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Title: Lessons in looking : the digital audiovisual essay
Author: Baptista, Tiago
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 9251
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the contemporary practice of the digital audiovisual essay, which is defined as a material form of thinking at the crossroads of academic textual analysis, personal cinephilia, and popular online fandom practices, to suggest that it allows rich epistemological discoveries not only about individual films and viewing experiences, but also about how cinema is perceived in the context of digitally mediated audiovisual culture. Chapter one advances five key defining tensions of the digital audiovisual essay: its object is the investigation of specific films and cinephiliac experiences; it uses a performative research methodology based on the affordances of digital viewing and editing technologies; it exists primarily in Web 2.0 and takes advantage of its collaborative and dialogical modes of production; it is a “rich text object” that continuously tests the different contributions of both verbal and audiovisual forms of communication to the production of knowledge about the cinema; and finally, the digital audiovisual essay has an important pedagogical potential, not only for those who watch it, but especially for those who practice it. Chapter two presents the theoretical framework of the dissertation, challenges the ‘newness’ of the digital audiovisual essay, and suggests that any investigation of this cultural practice must address its ideological implications and its role in the context of contemporary audiovisual culture. Accordingly, it relates the editing and compositional techniques of the digital audiovisual essay with modernist montage and suggests that the audiovisual essay has not only inherited, but has also updated and enhanced the dialectical interdependency between critical and consumerism drives that shaped modernism’s ambiguous relation to mass culture. The final chapter examines four case studies (David Bordwell, Catherine Grant, ::kogonada, and Kevin B. Lee) that showcase the contradictory tensions of this cultural practice and broad our understanding of the politics of the digital audiovisual essay.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available