Quotable Kracauer

This is a scary quote. Almost like a glimpse of the outside of the brave new world. Whether he’s totally right or not is beside the point. Many points could be made but I’ll leave it to you to consider.

Film…tend to weaken the spectator’s consciousness. Its withdrawal from the scene may be furthered by the darkness in moviehouses. Darkness automatically reduces our contact with actuality, depriving us of many environmental data needed for adequate judgments and other mental activities. It lulls the mind….Devotees of film and its opponents alike have compared the medium to a sort of drug and have drawn attention to its stupefying effects….Doping creates dope addicts. It would seem a sound proposition that the cinema has its habituees who frequent it out of an all but physiological urge. They are not prompted by a desire to look at a specific film or to be pleasantly entertained; what they really crave is for once to be released from the grip of consciousness, lose their identity in the dark, and let sink in, with their senses ready to absorb them, the images as they happen to follow each other on the screen.”

Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film (from Eaton, Basic Issues in Aesthetics)

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