Monday, July 19, 2010

The Cinema: Art?

Once Upon A Time: She Was Meant To Be My Unicorn

So this is the second post of my endeavor here… many exciting things are rushing through my mind at the moment, and I’m not sure whether I’m going to be able to get it all down into one coherent post. First things first:

“The Cinema As Art”

Views? Well I think that video is a legitimate form of art…what with the readily developing world handing us platters of technology and scientific advancements, why not adapt and ultimately ‘exploit’ new things? The idea of sound and image becoming a pulsating and tangible installation in a gallery really excites me. Photography and film have been discussed heavily in the arts field…often called an ‘imitation’, a mimicry, or a mockery of real life. Ralph Stephenson wrote in “The Cinema As Art” that even as imitation, art will show us the true essence of things more clearly than we could see it for ourselves. An interesting point. I think that an image , especially a moving one at that, is very confronting and almost forces us to acknowledge what we are being shown. People flock to the cinema daily to absorb culture, to watch other people doing things that either disgust us or make us jealous of their lives….virtual reality is a huge part of our lives. So taking this idea and translating it into a more opaque and questionable form of communication, video and sound in art can be a huge influence and an entirely different way for artists to get their ‘voice’ or their message across.


A new find I’ve stumbled across in my “Art As Cinema” book is Méliès. An extract from the trusty ol’ Wikipedia….

“Georges Méliès, full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality through cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the First "Cinemagician."

Some seriously wacky, weird and wonderful themes and observations of an adapted reality….since learning about exposure and the effects of manipulating it in photography, it is really of interest of me to see this concept modeled for me in an older style cinematography. He seems to have a fantastic imagination, and his use of cinema as art is a perfect example of what I have been researching. A surrealist aspect really cements it for me as ‘art’, if you can really catergorise or label such things. The commonly argued topic of “what is art?” I won’t get into now…but I strongly believe that art in its simplest form is just a means of expression; and film is a great and rather easy was of enabling one to show the audience something. Plus I really love the idea of a black and white movie not relying on the modern special effects and going back to basics of manipulating and understand the FILM as opposed to manipulating the image once it has already been shot, adding things in or super imposing…this is all about layering; and there are so many different layers of life itself its easy to draw parallels from life to film….even if it is film about an alternate reality.

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