Francesco Casetti

Tuesday 05/29/2012, 6:00 pm

Francesco Casetti (Yale University)

What Do You Mean When You Say “Cinema”?

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Video: Francesco Casetti

Thanks to new devices, from DVD players to smart phones, cinema increasingly lives outside its traditional place, the film theatre. Does this new condition represent a break in the history of cinema? Is it driving us outside a tradition? In response to such questions, the lecture will retrace the idea of the “specificity” of cinema in early film theories, arguing that cinema has been defined both as an apparatus and as a form of experience. What survives now is the form of experience, even in the absence of the apparatus. This survival has a cost: in order to get a sense of continuity, we must consider the history of cinema as a field of experiences that will have come into effect only in the future – we must design a preposterous history.

Workshop with Francesco Casetti from 2-4 pm, IG Building, Room 7.312 (Film Studies Room). For registration and information contact us at

Francesco Casetti is Professor in the Film Studies and Humanities Programs at Yale University. His research on film and visual media addresses their stylistic forms, their relation to the cultural forms of modernity, and the question of spectatorship. Major publications include Inside the Gaze: The Fiction Film and Its Spectator (Indiana University Press, 1998), Theories of Cinema, 1945–1995 (University of Texas Press, 1999) and Eye of the Century: Film, Experience, and Modernity (Columbia University Press, 2008). He is the co-founder of the Permanent Seminar on the History of Film Theory (, an international network of scholars. In 2014, the Permanent Seminar is planning a conference in cooperation with the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University titled “Critical Film and Media Theory. Exploring the Frankfurt Legacy.“

Lecture in English language.

Casino, Room 1.801
Campus Westend, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main