By Garrett Stewart
In Closed Circuits, Garrett Stewart analyzes a vast spectrum of movies, from M and Rear Window via The Conversation to Déjà Vu, Source Code, and The Bourne Legacy, within which cinema has articulated and played the drama of inspection’s unreturned glance. whereas mainstays of the mystery, either the act and the expertise of surveillance, Stewart argues, communicate to whatever extra foundational within the very paintings of cinema. The shared axis of montage and espionage with modifying designed to attract us in and make us put out of your mind the omnipresence of the narrative digital camera extends to bigger questions on the politics of an oversight regime that's more and more distant and robot. To this sort of worldwide technopticon, one telltale reaction is a proliferating mode of digitally improved surveillancinema.”
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Additional resources for Closed Circuits: Screening Narrative Surveillance
Analysis chooses to reanimate the theoretical canon, where necessary, in order to spur its continued potential: the always renewable application of things theoretical as an interpretive appliance—ad hoc, exploratory, localized rather than blanketing. But given the evidence here, or any I might have amassed in a longer and more historically definitive survey, the effort would never primarily have been to reinvigorate apparatus theory in the merely passing light of given film texts, still less to demonstrate their textuality—their signification rather than their mimesis—in the light of such theory.
So in cinema too, not just video art, with narrative film continually reframing the inner ports and portals of clandestine imaging. Which brings me to what is absent here, and may, N A R R A T I V E S P Y C A M S — A F O R E S H O R T E N E D V I E W 13 at a thumb-through, seem curiously missing: illustrations, frame grabs. After some five hundred painstaking ones in my last two books—and this before they were easy to do at one’s own keyboard—I was steeling myself again, in distant prospect, for that labor of love while beginning to draft these pages, sometimes in earlier forms for separate reviews and articles.
Lives exist to be lived. In between, a perennial theme—and recurrent plot crux—of the movies in a certain genre lineage: the self under inspection. And a recurrent stress point, it should be added, for an apparatus theory understood to extend beyond camerawork to spectatorship, beyond the lens of vision to the focal subject. 16 Each depends exactly on the lines of sight that, in the case of the shot/ countershot pattern, suture tends to finesse in its serial alternation between POV and its displaced source in the absent human eye.