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V i d e o / F i l m P r e q u e l
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Ever since Muybridge, Edison, and the Lumière brothers got curious and fiddled with film, the medium has become one of the most powerful art forms ever created.  So powerful that you can count on it being a prime ingredient in any propaganda campaign.  It can educate.  It can express new ideas.  It can demonstrate different points of view.  It can distort time and bend reality.

Today's American films and cinema have been diminishing as artforms.  The Hollywood system has been influenced by money and, as a consequence, "poor filmmaking has survived through brilliant marketing, and a public desire to grasp onto anything that seems real.  In today's world of MTV style filmmaking, emotions have been replaced by slick imagery.  Instead of experiencing a character's pain and joy, the audience is told through psychobabble what they should be feeling.  Emotions have been replaced by explosions and special effects.  Shoot outs and Mexican standoffs exist where once there was drama.  Instead of social commentary we have stand up comedy."
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tn_clockworkorange "1969 was the birth of American cinema's second renaissance.  It was the year that introduced Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy.  The 1970's then brought us such classics as The Godfather I & II, The Conversation, A Clockwork Orange, The Last Picture Show, The French Connection, Taxi Driver, American Graffiti, Last Tango In Paris, Serpico, The Exorcist, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Paper Moon, Chinatown, Jaws, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Shampoo, All The President's Men, and Apocalypse Now.  The decade culminated in 1980 with Raging Bull."

"What do all of these films have in common?  All were about people overcoming a personal weakness.  All commented on society.  All were Academy Award nominees.  All were extremely profitable.  All continue to have an active shelf life at both the video store and cable television.  All were made with great care and skill by visionaries."

"All of them entertained."

Of course, there are many arguments that exist for any film and its value and one person's opinion is just that, an opinion.  Mainstream audiences can only engulf so much entertainment at one time and with so little time in today's fast pace world, how is one able to distinguish quality from quantity?  Just because a movie was a box office hit and seen by everyone in the neighborhood does not make it a worthwhile experience.  Is there an exact answer to the question?  Probably not, but there are standards to meet and; therefore, appreciaton and respect should be extended to these films and filmakers who have met and transformed these standards.

If a movie moved you in a certain way - great!  If a movie opened your eyes to new ideas - super!  Who is to say that that particular movie was terrible?  The film critics?  Your best friend?  Just be able to support it.  "Let us not be arrogant and accept all forms of art."

There is one hope and that is that film does not become like most of what television already is, a numb minding exercise.

By Tim Kha *** Citations by Scotopia Productions

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