Low Resolution Cinema

“Julien Marie’s Low Resolution Cinema (2005)31 is an abstract vision of the geopolitical space of the city of Berlin. Through a series of expedients, among which is the drastic lowering of the resolution, Marie aims at decompressing the image in a 3-D space. A special projector realized by two semi-broken black-and-white Liquid Crystal Displays is used to show only the upper or the lower part of the image, which is constantly moving closer and further from the projector lamp, which itself also moves back and forth. The resulting image is so damaged that it evokes the scrolling matrix code seen in The Matrix, or the tight characters produced on the scroll of a dot matrix printer. In Low Resolution Cinema the perfection of the image becomes a shaded memory, but the magic of cinema, that illusion produced by moving images, remains absolutely intact.”
Web Aesthetics, p. 163.



An emblematic example in cinema

“Brian de Palma’s Redacted (2007) explores the ‘truth not truth’ of video and cinematic images. The film’s long opening scene is paradigmatic: the classic cinematic move of a smooth ‘coming down’ from the sky is overlapped by the classic handycam image of the date of the shooting. Following this is a title in a semi-professional graphic, while the colloquial voice-over of a soldier (who is also the film’s protagonist) states that he is the author of the recording itself; after which a highly amateurish tracking shot ends with the protagonists looking collectively into the camera, and finally with a freeze-frame. As a whole, De Palma’s film feels like a mix of reality and fiction: Hollywood DV footage, YouTube clips, wannabe documentaries and parodies of independent cinema. Here, the director of Scarface has captured a phenomenon that has radically changed the aesthetic perception of the cinema viewer, alternating and superimposing classic cinema aesthetics with the booming DIY digital aesthetic. In addition, the film’s subject is the war in Iraq, and this aesthetic seems equal to a situation in which ‘embedded’ journalists give the public the ‘truth’ in ostensibly unofficial shots attained by ‘brave’ reporters risking their lives. Low-resolution images of the Iraq war are usually considered true, especially those taken by mobile phone cameras or otherwise tiny hidden cameras.”
Web Aesthetics, p. 162-163.



Aesthetic choices in cinema

“We could continue to find a justification for each time a director has decided not to shoot on film, yet it is obvious that these are aesthetic choices that have nothing to do with the finances available to the production.”
Web Aesthetics, p. 162.

The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myric and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)


Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004)


Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008)


Probably Love (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2001)