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Although the cinema in its infancy was not endowed with all the attributes of future total cinema, this lack was begrudged and indeed only accepted insofar as the jinnis of the cinema were technically unable to endow it with means of the future, despite their deepest desiresAndré Bazin
1995 will be the Centenary of the Cinema. As a major crossroads of "new images" it was obviously imperative for Imagina to pay hommage to this prodigious invention, the first to offer inimaginable realms to the greatest possible numbers of spectators.
But the way hommage is paid is at least as important as the actual gesture. It is tempting - and the very notion of "new images" seems to draw us into this trap - to see the cinema as a chemically and mechanically determined state of the image, rendered obsolete by modern techniques implementing electronic and digital processes.
The cinema deserves a hommage of another kind : viewed in the context of an encounter devoted to tomorrow's images, this anniversary should allow us to reevaluate the cinema's fully intact and vital capacity to create. Ultimately this is the sole valid criterion, regardless of epoch, which justifies man's artistic relationship to technology. Independent of the technique whereby it is forged, and irrespective of the physical nature of the sound/image in which its world and our dreams are potentiated, the cinema was and essentially remains the passage from the imaginary realm to the work. As André Bazin so rightly emphasizes, the cinema was (and remains) first and foremost the materialization of wrought and projected images, of a certain idea or mental vision (the idea of an "integral realism"), within and through space/time. Such materialization occurs via keyboards and visual and auditory games, calling on technical devices provided by inventors and used by authors. This process is unquestionably timeless.
Our hommage to the cinema will be neither an ephemeral tribute to the triumphant technology of a world condemed to extinction, nor the reactive, sectarian tribute of a cult of the icon which refuses to die. Nor will it be a technical recycling operation instituting a technology transfer from a henceforth doomed profession. On the contrary, this hommage will be a fertile encounter between cinema and new technology authors, to be held under the auspices of creation.