Alfonso Cuarón and the Immersive Cinematic Apparatus in the Times of Progressivism
René Idrovo is an emergent filmmaker and scholar. He is a lecturer in sound related subjects at Universidad UTE, Ecuador; and a Ph.D. Researcher in Film and Television at University of York, UK. His research studies the impact of sound technology in the generation of new audio-visual aesthetics, focusing on the relations that exist between realism, the sonic space, and the immersive experience in cinema. Moreover, his thesis explores the ways in which the cinematic apparatus can transport the spectator into the narrative world, and what may be the ideological effects of such transportation. René's work has been published in journals in the U.K., Europe, and Latin America. As part of the Ecuadorian National Scholarship Programme, he has been selected among a large number of applicants to become one of the leaders that shall academically and practically contribute to the development of his country’s film and television.
Alfonso Cuarón’s audio-visual aesthetics are exemplar for its extreme exploitation of present-day’s cinematic apparatus. His unorthodox utilisation of long takes and his three-dimensional sound design approach, which I refer to as immersive point-of-audition, aim to transport the spectator into the world of the story. According to transportation theory (Green and Brock, 2000; Green, Brook and Kaufman, 2004; Green and Clark, 2013), the process of transportation has a direct connection with belief change, a premise that I relate with the concept of ideology. This work constitutes, therefore, a reassessment of Jean-Louis Baudry’s apparatus theory, which in the 1970s looked for the effects that the cinematic apparatus has for the maintenance of capitalism as the dominant ideology. Through an ideological analysis of the films under investigation, I argue that the ideology of Alfonso Cuarón fits within progressivism, a political ideology in favour of social reform. Moreover, this presentation aims to show how progressivism is becoming the dominant ideology in today’s mainstream cinema.