Cinergie – Il Cinema e le altre Arti <strong>Cinergie – ISSN 2280-9481</strong> is an open-access, peer-reviewed, class-A journal. Its first on-line issue first appeared in 2012, but the journal has been published in hard copy since 1999. Cinergie is a wide-ranging film journal, that aims to publish original articles about national and international cinema, building a bridge to related fields. en-US <p>The copyrights of all the texts on this journal belong to the respective authors without restrictions.</p><div><a href="" rel="license"><img src="" alt="Creative Commons License" /></a></div><p>This journal is licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a> (<a href="">full legal code</a>). <br /> See also our <a href="/about/editorialPolicies#openAccessPolicy">Open Access Policy</a>.</p> (Sara Martin) (OJS Support) Wed, 04 Aug 2021 14:40:24 +0200 OJS 60 VR Storytelling: Potentials and Limitations of Virtual Reality Narratives Simone Arcagni, Adriano D'Aloia Copyright (c) 2021 Simone Arcagni, Adriano D'Aloia Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Tracing Embodied Narrative in VR Experiences <p>In this article, I will consider the specificity of narrative in VR from the perspective of its embodied, spatial, and participatory nature. For this purpose, I will look at storytelling in VR from a neurofilmological perspective that accounts for both the cognitive and phenomenological and conceptualizes the viewer as an organism, applying an integrative view. I will probe several ideas from cognitive sciences and phenomenological cinema and media studies in order to support the above understanding of narrative in VR. I will apply these theories and ideas to specific VR case studies: <em>Book of Distance</em> (Randall Okita, 2019), <em>Heterotopias</em> (Noa Kaplan and Szilvia Ruszev, 2018), and <em>Carne y Arena</em> (Alejandro Iñárritu, 2017). Finally, this article will discuss the terms “ambient storytelling” (Stein and Fisher 2013), “somatic montage” (Waite 2016), and “embodied narrative” (a term used in cognitive sciences) and their relevance concerning narrative in VR.</p> Szilvia Ruszev Copyright (c) 2021 Szilvia Ruszev Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Between Persuasion and Dissuasion: Narratological Meta-operativity in Augmented Experience Design <p>The idea I will try to argue in this article is that a supposed “embodied media phobia” can more rightly be conceived of as an ideological catalyst of dysphoric beliefs about contemporary computational media rather than as entailing a factual risk for the future to be brought about by virtual and augmented reality. In this regard, the proliferation of sci-fi and of dystopian narratives within the contemporary film scene – prototypically represented by the TV series Black Mirror – conditions and even promotes the development of self-reflective thinking regarding the “dystopia in our daily lives” (Attimonelli and Susca 2020). Such ideology will be demystified in a further way too, by proposing a reflection around the concept of meta-operativity: according to the aesthetic theory advanced by Emilio Garroni (1977) and Pietro Montani (2014, 2018), if the interaction with embodied media can be conceived of as a process able to drive the development of meta-operative competence, then the symbolic value of dystopian stories can be understood as a strategy to foster meta-textual reading and a self-reflective interpretation of one’s own experience.</p> Federico Biggio Copyright (c) 2021 Federico Biggio Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 VR Stories of Travel and Exile: Forensic Storytelling and the Politics of Dynamic Framing <p>In this article, I analyse recent VR works that emphasize fictional or documentary stories of travel and exile, and thereby consider an active engagement with the environment crucial to the construction of narratives. In so doing, I re-examine and bring into dialogue three existing strands in film theory from the perspective of VR: an aesthetics of discovery (Andrew, 2007), the idea of liberal and embodied perception (Bazin 1953, Sobchack 2004) and an implied connection between film spectatorship and forensics (Benjamin 1931 &amp; 1939). I then propose forensics as a narrative model for VR storytelling, and thereby emphasize broader epistemological and ideological implications of the discovering spectator. As in forensic research, a VR environment offers the spectator scenes in which each detail is potentially relevant to the story: meaning is then achieved through the discovery of relevant pieces information.</p> Blandine Joret Copyright (c) 2021 Blandine Joret Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 The Problems and Potentials of VR for Documentary Storytelling <p>A primary goal of many VR documentaries is to foster empathy with others. Unfortunately, some of the very qualities that make viewers’ experiences in the new medium unique and compelling, including the freedom to look around, also compromise its effectiveness as a means of genuinely understanding the experiences of others. This essay explores the question of whether the VR medium may have other compensatory advantages for documentary storytelling. It does this by considering social and psychological differences between third-person storytelling, which includes popular movies, first-person storytelling, as in many video games, and second-person storytelling, which is a common feature of documentaries. A key conclusion is that, even though VR is never likely to be a particularly effective instrument for creating empathy with others, through special forms of second-person storytelling, it does have some unique and effective means of engendering caring for others.