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Technologies of Critique$
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Willy Thayer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286744

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286744.001.0001

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Critique and Mass

Critique and Mass

21 Critique and Mass
Technologies of Critique

Willy Thayer

, John Kraniauskas
Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on Walter Benjamin who, in 1923, wrote that a critique's day is long past. It also reviews Benjamin's writing about film in 1936 where he notes that film puts the public in the position of the critic, implying that critique has become more present than ever as a mass phenomenon. Such critique, that of a theatrical mode of production, is incompossible with the industrial-cinematographic mode of production in which the dialectic of places, perspective, the pit, and critical distance have been erased into a new immanence that makes the stage/stalls, cult/exhibition value, use/exchange value differend insignificant. The chapter points out that critique as a mass phenomenon has become more present than ever but it does not suggest the absolute extenuation of the theatrical technology of critique. It further clarifies that critique indicates how theatrical technology coexists with the industrial cinematographic within an actuality where technologies clash.

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, film, technologies, industrial cinematographic, theatrical technology, critique

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