‘Cinema’ as a Modernist Conception of Motion Pictures

Michael Betancourt


In the 1960s and 1970s the Clement Greenberg’s Modernist ideology of ‘purity’ played a central role in the definition of ‘avant-garde cinema’ as a serious, major genre of film. This transfer between ‘fine art’ and ‘avant-garde film’ was articulated as ‘structural film’ by P. Adams Sitney. This heritage shapes contemporary debates over ‘postcinema’ as digital technology undermines the ontology and dispositive of historical cinema. Its discussion here is not meant to reanimate old debates, but to move past them.


Article received: March 12, 2018; Article accepted: April 10, 2018; Published online: September 15, 2018; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Betancourt, Michael. "‘Cinema’ as a Modernist Conception of Motion Pictures." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 16 (2018): 55−67. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i16.254


avant-garde film; postcinema; film ontology; digital cinema

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i16.254


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