February 1, 2023

Film critic Mohamed Benaziz said, “The camera eavesdrops on people’s lives on a daily basis, voluntarily or not”, noting that “all the moments of pleasure, celebration, gossip, longing and stupidity that were fleeting in human life have been immortalized since the popularity of the camera” . He added that the telephone machine swallowed up dozens of machines as it “became an alarm clock, a compass, a post office, a camera, a folder, a dictionary, a lamp, a recorder and a radio…”.

Benaziz, in his article entitled “Praising the Camera and Its Dense Language”, drew attention to the fact that “language communication is declining and visual communication is dominating”, adding that “there is a huge gap between traditional teachers who consider language only means of communication, and young learners who communicate using website icons. social communication”. He explained, “A camera is not just a machine.

This is the text of the article:

Telcos are now announcing phones with three cameras, some in 4K quality… Customers are rushing to arm themselves with this little machine. The Dictionary of Narratives defines a camera as “one of the methods by which events are recorded and transmitted as if we were in front of a neutral recording machine” (1). The recording became continuous, the human body and lifestyle became visible in front of at least ten cameras in every square meter, because each person is armed with three cameras in his hand … three cameras in the palm of his hand, which is better than a camera the size of a tree, like in the movie ” A Man with a Camera” 1929 Ukrainian director Dzyga Vetrov. A film from the time when the camera was a rare tool. And now the little car is everywhere, at the lowest prices and the smallest sizes. Three cameras in hand. What is the effect of the popularity of the camera now? How does the camera create a visual effect? How does the camera make the process of eating in every selfie funny or ugly? Where is the camera watching the event from? What does it mean? Who can interpret pictures?

The camera eavesdrops on people’s lives every day, voluntarily or not. Often a quarrel arises if the person being photographed notices the presence of the one who is photographing him. The camera is not ashamed to spy on others… Women are often victims of shameless cameras that are filmed, stored and broadcast. The result: all the moments of pleasure, celebration, gossip, longing and tomfoolery that were transient in human life are immortalized with the popularity of the camera, which has become more widespread than pens. And all the moments of joy and crying that were individual, personal, intimate, dissipated, became public, immortal, broadcast on social networks.

Never before has man been as open to himself as he is today. By accepting this impact and coexisting with it, a massive modernizing social transformation takes place. The mentality of urban arrogance, hell-bent on showing off their narcissism, prevails over the mentality of the conservative farmer who likes to “cover up”… Social media provides a hot sample of what is being filmed. The camera cannot be accused of beauty, artistry or daring. This is content that was not machine-invented. The camera shoots and saves, and people publish. Photos and videos can become evidence in court and cause moral scandals, exposing and criticizing the ideology of the state, society and the individual.

The telephone set swallowed up dozens of cars, became an alarm clock, a compass, a post office, a camera, a briefcase, a dictionary, a lamp, a voice recorder and a radio. All this technology is an agent of social and political change. In the words of Karl Marx, philosopher of the Industrial Revolution, “Technology is more than just a machine.” This has a huge impact on getting people out of lockdown.

Everyone writes their autobiography and group photos these days. Every year, social media sites reveal his favorite image… Every image and memory speaks a thousand words. Martin Heidegger says: “Technology is not only a means, but also a way of discovery… the field of discovery, that is, the field of truth” (2).

Now the facts are revealed in pictures. Verbal communication is declining, and visual communication prevails… The request of the ancients was to “sharpen my ear for the useful”, and now the request is “to please my eye with what deserves to be seen.” It affects education.

Language is the key to school and image is the key to social media. There is a huge gap between traditional teachers who see language as the only means of communication and young students who communicate through social media. Language and books are less interesting because the camera to the eye is better than describing, narrating, chronicling and presenting the past in an interesting artistic way.

It is true that human civilization has begun to write with things that indicate what it has to offer. Hieroglyphic writing with images was cosmic, readable by the eyes and not transmitted by ear. Then came the letters of the alphabet, expressing what they are not like, because the relationship between words and things is arbitrary. The letters of the alphabet are read and translated so that the meaning reaches the recipient’s ear in their own language, with each picture telling about itself and needing no explanation unless the taker knows where to stand correctly in order for the scene to be completed. Do not calm your soul just by seeing the truth without photoshop. In the world of photography, falsifying the truth is called photoshop.

There are differences between linguistic notation and visual notation in discourse analysis. Previously, the image expressed its origin, then the letter began to express the sound. The image was replaced by sound… After six thousand years, the icon and the image regain their glory. The camera dominates at the moment of reading the clinical death. The camera has come to take pictures of things that indicate what you are offering. To quench the thirst for images, “the environment visible to the eye provides seven times more information than the ear perceives” (3). This is incomparable wealth.

