Visions of the Trial: Courts and Visual Culture
Barbara Villez (Professor of Legal Languages and Cultures, University Vincennes-St Denis/Paris 8
Telephone camera technology and courtroom images
Films made on telephone cameras are all over the YouTube. A good number of these deal with police arrests, but some offer images of the courts, especially in the US and surprisingly also in the UK. Trials are public, but few people attend them, unless they have an interest in a particular case. Nevertheless citizens in these countries have acquired considerable knowledge of courtroom procedure. This has come mostly from television entertainment series dealing with the law. The telephone films now available on the Internet and shared through MMS, are reaching a wider public, a younger public. The aesthetics and intentionality of these films differ greatly from the images viewers have been accustomed to. This seminar will be an opportunity to examine further the courtroom images in these films.