From plasma screens to smartphones, today moving images are everywhere. How have films adapted to this new environment? And how has the experience of the spectator changed because of this proliferation? In Broad Daylight investigates one of the decisive shifts in the history of Western aesthetics, exploring the metamorphosis of films in the age of individual media, when the public is increasingly free but also increasingly resistant to the emotive force of the pictures flashing around us. Moving deftly from philosophy of mind to film theory, from architectural practice to ethics, from Leon Battista Alberti to Orson Welles, Gabriele Pedullà examines the revolution that is reshaping the entire system of the arts and creativity in all its manifestations.
Although occasionally dense, Italian literature professor Pedull makes his vision of the future of movies in the digital age both interesting and accessible. As with so much else, technological innovations have had unintended consequences in this realm, as making films readily available on the small screen affects, inter alia, the experience of viewing them (movies shown on TVs literally run at a higher frames-per-second rate than they do on the big screen). What was once a communal experience in a darkened theater that shut out the outside world is now often a solitary one undertaken while multitasking at home. To be sure, Pedull believes the demise of movie theaters is "neither imminent nor even probable," but he does note that "very art continuously creates and recreates its past," and when it comes to film, the inevitable availability of a movie on a smaller screen impacts how movies are created "If classical cinema was a cinema of bodies, the New Hollywood cinema is one of faces," leaving only "mouths, eyes, and eyebrows" to communicate emotions to the audience. Insights abound, and the author s facility with so many different disciplines from ancient Greek philosophy to 20th century semiotics will ensure that casual filmgoers and academics alike find something salient to ponder in Pedull s treatise.