</p> Dirk Eitzen Copyright (c) 2021 Dirk Eitzen Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Obsolescence, Forgotten: “Survivor Holograms”, Virtual Reality, and the Future of Holocaust Commemoration <p>“Survivor holograms” and a VR rendition of the Majdanek concentration camp are two recent examples of the urgent effort to preserve the experience of Holocaust survivors in the “post-witness era.” These innovations, however, deny the tension between the premise of immortality associated with immersive technologies and their inherent planned obsolescence. By closely studying the USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony, this essay explores how 3D digital projections and room-scale VR construct new regimes of mediation and immersion. This is achieved by developing an understanding of obsolescence as physical (the fragile body of the survivor), technological (non-compatible hardware, software, and algorithms), and narratological (turning testimonies into fragmented soundbites). Taken together, these categories demonstrate that technological solutionism cannot prevent embodied testimonies from sinking into oblivion, and force us to ask what form of memorialization might resist entropy.</p> Neta Alexander Copyright (c) 2021 Neta Alexander Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Exploring Stories, Reading Environments: Flow, Immersion, and Presence as Processes of Becoming <p>The article aims to deal with flow, immersion, and presence and their relation with storytelling and the exploration of space. In sections 2 and 3, we introduce the three concepts both from a psychological and from a neurocognitive approach. In section 4, we analyse a particular video game genre, the “walking simulator,” which focuses on immersion in a narrative and a space rather than in the mechanics of the game and which generates a profound user experience. In paragraph 5, we examine virtual reality artworks based on both storytelling and presence within a space, discussing their immersive nature. We hypothesise that the very concept of experience can be adopted as a key term to describe media engagement, since immersion is an essential requirement for an experience to take place. Finally, in section 6 we introduce and discuss the transformative character of experience, which is the mutual and co-constitutive cognitive becoming triggered by audiovisual media engagements.</p> Elisabetta Modena, Francesco Parisi Copyright (c) 2021 Francesco Parisi, Elisabetta Modena Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Directorial Style for Interactive Storytelling and the Fallacy of Ownership: The Case of <em>Resident Evil 7</em> <p>This article discusses some of the issues affecting storytelling in an immersive and interactive medium such as Virtual Reality. Interactive works which reconfigure their images as three-dimensional environments bearing affordances seems able to convey a proper sense of “spatial presence” – that is, the perceptive and cognitive illusion of being physically immersed in a digital environment, rather than in the material one which actually surrounds the body. However, I will show that VR technology is doomed to produce “breaks in presence”: moments which rise awareness of the mediated nature of the experience, shattering the illusion of presence, and which represent undesirable side-effects for the aesthetics of immersion generally promoted by VR works. In order to do so, I will use the VR game <em>Resident Evil 7</em> as a case study. First, I will analyse the sophisticated formal solutions employed by the game to create a terrifying illusion of presence, highlighting their connection with cinematic strategies common to the horror genre; then, I will focus on sections of the interactive experience which nonetheless devaluate the effects of these stylistic gears by bringing consciousness about the impalpable and disembodied nature of the virtual body during the (simulated) physical interaction with the environment.</p> Nicolas Bilchi Copyright (c) 2021 Nicolas Bilchi Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Stage Magic as a Performative Design Principle for VR Storytelling <p>This article examines The VOID’s <em>Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire</em> (2017) VR arcade attraction, and analyzes the intermedial magic principles employed by co-founder and magician Curtis Hickman to create the illusion of a fictive world with impossible space and liveness. I argue that The VOID (Vision of Infinite Dimensions) functioned like nineteenth century magic theaters run by Georges Méliès and others, by employing magic principles of misdirection that directed player attention towards the aesthetics of an illusion, and away from the mechanics of the effects generating technology. Narrative framing and performative role play transported multiple players into a believable Star Wars immersive experience, creating an aesthetics of the impossible that reflected the goal of many stage magic tricks, and was foundational to trick films in the cinema of attractions of the early twentieth century. Using game studies concepts like Huizinga’s magic circle and theatre arts concepts like Craig’s über-marionette, this article suggests that The VOID and other stage magic approaches to VR, like Derren Brown’s <em>Ghost Train</em> (2017), are a new medium for participatory theatre that incorporate immersive features from both cinema and games.