"Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows.

If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Everything there--the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air--is dipped in monotonous grey. Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces, and the leaves of the trees are ashen grey. It is not life but its shadow, it is not motion but its sound-less spectre.

Here I shall try to explain myself, lest I be suspected of madness or indulgence in symbolism. I was at Aumont's and saw Lumiere's cinematograph--moving photography."

-Maxim Gorky, 1897

In order to explain the title of my blog... because I worry this name will only attract goths. I wanted to start my first "What is Cinema" post with the above quote. It is one of the earliest reactions to film, and encompasses an experience which I feel is, unfortunatly, all but lost to modern film goers. The idea that cinema is a sort of surreal shadow world, that it captures our life in a way that should not make us comfortable.

Shadows, Ghosts... The article accidentally brings up notions of time. The fact that we see ghosts, acting as they did when they were alive (the Sixth Sense?). Cinema is a segment of past time which is physically attached to the modern world (on a little strip of film), similar to how spiritualists believe intense experiences attach themselves to a location. Thus the disorientation that Gorky experiences when he sees something that is "exists, but is at the same time no longer." (the last quote is Augustine)

In cinema time never pases, only we do.

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