David Gaillard, staging the screen in post-cinema: figures of the virtual and ambivalence of cinematic space

David Gaillard, staging the screen in post-cinema: figures of the virtual and ambivalence of cinematic space


David Gaillard

David Gaillard holds a master’s degree in film studies (Paris-Nanterre, 2021) and is a contractual doctoral student at EUR ArTeC. His research work focuses on several questions: that of script, and of aesthetics, but questions also the relationship of the work to the spectator, particularly in new digital cinematographic forms. His research on interactive cinema and “desktop films” was the starting point for his doctoral work on the reflexive role of the staging use of screens in post-cinema. This was conducted under the direction of Barbara Le Maître (ED 138 – Lettres, Langues, Spectacles/Literature, Languages, And Performances).

He has been teaching film studies at the University of Paris-Nanterre since 2022.


Screenlife movies (desktop films) and interactive cinema are particular objects. They constitute the starting point of this research which delves into the overlap between these two digital forms: the reflexive relationship of the screen to the cinematographic image and the redefinition of its role or its nature in the cinematographic spectacle.

This dissertation aims to analyze contemporary manifestations of the digital screen in different audiovisual objects in order to better understand its new, ambivalent status and the forms associated with it. Given that digital screens and their interfaces are often absent from recent films, and computer objects are generally considered as simple furniture and accessories, we will research films (of the screenlife genre or not) in which the staging attempts to integrate these screens as a means of producing images that are both unusual and useful to the narrative.

The integration of these screens seems to be a major challenge for the director and becomes a powerful reflexive tool to question the nature of cinematographic images, with the screen potentially becoming one of the characteristics of post-cinema. The following question results: how does the staging and the play of these screens within the narrative allow post-cinema to reflect on the transformations of its own device?