(Un)real (un)realities
: exploring the confusion of reality and unreality through cinema

  • Vicente Diaz Gandasegui

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis examines the confusion of reality and unreality in contemporary media discourses, and focuses specifically upon the medium of cinema. The art of our time, cinema reflects the postmodern fusion between machine and culture. As such, a crucial concern of this work, which addresses the impact of digital and visual technological developments in western societies and examines how such advances have come to supersede the historical and cultural imperatives, is precisely this resultant confusion/fragmentation. The thesis analyzes how audiences interpret the current cinematic evolution, based on computer generated imagery, and how their subjectivity influences and impacts upon knowledge, ideology, culture and society as a whole. The creation of (un)realities in fictional spaces is most apparent in such concurrent places as the Internet, videogames and Virtual Reality, spaces which are certainly of interest to this thesis. However, it is also crucial to note that recent years have seen a proliferation of films based on the confusion between reality and unreality; and, further, that these have enforced a fear of being deceived by technology. Indeed, such post-classical films as Total Recall (Verhoeven, 1990), The Lawnmower Man (Leonard, 1992), The Matrix (Wachowski and Wachowski, 1999) and eXistenZ (Cronenberg, 1999) materialize this fear cinematographically; a fear which is arguably then assimilated by the spectators because this fear is projected onto their lives. In this respect, it is essential to be aware of the creation of new spaces, identify related boundaries and understand our own creations in order to have control over our destiny. Concepts such as (un)reality, a hybrid of reality and fiction, are essential to refer to the inventions, contexts and information that appears in a world where atoms and a binary of 0s and 1s constitute a dual code to which our lives conform. The production of an original film, Luna (Diaz Gandasegui, 2007), works in synergy with the written text to illuminate the complexities of (un)reality and the vital influence of technology on its confusion.
    Date of Award2008
    Original languageEnglish


    • Motion pictures
    • Motion pictures - Philosophy

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