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Is Art Cinema Dead? Matthew


No reason to confine this to art cinema alone. Art itself seems dead. And perhaps it is better to say that mankind's spirit (or spirits, if you prefer) have been vaporized.

When I go outside of my house in Duluth, GA, the town I've grown up in (I'm 20), I do not see other people walking around. I see monstrous machines called cars and trucks and airplanes moving about. I see most of the cars grid-locked on the road outside my neighborhood, the road that has the title of "Pleasant Hill."

It is not a pleasant hill, I can assure you of that.

I walk around late at night sometimes, looking for real people, to see if maybe they're out at night instead of at day. Well, they aren't. And I've only counted two or three homeless people in this area. It is, after all, a suburban environment at heart.

I guess.

So I go outside and I do not see anybody about. I go to Atlanta, 20 minutes from here, and I see very few people walking around. Sometimes I'll see them but they are apparently talking to themselves like mad men. No wait, they have a cell phone device in their ear, a microphone near their mouth: they are talking to someone else! But where? Where is this someone else? Could he be in the same state? The same country? The same continent? Or might he be in Japan on vacation or a business trip?

I wouldn't know. It's impossible to know now.

So I see complex machines moving about, but it is sure hell trying to find real souls, people with pumping, feeling hearts. They have simply disappeared.

So, back to the subject at hand: art cinema has not died. If it had died it would have gone to an afterlife, or it would have been reincarnated. Instead it has been misplaced, like almost all art now.

I would suggest the best "art form" to work in now is video games. I think that's a tremendously unexplored medium. However, as is obvious to anyone with sense, computer programmers don't seem to have much of an imagination, or soul. Do they.

So where am I now? Oh yeah, I'm "on the internet." For a second there I was thinking I was in Duluth, GA still.

Oh wait I am in both places. My self and soul has been split in two.

So: art cinema has been misplaced because our very souls have been misplaced. We have lost track of them. We are too busy "serving the machines" (not terribly unlike a movie like Metropolis) that we have forgotten what a human being even looks like.

And no, I don't have much hope that we'll change for the better here, that there will be some uprising of spirituality or some Great Rebellion to save us. I think we have hit the point of no return.

Tomorrow we will have designer babies. Tomorrow we will have artificial intelligence.

The end. "A Requiem for humanity," yeah, though I haven't seen Naqoyqatsi yet. However, I'd recommend "A.I." to anyone reading. That is our reality right now told (sometimes badly) in the form of a fairy tale. As the end shows, we are only creating soul-less beings who will spend their "lives" looking back on their creators - us humans - doing scientific research to find out who made them. But we forgot to program into them the instinct that scientific research, for instance, does not Lead Us Towards Something Higher Than Man.

Matthew Dickinson

P.S. If this writing of mine here is in bad taste or repulsive or something, feel free to delete it. I'm past the point of caring very much if someone I do not know on the internet finds what I say obnoxious. [Shrugs].



Last edited by visitor99, 9/28/2003, 8:53 pm
9/28/2003, 8:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to visitor99   Send PM to visitor99
 
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Re: Is Art Cinema Dead? Timo


"Why should we be in such desperate haste
to succeed and in such desperate enterprises

If a man does not keep pace with his companion
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer

Let him step to the music which he hears
however measured or far away"

Henry David Thoreau

Matthew,

Please forgive me if I am being presumptuous but it seems to me (based only on this posting) that you are looking toward the external to find your peace. I am not sure that you will ever find it in these spaces.

You speak of the 'we' in this world, we who have lost our souls, we who have been misplaced, we who are serving the machine, we who will not change for the better, and we who have hit the point of no return. I guess I am just wondering were YOU fit into all of this?

Is it not this preoccupation and fixation with the external that has brought forth this modern decay that you speak of. I think you are absolutely right in stating that "no UPRISING of spirituality or some Great REBELLION" will save us". So the question is, what will?

I am not sure what surrounds 'pleasant hill', but you might try to find a sacred place that moves or inspires you, a place where you may find it easier to hear your inner voice. It is only then, when you have listened to this voice, that you will radiate in your local community where you may then transcend as part of the 'we'.