A hearty meal for the eyes

Thus, the technology provided an unprecedented space-based visual connection between people. In the words of Roland Barthes, “image is more necessary than writing because it immediately imposes meaning without analyzing or dissipating it” (4), and images have become more powerful as they follow and tell on the movie screen.

Cameras spread cinematic language. Robert Bresson (1901–1999) defined directing as “making the camera see the film as you see it in your imagination”. Through daily use of the camera, the individual photographer has become proficient, he understands the relationship between space and view, so he chooses exactly where he will place the camera, how he will stand in front of it and what kind of space background. he wants to appear… Thanks to the (drone) proliferation, there have been many films containing scenes of the camera flying and gazing like an eagle, as well as In the 2017 film “Morocco, seen from the sky”, photographer and director Yann Artaud Bertrand, who presented images from the Smart Vision website showing the vast visual diversity of Morocco’s beaches, stretching over 3,500 km.

Morocco has never been the focus of cameras as it is in 2022. The journey began with baby Ryan falling down a well and ended with the team reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship. A camera is a device that creates raw images that tell and tell the truth. The camera, which is a machine, has become a means and a human activity connected with existence. This is the glory of the eye, the glory of the camera. Most of the spectators (88,966 people) of the 2022 FIFA World Cup final match in Qatar between France and Argentina had cameras with them to capture the historic event in their lives. The job of the camera is to produce visual eloquence.

On camera, El Gohari was placed in the center of the image, but without neutrality. The camera can be in a position that indicates the character’s greatness, or in a position that indicates his inferiority. Thus, the camera occupies the former intermediate position.

The Dictionary of Narratives defines a camera by quoting the protagonist who says: “I am an open shutter camera, completely passive. I record, I do not think” (5). It is a claim to neutrality embedded in a new romance with Alain Robbe-Grillet, author of Jealousy. Each camera site has a message and meaning. Todorov says: “Every description given by the narrator includes a moral assessment” (6) as well as a camera.

The camera is a new tool that surpasses the previous ones. This is the camera that became the luminous lucida in Roland Barthes’ book after being a camera obscura for centuries (7).

Cameras spread cinematic language. As each city dweller gets used to photographing from different places, he moves on to work on lighting and color tones … This is how he practically studies the gradation and physics of colors in their relation to light.

The camera can flicker like in the fifth episode of Freud (2020 on Netflix, directed by Marvin Crane). When the character blinks, the screen goes dark. There is a difference between the camera and the character’s eyes. The viewer in the film Titanic (1997, directed by James Cameron) may dream that he is scooping, or dream that the spear in the Japanese samurai film means his eye … In the cinema, “Tarantino is appreciated for playing with the cinematic environment” ( 8), that is, with a camera. This manipulation of camera position also appears in the 1957 film Twelve Angry Men, when director Sidney Lumet assigned a lens to photograph each character to make their worlds stand out from those around them. The camera was a diversification factor.

Every film is a story on a plate. A film critic is working on this audiovisual dish. Film criticism is the processing of a visual subject taken by a camera.

In cinema, the camera is the storyteller who anticipates, chooses, and directs… In photography, the camera stands on the other side of the scene it depicts. In the cinema, the camera borrows the character’s eye, so he jumps with him in the sky, collides with him on a rock (seeing him), drowns with him in the sea, burrows with him in a hole… So the camera embodies self-vision… The task film criticism is to monitor and interpret these artistic techniques.

The camera is not just a machine. It is a means of forming a form of communication in human life.


(1) Prince Gerald: Dictionary of stories, translated by Mr. Imam, Dar Merit, p. 1, Cairo, 2003, p. 28.

(2) Heidegger Martin: The Real Technique of Existence, translated by Muhammad Sabila and Abdel-Hadi Moftah, Arab Cultural Center, p. 53.

(3) Moe Group, “Investigation of the visual sign for the rhetoric of the image”, translated by Samar Muhammad Saad, Arabic Translation Organization, Beirut, 2012, p. 81.

(4) Bart Roland, “Legends”, translated by Tawfik Kurira, Al-Jamal Publications, Beirut, 2018, p. 227.

(5) Prince Gerald: A Dictionary of Narratives, MM. page 27.

(6) Todorov Tsvetan, “Categories of Literary Narrative”, in the book “Methods of Analysis of Literary Narrative”, translated by H. Bahrawi, B. Kamari… Publications of the Union of Moroccan Writers, p. 1, Rabat, 1992. p. 64.

(7) Roland Barthes, Illuminated Room, Reflections on Photography, translated by Hala Nemer, National Translation Project, 2010.

(8) Ken Dansager, Directing Idea, How to become a great director? Translated by Ahmed Yousef, National Translation Centre, 1st edition, Cairo, 2009, p. 84.

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