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Theory for Film Practice - Essay Example

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Harris Kamran Film and Visual Studies Argumentative Essay 15 April 2012 Film is both a Science and an Art Film, or cinema, has undergone a massive change in perception and acceptance in the social and especially the bourgeois circles over the years, since its development as an art form and as a means of entertainment…
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Download file to see previous pages Also, with the development in camera techniques and computer graphics, film and film production are not merely restricted to artforms any more; science has an increasing role in modern film making. Therefore, this institutes a new angle to the old debate: how exactly do we define film and cinema? This paper purports to present some arguments in the favor of film being both an art and a science, and tries to justify this stance through a detailed discussion and explanation. Film as an Art: film, and film production, were not always considered a form of art by the experts, and the medium of cinema was frowned upon by the traditional and more conservative critics (Prinz). For the masses, however, the case may have been different; film was entertaining, and artform or not, it was successful. Cinematography and clever camera work had given rise to the concept of motion pictures, or moving film (Deren). This meant that the audience could now enjoy the spectacle in real time, and could feel part of it. Film was revolutionizing in that it was entirely different from still pictures; whereas the latter afforded only two-dimensional entertainment and left much to the imagination, the former provided a more real, if only fictional, and more importantly, three-dimensional form of entertainment to the public which involved them and moved them and made them feel part of a larger-than-life world where they could forget about the real and engross in the world of reel (Metz). This acceptance by the public was generally referred to as mass media or art for the masses, and indeed, Noel Carrel, in his book Mass Art, did try to justify film as an artform based on this very public acceptance and demand (Prinz). The critics, however, differ from each other in their views of this medium. To begin with, let us observe if film can at all be qualified as art. Film has become increasingly more than just the visual recording of events and performances on reel (Prinz). Initially, some experts were of the opinion that since it is a recording, the actual performance and not the medium of film is a piece of art. It was not until the concept of cinematography and set designing, with proper direction and production process were developed that it became clear that film is much more than a mere recording (Prinz). The advent of the advancements of editing especially led to this realization, as editing changes the entire perspective that is possible by simple recording (Prinz). So in Europe, and especially in Italy, film began to be called the seventh art (The Seventh Art). The verdict, therefore, would be that film is art. However, this statement is oversimplified and too generalized to be accepted, for it leads to the question of whether all genres and productions of film are art or is this designation reserved for selected works (Prinz). To tackle this matter from the layman’s point of view and from common sense, some films cannot be denied this status, such as Un Chien Andalou, L’Avventura, Raw Deal, The Searchers, and Tokyo Drifter (Prinz). These films, although made for the masses and not just the selected few from the bourgeois community, retain the beauty and detail of a fine piece of art, and deal with the camera work and direction as artforms in their separate rights, so that the medium of fi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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