Digital afx: digital dressing and affective shifts in Sin City and 300

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Wood, Aylish (2011)

In Sin City (Robert Rodriguez, 2005) and 300 (Zack Snyder, 2006) extensive\ud post-production work has created stylised colour palettes, manipulated areas\ud of the image, and added or subtracted elements. Framing a discussion around\ud the terms ‘affect’ and ‘emotion’, this paper argues that the digital technologies used in Sin City and 300 modify conventional interactions between\ud representational and aesthetic dimensions. Brian Massumi suggests affective\ud imagery can operate through two modes of engagement. One mode is\ud embedded in a meaning system, linked to a specific emotion. The second\ud is understood as an intensification whereby a viewer reacts but that reaction is\ud not yet gathered into an alignment with meaning. The term ‘digital afx’\ud is used to describe manipulations that produce imagery allowing these two\ud modes of engagement to coexist. Digital afx are present when two competing\ud aesthetic strategies remain equally visible within sequences of images. As a\ud consequence the afx mingle with and shift the content of representations
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