Daily Archives: July 2, 2005

Can you define cinematic???

One of my least favorite words is “cinematic” because it seems to mean practically anything — especially when it comes to videogames. How often have we heard something in a videogame called, “cinematic?” The problem, however, is that it is an undefined term! What does cinematic mean???

Sure, cinematic, at it’s simplest level means something “like or of cinema” or “having the qualities of cinema.” But no one ever talks about the unique qualities of cinema when they use the term when talking about other mediums. It seems to me that when many people use the term, they aren’t even talking about the unique qualities of cinema, but qualities of cinema that may be evident in other mediums.

So my question is, does anyone actually define what they mean by “cinematic?” While some of the medium specificity stuff from early film theory is useful, I’ve not been able to track down anyone who actually defines cinematic. Surely someone out there has bothered to define it, haven’t they? If anyone knows of a definition of cinematic, please leave a comment!