</p> Christopher Maraffi Copyright (c) 2021 Christopher Maraffi Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Traversing the Boundary of the Screen: Contextualizing the Influence of Cinema and Virtual Reality in Artificial Environments <p>Within the last decade, the entertainment industry has witnessed an exponential growth in the production of immersive theme park lands based on popular movie franchises. The diegetic worlds that these environments produce not only endeavor to immerse guests into their favorite films but also to actively involve the spectator and position them as if they are the frame of a camera exploring and creating their own stories within the multi-acre diegesis. These groundbreaking and innovative forms of immersive storytelling have received little attention from scholars in film and media theory and necessitate a thorough contextualization in terms of post-cinematic storytelling. Notably, the hybridity and interdisciplinary nature of the aesthetics and technologies espoused and repurposed for constructing these areas and their respective rides parallel that of conventional filmmaking and post-cinematic media. This paper examines <em>Pandora—The World of Avatar</em> and <em>Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge</em> — two of the most popular immersive lands located at Disney World in Orlando, Florida — in terms of the cinematic aesthetics and technologies that are employed to guide a spectator while allowing them to experience their own subjective story. Notably, unlike many previous theme park attractions and themed “lands,” these immersive environments are rooted in an underlying conceptual narrative. These forms of “real-time storytelling” parallel the concurrent advent of VR experiences as a means of personal post-cinematic storytelling. However, this paper considers these immersive environments to be a form of a physical, tactile alternative reality—a virtual reality that is multi-sensorial and requires no headset.</p> Joseph Fischer Copyright (c) 2021 Joseph Fischer Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Contemporary Art and Virtual Reality: New Conditions of Viewership <p>The article aims to respond to the lack of studies on the relationships between contemporary visual arts and VR, focusing on the role of “storytelling” and identifying what distinguishes VR art projects from other contemporary VR uses, namely their criticism of the VR medium itself. VR has developed a new language in the last five years, based on specific visual grammar and allowing new narration forms. Visual artists have been attracted to VR in search of new modes of production and expose the negative impact of technology in our perception of reality, or else the new mediated ways of seeing and distanced interaction with the world around us. The first part is dedicated to the discussion of Canadian artist Jon Rafman’s&nbsp;<em>View of Pariser Platz</em>&nbsp;(2016) and American artist Jordan Wolfson’s&nbsp;<em>Real Violence</em>&nbsp;(2017), two of the first Oculus Rift-based art installations to develop a metalinguistic commentary on how VR, although promising immersion, produces, in fact, alienation, homogenization, brutalization and the loss of empathy. The article continues with a discussion on the recent rise of tech companies aimed at the production of contemporary artworks based on VR technology: Acute Art (London), Khora Contemporary (Copenhagen), and VIVE Arts (Taiwan). This is a new expanding field that is changing the ontology of artmaking and redefining the artist's role, mainly in light of the cooperation with technicians and programmers.</p> Francesco Maria Spampinato, Valentino Catricalà Copyright (c) 2021 Francesco Maria Spampinato, Valentino Catricalà Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 A Journey into Artworks: Storytelling in Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality <p>The paper aims to show Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) artworks are increasingly taking the form of walking tours across the city. These installations in urban space transform the viewer into an experiencer. Indeed such artworks consist in perceptual environments, which give new menanings to known places thanks to virtual objects. They can elicit a strong sense of presence into the visitor, who is free to build different paths related to the artwork both in time and space, using her own mobile devices. AR an MR artworks use immersive, multimedia, and interactive storytelling, which modifies everyday context affordances. The actual environment results from the intertwining of the physical and the digital. Artists like Keiichi Matsuda, in <em>HYPER-REALITY</em> (2016), and Magali Barbé, in <em>Strange Beasts</em> (2017), have imagined the most dystopian and alarming aspects that could emerge from new virtual technologies. However, AR and MR artworks reveal potentialities impossible to obtain through any other medium. The article will discuss some relevant examples such as the <em>[AR]T</em> project (2019), organized by the New Museum of New York and Apple, <em>Actual Reality</em> (2019) by Hito Steyerl and <em>MNEMOSCOPIO</em> (2020), by Emilio Vavarella.