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Beginning with contemporary moments of crisis that challenge the moral value and practical impact of commercial cinema, this chapter broaches the central concerns at stake throughout the book: the creative and destructive powers of cinema as a medium; the relationship between human action and worldly agencies of diverse kinds in the making of cinema and other creative artifacts; the value of ethnographic field method in grasping creation as an open-ended process of emergence; the relationship between content and form, experience and expression, in the experimental modes of narration that constitute this work of quasi-cinematic writing; and the place of images and image making in the ecology of contemporary life.

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