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War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (Radical Thinkers 4) [Paperback]

Paul Virilio
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 Jun 2009 Radical Thinkers
A rich and suggestive analysis of military ways of seeing, revealing the convergence of perception and destruction in the parallel technologies of warfare and cinema.

Frequently Bought Together

War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (Radical Thinkers 4) + The Information Bomb (Radical Thinkers) + Open Sky (Radical Thinkers)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (15 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844673464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844673469
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

One of the most original thinkers of our time. --Liberation

About the Author

Paul Virilio studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and trained as an artist in stained glass. In 1975, he was made director of the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris. His many books include The Information Bomb and Open Sky, both from Verso.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cinema and the military imperative 8 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
This book is about the interrelated technological developments of war and cinema, how they have been driven by the military imperative of needing to represent the battlefield in order to make operational decisions.

The battlefield is a field of perception for the general and weapons are tools of perception. Nothing now distinguishes the function of the weapon and the function of the eye: observation and destruction develop at the same pace. The soldier's 'obscene gaze' patterns the chaos of vision in particular ways, orders everything. Yet this is done at a distance so that more often than not the enemy is invisible and all that is seen is the image; so there's a 'disintegration of the warrior's personality' - the pilot's experience is of being cocooned in the cockpit surrounded by displays. Nothing is real; battle is indistinguishable from training.

Virilio charts the osmosis between industrialised warfare and photography/cinema. The need to see a distant enemy spurred the research and development. He provides many interesting examples of common cinematographic techniques and how, in the early years, several directors and cameramen also worked in the military sphere. There was a need to record and film war and this process has been unstoppable, from aerial balloon photography to satellites. It is also a matter of a wider cultural spillover, however, for he refers to the picture palaces of the 1930s as cinema-cathedrals of the military state and to dictators as film directors. Above all, these changes over the past century have also changed the way we perceive the world, foreshortened and pre-ordered everything.

A fascinating book which makes one think. Full of little gems of information and observation.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a short parallel history of war and cinema 11 Oct 1997
By rotbard@netvision.net.il - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
War and Cinema, violence and spectacle. Hitler watching "Gone with the Wind" with Lenni Reifenstahl and Albert Speer. A brilliant study full of intuition on the development of war technologies in 20th century and the way they were influencing and influenced by vision and perception technologies.
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