Aesthetic Of Astonishment Analysis

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In “Aesthetic of Astonishment” essay, Gunning argues how people first saw cinema, and how they are amazed with the moving picture for the first time, and were not only amazed by the technological aspect, but also the experience of how the introduction of movies have changed the way people perceive the reality in a completely different way. Gunning states that “The astonishment derives from a magical metamorphosis rather than a seamless reproduction of reality”(118). He uses the myth of how the sacred audience run out the theater in terror when they first saw the Lumiere Brother Arrival of the train. However, Gunning does not really care how hysterical their reaction is, even saying that he have doubts on what actually happened that day, as for him it the significance lied on the incidence--that is, the triggering of the audience’s reaction and its subsequence results, and not the actual reactions and their extent. It is this incident, due to the confusion of the audience’s cognition caused by new technology, that serves as a significant milestone in film history which triggered in the industry and the fascination with film, which to this day allows cinema to manipulate and…show more content…
S. Porter in 1920, and serves as a perfect illustration for Gunning’s examples on Aesthetic of astonishment. This movie retells what happened during that period of time, when movie is first introduced. The naive reactions of early audience are shown here when people were shown clips of movies with no narrative-- purely “cinema of attraction” where the film main function is to attract audience as an attraction without narrative. Uncle Josh is a representative of how the audience should not have reacted; his reactions to the clips are exaggerated, but clearly demonstrate how early cinema audiences reacted to films when they first watched them. The beginning of the film is showing uncle Josh watching Parisian Dance, a dancing
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