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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Next Civilization: The Bards Of Cinema

Sign of the Times

When the present world order has gone away, there will be new societies upon the globe.
We wonder what they will be like.

Hopefully racism will have disappeared.
In our present societies, racism has never been able to be subdued. Racism is protean, having a new face all the time. In our time we see victims of racism turn the tables, then eventually oppressing other racial groups themselves.
Or they may transcend mere racism, and be generically oppressive to all and sundry.

Racism, hatred, violence... some of the poison pills that will do us in.

But what will The Next Civilization be like?

Well, for one thing, films will be studied as the enormous works of art that they are.

Far greater than the written word - the results of which engender Literature and the study of Literature and Doctors of Literature - the Cinema is a more profound study of humanity, for a film is a communal effort, in which numerous creative people contribute to the end result in an important manner.

Forget the theories which hold that Directors are the nexus of cinema; forget the view that actors rule the roost.
I was reading last week's New York Times Magazine's article on film editing, and it was an astounding piece of information, and left me with the distinct impression that directors have become little more than vast sources of film or digital data - rather randomized - and the Editor comes as a creator and imposes Order upon the face of the Sea of celluloid.
(I am still partial to the Foley Editors as primi moventes [et trementes] , or first movers [and shakers].)

I watch certain films over and over. These are the films that keep giving me more each time I view them. There is deep philosophy in film expressed by the means and grammar of each individual artist who has worked on it.
After the initial viewing of a film, you find yourself free to delve freely into the meaning of a film, no longer chained by the fascination and magic wrought upon you by the artistry of the cinema. You find more and more as you are able to percolate through the density of imagery and icons.

There is the writer who work in the forge of language, the director who creates the imagery and then executes it upon the film medium, the editor who organizes, those who work in music, those who specialize in photography, those who create the sets and costumes...
And none of these are subsumed under another creative artist; they are individuals, yet the sum of all these efforts is very much greater than a mere amalgamation of the parts.
The corporate effort makes a film, and Art is an emergent phenomenon.

I have a friend who teaches a film appreciation class in Toronto. I do not think he has had more than 25 people in one semester signed up, and a number of semesters were cancelled due to not having the minimal number of students.

Only in a throw-away civilization is that possible.

Each individual ought to have their totem film: the film that changed their lives, just as they should have their totem books, and just as they should have an artful instinct honed to help them respond to a universe of grace filled design.

And the cinema will survive the fall of civilization, and  bring the best of our world into that brave, new world!

Island Of The Hesperides Motel

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