Sunday, January 13, 2008

Theory du Cinema...

Welcome to my movie blog. To put it bluntly, I watch a fuckload of movies and therefore, it's one of my favorite topics of discussion. Though often times I wonder if that, in itself, is a negative quality. It makes consider whether or not I'm contributing to the banality of our culture by conversing so frequently about a medium steeped in pop-culture, marketing, aggressive business practices and other ephemera. Those thoughts definitely cross my mind.
Yet on the other hand, I've found that film is a conduit for ideas, well worthy of discourse. Take the works of Tarkovsky, for instance. His films cross the lines of psychology, philosophy, religion and the general "unknown", granting the viewer a visual document to the manifestation of "heady" issues. Film and its endemic qualities can do what other mediums can't, provide the total experience. It sets into motion the abstract as filtered through the physical realm of existence. But I don't want to spark any debates on this topic. I just feel that film is a means to an end, and a potent one at that. It makes me think of the underground filmmaker, Kenneth Anger, who said that his passion in life was the study of magick, with film acting as the channel (or weapon, in his own words) for doing so.
As far as criteria for viewing is concerned, I employ an arbitrary scale. I feel that one of the most consisten flaws of movie pundits are their inability to screen a film in its requisite context. In this I mean, identifying the basic dimensions through which the movie was drafted. For example, I don't believe a movie like Marcel Carne's "Children of Paradise" can be sampled with the same dexterity as "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle." I love both. But in general terms, enjoyment of one means the dismissal of the other. This is an outdated mode of thought. If anything, they both accomplish what they set out to accomplish. In one, the viewer finds a florid depiction of the intransigence of love, an examination of the artist in relation to success, commerce and method, as well as presenting an homage to a bygone era. While the other film operates as a deft satire of American bigotry, yet formulated on the structure of a stoner comedy, with dick, pussy, and fart jokes in tact. "Harold and Kumar" is obviously the more plebeian. But do I withdraw my approval because of this fact? Fuck no. What it requires is a more astute viewing with factors such as context, genre, and approach taken into account.
Anyway, I've blathered on enough. In the oncoming months, I'll be filling this blog with critiques of the current cinema as often as time (and technology) will allow. In addition, I plan on posting some of my recent projects and even some older works from the past. I hope you dig it.


Nick said...

Nuss, You're wrong once again. Children of Paradise is obviously a bitch movie when compared with an epic such as Harold and Kumar. Or if we look at it from the perspective of the "Market" did Children of Paradise have a sequel? Nope, but look at Harold and Kumar, number two is coming out soon baby. The Market theory also justifies the reason why I think Die Hard is much better than anything the French New Wave or that Wong Kar-Wai guy has ever come up with.

sean said...

jesus when did you get so pretentious?

Dave Nuss said...

when you stopped being interesting ;)

Nick said...

Hey Nuss,

I was rereading something from BFI and I wanted to know what you thought:
"the 1990s were perhaps the richest consecutive years of cinema since the 1950s."

What do you think?

sean said...

And just when the hell was i interesting?