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Registered: 09-2003
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Art Cinema is Alive - Chris Kelvin


Is art cinema dead?

Well, its obvious that art cinema isn’t as popular anymore like it was in the 60’ 70’. There seems to be that in the 60’ and 70’ there were a lot more filmminded people. You also had the rise of “Nouvelle Vague”, “Italian Neorealism”,............
Today however there seems to be a completely different audience. They want to be entertained. Want to consume film instead of experience some profound audiovisual work of art. Seen on a commercial level I think art cinema hasn’t got a great future. Hollywood has it’s monopoly. Even great filmmakers like Tarkovsky and Bresson are all dead. God bless them. Other filmmakers have stopped filming: Antonioni, Bergman,...
So where is the new talent? I think there are some brilliant filmmakers who make film nowadays. But the problem lies in the fact they aren’t very commercial and are very hard to find. But I still have hope: maybe people get tired some day of these Hollywoodgenrefilms and want to see something different. Who knows? The problem lies also within the viewer itself: people are consumed by mainstream films. So if you show them an artfilm, then most people look at it with the same expectations of a mainstreamfilm. They are conditioned by it. So they miss the point. It’s very important that people change their way of seeing things and by doing so a completely diffirent world will open before them.

But I can’t say that art cinema itself is dead. It’s very much alive and isn’t even fully explored yet. Films are capable to transport us into another realm. It can see the world in a different way people see it. Filmcamera and audiorecording are wonderfull instruments. You can capture life with it.

The problem is that films cost a lot of money and therefore producers are afraid of the risk to put money in a film of a director who wants to do something else than the conventional. It’s a risk indeed, but what if it works? Maybe when the much cheaper digital filmmaking is more widely spread we have a chance to explore things and to communicate them with the world.

Chris - Kelvin
9/28/2003, 9:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to visitor99   Send PM to visitor99
 
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Re: Art Cinema is Alive - Matthew


Art cinema suffers because the medium itself is perhaps the most innately enjoyable, arousing and hypnotizing in comparison to other art forms, so it is easier for companies to make huge sums of money just by exploiting with ease standardized psychological tricks to jolt and trigger low-level responses in the audience. Hollywood films have sunk to an all new low in simplicity: there is the action/"sci-fi" film for guys (sometimes action with comedy), the romantic comedy for girls and guys-with-girls, the kids' films, the unimaginative horror films, and the "serious" and self-important "feel good movie of the year" sort which tends to win the major awards at the oscars. Then there is the niche market for low budget and independent films which are no guarantee of better quality in any aspect - most are simply smaller scale Hollywood-like films.

However I can imagine a revival of sorts of art cinema in America if only the multiplexes were willing to reserve a few slots every week for genuine works of art. No doubt such an idea would be scoffed at by the executives of movie houses like Regal and AMC. After all, one can't forget that they are only in it for the money. But I see art - especially the religious (or spiritual) sort - as a fundamental human necessity, a kind of basement level requirement for the healthy functioning of any society. Never before has there existed a large civilization like ours which didn't put great value in their art, even if the individual artists were not praised separately. So on this basis, perhaps Americans will awaken to the reality of the very NEED for art and will create a demand for the large movie-making corporations to sacrifice some of their profits for the public good art engenders. To be realistic, this is a far-fetched scenario, but I can imagine, at least, certain classic art films securing widespread popularity if they were marketed properly. There are some which are easy enough to digest for most audience members, which is the number one difficulty in making art films popular. I'm thinking of films like The Passion of Joan of Arc, Ugetsu, Kurosawa's films, maybe Ozu's like Tokyo Story, Kubrick's films, Double Life of Veronique, Lynch's films, and others. The key is marketing - we know well enough now that even the worst of films can make a considerable amount of money just through the vast barrage of today's marketing powers.

>The problem is that films cost a lot of money and therefore producers are afraid of the risk to put money in a film of a director who wants to do something else than the >conventional. It’s a risk indeed, but what if it works? Maybe when the much cheaper digital filmmaking is more widely spread we have a chance to explore things and to >communicate them with the world.

>Chris - Kelvin

Yes I'm betting the digital filmmaking revolution will bring out a considerable number of quality films, perhaps of a purer breed than previously seen. The problem now is that, especially with the internet, anyone can become a published filmmaker who promises that his film is the greatest you've ever seen. There are now, I think, well over a billion people with internet access. Even the art films made for shoestring budgets that do get bought and marketed by companies like Miramax will have a tidal wave of competition to face. If I understand it correctly, there are now more films than ever entered into film festivals around the world. No doubt dozens of good, sometimes great films slip under the cracks and are never to be heard of again because they did not win the top awards. It's a daunting prospect, the thought of all the quality films one will never have time to see. Perhaps some solace can be found in the realization that this has already been an issue in the other arts for many years now and these arts are not dead.

Something else: Without the sense of community, the sense of an art movement... that realization the artist needs of fulfilling the spiritual and emotional needs of his audience, the common spiritual and social background of the artist and audience (and critic)... without these things art will die out. America is one such place where there is a poverty of these necessities. Even such individualistic and distanced filmmakers as Bresson and Kubrick still operated under cultural boundaries and structures of thought and suspected to have a people somewhere capable of receiving their message. I find it harder and harder now for this to happen. One notices that art has becoming increasingly specific and fragmented in its subject matter and intended audience, and that the films which do hit it big in America, regardless of their artistic qualities, are becoming more and more vague in content, character and story.

Matthew

9/28/2003, 9:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to visitor99   Send PM to visitor99
 


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