special effects and glossy production values.

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Laura T. Di Summa-Knoop

. Color-grading, sound-editing, special effects, and other production tools are impressive even in amateur productions (as the number of series on platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube shows). In part, filmmakers have been able to reach such mastery thanks

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Jason Dean and Geoffrey Raynor

take advantage of this fact intuitively through numerous techniques, including the creative use of casting, costumes, music, scenery, and visual special effects. These techniques present the audiovisual perceptions of film in a specific way to amplify

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Margrethe Bruun Vaage and Gabriella Blasi

defining feature of narrative complexity. Operational aesthetic is a self-conscious mode of storytelling, and this reflexivity makes the viewer pay attention to the story’s formal features. As we watch, so-called narrative special effects will make us ask

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Todd Berliner

our analysis before we cross one. Much of a Hollywood budget finances the decorative value (sometimes referred to as “production value”) of a movie (beautiful locations, glamourous mansions, special effects, fight choreography, elaborate sets, bravura

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“For Girls to Feel Safe”

Community Engineering for Sexual Assault Prevention

Day Greenberg and Angela Calabrese Barton

needs and style desires). They then presented their idea for a stylish anti-rape jacket, a jacket that appeared normal but concealed an integrated circuit to trigger a loud alarm, in a video they made as talking heads in front of a special effects

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Curation as Public Scholarship

Museum Archaeology in a Seventeenth-Century Shipwreck Exhibit

Sarah A. Buchanan

video clips, 10 historical facts and trivia, 11 trailers for the museum’s 4-D special effects film Shipwrecked , 12 and updates from conservators as they synthesized their analysis and conversations with visitors. 13 The production of Shipwrecked

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Qihao Ji and Arthur A. Raney

Death of a President uses archival footage and special effects to depict a fantasized investigation into the assassination of former president George W. Bush. End of Watch tells the day-to-day story of two honest police officers in Los Angeles. Both