Here are my questions for tomorrow's class:
Scott Bukatman writes that virtual reality fulfills the drive toward Bazin's 'myth of total cinema,' while Lev Manovich writes of the advent of the (postmodern) 'macrocinema' as the harbinger of new cinema. If digital cinema is indeed moving toward Bukatman's and/or Manovich's conceptualization(s) of cinema, what will come after? If the desire for 'total cinema' is reached, which of our cinematic desires will be left unfulfilled, if any?
Perhaps these questions lead me to another consideration: what desires does cinema fulfill in the first place? What are the constraints of cinema? Virtual reality functions under the assumption that all our sensory information can be supplanted with artifice, that it is capable for the subject to function in a completely virtual world. If we reach that point, what is next? Virtual reality can only asymptotically approach true reality, so perhaps the future of cinema will eventually attempt to approach that reality, but never meet it.
If that is true, the future of cinema seems rather depressing.