The popularity of The Artist and Hugo in this year's crop of Oscar-nominated films struck me in a new way, thanks to the lens provided by Shillingsburg in From Gutenberg to Google. That book is slow going for me, but some of what he argues sticks. And, while he talks about books and print, I sense that much of his analysis can be transferred to cinema.
"...I am declaring that new texts cannot be identical to old texts nor fully represent them and that an editor's responsibility is to be as self-aware as possible about the effects of editorial intervention and to be as explicit and articulate as possible about those effects..." (pp.19-20)
These words, this sensibility echoed when I read "Is Cinema Facing a Digital Dark Age?", an article from the star.com that found me this morning.
The argument, from Paola Cherchi Usai (learn more about him in this YT video ), is that the process of digitally preserving classic silent picture era films -- a seemingly noble aim that also escapes from the cost of traditional photomechanical methods -- actually betrays the original work of art.
This is a good example, or, at least, one that I can understand, of the seen and unseen ways that technology may intrude on a text, altering it in the very act of preserving it.