</p> Sofia Pirandello Copyright (c) 2021 Sofia Pirandello Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Dreamlike Environments: “Story-living” in Virtual Reality Installations <p>This article examines the narrative identity of a new emerging medium, the virtual reality installation. In order to do so, the representation of dream states often presented in virtual art will be considered as a metareflexive model to be analysed in order to comprehend the distinctive characteristics of this experience. From this point of view, the study distinguishes virtual from physical art installations, the experience of which has been compared by Claire Bishop to the process of de-codification of dreams, focusing on the concept of incorporation. Accordingly, this incorporated experience of immersive images will be considered in relation to contemporary dream theory, formulated in the fields of neuroscience and philosophy of mind. At the same time, a second focus will be devoted to the use of the dream metaphor in new media art dealing with media archaeology and in particular in the interactive artwork <em>Beyond</em> (1997). In conclusion, the analysis of two contemporary virtual reality installations metariflexively dealing with dream experience, <em>Somnai</em> (2018) and <em>The Key</em> (2019) will lead to the individuation of a common experiential model: storyliving instead of storytelling.</p> Giancarlo Grossi Copyright (c) 2021 Giancarlo Grossi Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Turn Your Head and Listen: 360° Audio Between Old Utopias and Market Strategies <p>Many scientific publications directly concern VR, often conceived as a battlefield for rethinking our relationship with the moving image, and our frameworks on topics such as the cinematographic language or the spectator perception. And yet, although for some time film studies have re-evaluated the role of sound in cinematic production and spectatorship, in the field of VR the theoretical reflection on concepts such as stereoscopic audio and binaural recording has remained confined to the technological-engineering aspect. This essay aims to explore the most common audio techniques and their real impact in terms of consumption and affordances, on the basis of some software studies and sound studies reflections and within a media-archaeological perspective. The results of these innovations go beyond the technological features, suggesting a further rethinking of the cinematographic form and calling into question, even from an audio-only perspective, the issue of audience perception and interaction. The case studies taken into account might be an impulse, heuristically, for new studies on these topics.</p> Raffaele Pavoni Copyright (c) 2021 Raffaele Pavoni Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Where are we now? Simone Arcagni (a cura di), <em>Immersi nel futuro. La Realtà virtuale nuova frontiera del cinema e della tv</em>, Palermo University Press, Palermo 2020 Alberto Brodesco Copyright (c) 2021 Alberto Brodesco Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 L’esperienza musicale: dislocazioni e prospettive. Alessandro Cecchi (a cura di), <em>La musica fra testo, performance e media. Forme e concetti dell’esperienza musicale</em>, Neoclassica, Roma 2019 Doriana Legge Copyright (c) 2021 Doriana Legge Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Frontiere riscoperte. Leonardo Quaresima (a cura di), <em>Identità, confine. Geografie, modelli, rappresentazioni</em>, Mimesis, Milano-Udine 2021 Sara Martin Copyright (c) 2021 Sara Martin Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 C’era una volta il piccolo schermo. Luca Barra e Fabio Guarnaccia (a cura di), <em>SuperTele. Come guardare la televisione</em>, Minimum Fax, Roma 2021 Mario Tirino Copyright (c) 2021 Mario Tirino Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Le eterne ragazze di cinema e televisione. Paola De Rosa, Elisa Mandelli, Valentina Re (a cura di), <em>Aging Girls. Identità femminile, sessualità e invecchiamento nella cultura mediale italiana</em>, Meltemi, Milano 2021 Sofia Torre Copyright (c) 2021 Sofia Torre Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 In attesa. Due documentari del Trento Film Festival 2021 Alberto Brodesco Copyright (c) 2021 Alberto Brodesco Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 <em>Living Dead Frogs</em> & <em>Acrobatic Flies</em>: Survivances from the Past in the First Scientific Films <p><strong> </strong></p> <p>Crossing centuries <em>Lives in a drop of water, Anguillulae Aceti and Fresh-water Hydras</em>; living dead frogs, ten feet tall fleas and well-trained flies; bow-tied chemists, barker-like scientists and Scientia… a whole popular science series that borrows the name from a luna park stand. In aiming at the objective visualization of a pure phenomenon, scientific film is supposed to be free from any history, any tradition, any (linguistic) heritage, any intertextuality. It is surprising to find out that it is not always true. By the “instructive amusement” imperative which first popular science series borrowed from Positivism, it seems then to get the grips with some survivances of dusty fairground stands, of maravigliosi optical games, of evolving cabinets de physique. Can scientific film show how cinema has remediated its ancestors? Can it teach us something about the unsuspected love of the 1920s avant-garde for the past, about their “dialectical” tension?