Monday, November 14, 2005

"Unappreciation" of the art film

Has the history of narrative cinema denied us the pleasure of seeing things as they are? I'm beginning to believe that with the absence of the "glitz and gloss" of narrative cinema we are starting to undermine our own capabilities of seeing things for what they are. Is it really that people find art films boring? Or are they just scared of letting themselves go into a world where you're left to your own devices and conclusions? Art films don't set out to do, or say anything in particular. Various things happen....and the expectation of that one particular thing to happen never gets fulfilled. They provide no answers to what one might understand as the principle question. They don't try to engage us with conversation and we never really find out anything about the characters in the film (if there are any). Ideas and images are thrown together to tell a story....and only a story....the conversations never come alive and neither do the never enter their can watch from afar....and take what you like and leave what you don't understand. That's the joy of it! You don't have to understand. You just watch and appreciate things for what they are. Have we gotten so used to the ideas of clear cut narratives where there exists a security of a plot and illusion, characters and situations that can be followed, and emotions that can be shared, that the idea of just looking at something for what it is without putting it into a greater perspective is lost? Are situations and images not able to stand on their own without standing out? The feeling of security that one gets from narratives is a lot more. Of course it is, they provide us with emotional resolutions and final endings. But their endings are so absolute, that it feels almost as if they were taking possesion of the world with their final endings. And with the knowledge that the world is not absolute and it isn't actually possible to take possesion of the world, why aren't we able to overlook the narrative structure? Is it a history we can't let go of? Or do we just always need to identify with something?


mahima said...

Rifqus.. I always understand what you're saying... most of the time I don't agree... but thats a seperate argument we've been having for over ten years now..

Back to the point. I was reading something very interesting today- about how this American guy asked a Japanese guy what their theology was... he didn't quite get their religion, to which the Japanese said, "I don't think we have one. We just dance." The point was exactly what you said in your post... somethings are not handed down with specifics but are meant to be understood yourself according to what you take from it. Its the same with modern art- and I admit I love modern art galleries only to make fun of some of the works- but the point is that you take your meaning from them in your own way and it cannot be explained.

So I think it boils down to the fact that people are lazy about art films because the formula isnt there and they are too scared at times to go into something fearing "they won't understand". It is sad. Maybe you can lead some sort of art film revival (maybe revival isn't the word!)

Anyway, welcome to the blogesphere. Its lovely out here

Rifq said...

i'm glad the "unappreciation" has been appreciated and understood...unfortunately i haven't made much art recently....maybe i should start again....i myself began to lean toward the narrative in film...maybe it's a phase....maybe it won't last....who knows?!