Library Lunchtime “Cinephilia”


October 14 was the opening of the lunchtime lecture series, which started with Asst. Prof. Ahmet Gürata acting chair of the Department of Communication and Design. The topic was definitely an interesting one, Cinephilia. Cinephilia refers to being having a passionate interest in cinema, in both its theory and criticism. The lecture was focused on the idea of cinema and its great transformation to what exactly it is today; 40 years ago cinema had a different meaning than it has today. According to Dr. Gürata, film watching behavior has changed a lot since 1945. Dr. Gürata has kept the audience thinking about such questions - is cinema disappearing? Or changing? Why is there a loss of audience in the cinema industry? What is cinema? These questions are difficult to answer since every individual will have a different perspective. He argued that in Europe and Turkey, the audience, has decreased over the past decades because of the improvement and advancement of technology, where people prefer to watch DVDs at home or on personal computers, since this helps them control when and where they can watch a movie.

Dr. Gürata has also mentioned that the "digital revolution" has had a great impact on the concept of cinema. Even before the digital revolution, technologies such as VCR, cable television, and remote control had an impact on cinema. However, can a film still be a film if it relies on digital technology? Has the definition of film changed over the decades? With digital technology film has lost its "indexical" nature, and therefore has become almost identical to "animation."

The lecture was followed by questions that the audience had a chance to ask Dr. Gürata, which led to a short debate. It can be agreed, however, that the experience of watching a movie has definitely changed, and watching a movie in the theaters is a different experience than it used to be. Three dimensional (3D) films have changed a viewer's experience; technology has changed a viewer's experience as well. Today, due to the great technology we have around us, someone can even watch a movie on their iPod with a tiny screen. One audience-member asked whether watching a film on a small screen really makes the viewer a new author because the vision of the director has changed so much from the original. Dr. Gürata agreed that questions of authorship of films have always been a part of film theory and that new technology makes the artform more flexible and accessible.

The next Library Lunchtime Lecture will be titled “Is Accession to the EU Necessary for Turkey?” by Prof. Sübidey Togan from the Department of Economics, on Wednesday, November 10, 12:30 p.m.