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Maria Ida Bernabei Copyright (c) 2021 Maria Ida Bernabei Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 The Legal Protection of Contemporary National Film Markets and the Role of Television in the Development of Film Productions in Italy and Brazil <p>This article provides a general overview of two cinematographic markets, Italian and Brazilian, and discusses how in both cases a a legal protection system has been established for their regional audiovisual network. The local broadcasters are obliged to finance local productions or even buy local contents and insert them properly in their transmissions. A protective system has defended regional media, by means of law local producers, and thus increased the number of films available for audience, expanding their media structure while maintaining a quality in their content. This would not be possible without the support of television networks and streaming services. Between a combative stance and a profile based on lamentation there are many possibilities to be chosen by artists and producers that can be a prolific path for both whether for experimental and <em>avantgarde</em> filmmakers or for those truly focused on commercial pieces. The development of the laws regarding cultural production especially cinema and TV can put them in a complementary self-fostering field.</p> Rodrigo Inacio Freitas Copyright (c) 2021 Rodrigo Inacio Freitas Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Edgar Reitz and Carlo Ginzburg between History and Morphology: Reconstructing the Duplicity of a Transcultural Origin <p>Through a comparison with Ginzburg’s historical inquiry and an analysis of a number of significant scenes from <em>Die andere Heimat</em> (2013), this paper aims to investigate the fundamental problem that the director Edgar Reitz constantly faces in the hard and endless attempt to represent the <em>Heimat</em>. By an analysis of the editing in Reitz’s trilogy, the essay will show that the core of the problem is the conflictual and paradoxical relationship between a historic-chronological conception of the original form, repeating itself in cross-cultural variations in space and time, and an innate and archetypical imagination of it. It is argued that both authors, conscious of the limits of the knowledge of the past, are prone to entertaining the paradoxical hypothesis, borrowed from Goethe’s morphological approach, according to which the origin of some formal affinities found in the comparative work of data editing, made in their investigation with the aim to reconstruct the temporal sequence of a historical tradition, could present a non-chronological and archetypical part. The first part of the essay will also include a preliminary examination of the hypothesis of an influence of Goethean morphology on Reitz’s work.</p> Guido Ginestra Copyright (c) 2021 Guido Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 North and Kubrick between Ligeti and Vaughan Williams for the <em>2001</em> Soundtrack <p>The story of the missed collaboration between Alex North and Stanley Kubrick for the soundtrack of the film <em>2001: A Space Odyssey</em> (1968) is faced, in the light of the recently recorded North score for the film. The score highlights not only the too close analogies of North’s various music cues with the temporary tracks chosen by Kubrick but also their original position in the film; film that has suffered until the last many changes. In this research, an aspect that has not been investigated so far has emerged- that of the relationship between North’s music and that of Vaughan Williams, author of the soundtrack for Charles Frend’s film <em>Scott of Antartic</em> (1948). This film curiously has some similarities with Kubrick’s masterpiece, montage of photographic images with special effects, prevalence in the mixing of ‘natural’ noises over music. Furthermore, the analysis of the soundtrack, made from the composer’s point of view, does not want to question the integrity of the filmic text, but, in the light of more recent studies (Platte, 2018), open a plural perspective.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Paolo Pinamonti Copyright (c) 2021 Paolo Pinamonti Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Screenwriters and <em>Multiple Authorship</em>: Preliminary Reflections Across Political Sociology and Film Criticism <p>According to Crozier and Friedberg, organizations are not rational structures but arenas in which every actor is engaged in a struggle of power with other actors. The article adopts their approach in order to understand one of the most important features of film production, the relationship among directors and screenwriters. Most film critics and viewers tend to discuss films as if they are products of a single author (usually the director). The article challenges this view. It adopts a “multiple authorship” perspective and uses examples from the history of cinema to show how screenwriters have left their personal sign on films. In order to build a convincing theory of “multiple authorship”, it is necessary to understand the relations of collaboration and conflict among the numerous actors involved in making a film. Therefore, the article focuses on the relationship between directors and screenwriters and outlines a typology that identifies five different ideal types of relationship between these two crucial roles. The article aims to provide a first conceptualization for a sociological study about the activity of screenwriters and about their contribution to the making of a film.</p> <p> </p> Rinaldo Vignati Copyright (c) 2021 Rinaldo Vignati Wed, 04 Aug 2021 00:00:00 +0200