From a cinematic perspective, you may want to try exploring a film (if you have not done so) which doesn't so much depict OUR reality (such as A.I. - a film with some great moments), but one which may help you find YOUR reality. There are a number of wonderful films that have been discussed right here on this website, films which have also guided me in my own personal quest. I would suggest "George Washington" as a great example of this. David Gordon Green (the Director) is a contemporary filmmaker who has transcended above the daily fixations with the gloom and doom of this world. Instead he allows the viewer to explore his/her own soul by providing the thoughts, sounds and spaces that are so desperately needed in this modern world of sterile and linear cinema. This film is proof for me that there is still cinema that is very much ALIVE!

Matthew, over the last few years I have struggled with many of the same thoughts that you speak of in your posting. I too feel this pain because I am aware of the miracle that it will take for a transition on a global level. However, I have also moved to a space where 'A.I.' is not MY reality anymore, where it is not ME who will create soul-less beings without the instincts to "lead us towards something higher than man". These instincts you speak of are not for machines and can be found in only one place.

I hope that you are searching to find your path to this higher ground. If you allow yourself to listen, you will hear the 'different drummer'

Thank you for taking the time to reflect and share,

Timo
9/28/2003, 8:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to visitor99   Send PM to visitor99
 
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Re: Is Art Cinema Dead? Matthew


Thank you for these words. I didn't expect them.

That I look for meaning and value in life through mostly external means is true. I will have to consider it more before ever truly trying to respond to such a suggestion. I cannot say that the idea is new to me, but it certainly must have something to do with my dream of creating a great movie with the Australian aborigines, for theirs was the longest lived and most ancient of all cultures documented, and they left almost nothing material behind - only a few meager cave paintings and scant artifacts.

Bringing this back to "cinemaseekers" thought, I cannot help but wonder if my attraction to their lost culture is not similar to Godfrey Reggio's attraction to the Hopi indians. I desire to visit Australia and actually meet some aborigines instead of just reading about them through books; only then will I know for sure if my deep-seated intuitions about them are valid.

I do know for sure though that the well-being of any society is based in large part on the well-being of their collective activities. My options as of right now are limited, though I don't mean this as a complaint: I can go to college (though I have tried and already quit before) and have sex with many girls and party my soul into nothingness. I can go to raves and concerts and enjoy a drugged-up trance-filled abyss of pure sensual joy, having sex with so many people I will not even remember their faces or names by the next week, nor care if I impregnated some of them. Or, I could move to a very new place, perhaps a rural place, and start a new life as best I can from scratch, like a true foreigner. I'm afraid none of these are options to me, and that I can only disappoint my family with my perpetual balking.

---

The world is changing much too quickly for anyone to plan, with any real sense of personal security, their future beyond the next couple of years or so. I think this is the case even for most Americans now who have secured themselves with a high-paying job through many years of college.

At best, I want escape from this country, or the modern world, if it is still possible to do so. Just a place to live for the next ten years or so away from all this mess, so long as I am not a complete hermit, and that I can perhaps watch from afar the great doom I see coming to the planet.

----

This website actually qualifies as a better "sacred place," for me, than the local Methodist church I grew up with, of which my mother used to teach Sunday school at. Although I've "visited" it many times before, I can't say that I am very attached to it, though then again here I am also at the same time devulging much about myself to pure strangers from presumably very different parts of the earth. There is also always the recognition in my mind, especially when I post to newsgroups, that my words are going down on a kind of permanent global record - these messages sent to hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of whether or not they actually read them. In this way, I have imagined before, quite literally, that it is like finding a random parking lot near my house and spray painting my thoughts - such as this one - in large letters after business hours, for here also would be the equivalent situation: my thoughts, or at least a few random words of them, would be read by all sorts of strangers from different ancestries and backgrounds, and even potentially read by various web-cams that are, I suspect, set up in Gwinnett now, of which can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection on the planet. Also, there is the somewhat science fictional idea I cannot rid from my mind that my words could then also be read by satelites spinning around the earth.

This, I hope, sounds truly strange, but what I say is very much now a reality. If it isn't, these words will be read out of context by others, perhaps, many years from now, by people who probably will not check the date of the post. I do not mean to imply much hubris or vainity here, as I'd rather be able to speak to others without the thought that my words are simulataneously broadcasted or connected to random other people whom I've never met nor desire to meet.

I am tired, you know, of having to talk to someone WHILE they are using their cell phone, knowing, you see, that what I say is being overheard. It is not paranoia - just the desire to speak to someone else one on one in private.

Matthew

9/28/2003, 8:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to visitor99   Send PM to visitor99
 


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