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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 29. Movies and Digital Videos


← 238 | 239 →

· 29 ·


“The cinema is an invention without a future.”

—Louis Lumière

Content and extension: The content of the movies is moving images, music, and the spoken word and hence extends the eyes and ears so that a shot of a scene made in Hollywood or on location is extended to one’s local movie theatre at a later time and from there into the eyes and ears of the viewer.

Cascade: The cascade is from the movie set to film or a digital medium to a projector or digital screen to the eyes and ears of the viewer.

LOM: Movies enhance entertainment, obsolesce live theatre and vaudeville, retrieve the spectacle, and reverse into television and an art form. ← 239 | 240 →

29.1  What Is a Movie? Digital Cinema and Internet-Based Videos

A movie may be defined generally as any set of moving images. Of course this definition would include television, but for the purposes of this chapter we will exclude television and, like McLuhan (1964), we will treat TV in Chapter 31. When McLuhan wrote about movies in Chapter 29 of Understanding Media he had in mind feature films and shorts shot on photographic film. Today in the digital age we can identify two distinct forms of movies, which, for convenience, we will call cinema and videos. Cinema includes the kind of products produced by the motion...

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