Buñuel on Cinema: from Surreal Spaces to Practical Tools

Luis Buñuel continues on the early history of cinema as he relates it to a space of amusement,

It’s true though, that for the first twenty or thirty years, the cinema was considered more or less the equivalent of the amusement park—good for the common folk, but scarcely an artistic enterprise. No critic thought cinema worth writing about. I remember my mother weeping with despair when, in 1928 or 1929, I announced my intention of making a film. It was as if I’d said: ‘Mother, I want to join the circus and be a clown.’ (p. 33)

Amusing as it is, the metaphor of space is dominant in technological studies – the most vivid example being cyberspace. Interestingly, internet as cyberspace and cinema as amusement park shares historical similarities where cinema was considered nothing artistic, the cyberspace fell prey to a digital divide. The metaphor of internet as a space where one can go is problematic insofar as it is superficially territorial and lacks any practical aspects; just like cinema as a circus. Information technology need to be understood as a practical tool, which is increasingly become a part of our every day routine. It’s about time we move on from a digital circus and go toward meaningful technology practices.

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