03 mars 2007

The Cinema of Tomorrow

Scanning today through the Makhmalbaf family website, I stumbled across an (old?) article on the cultural and artistic ramifications of the democratization of the tools of cinema. Highly recommended (and brief): The Cinema of Tomorrow.


"If the camera is turned into a pen, the filmmaker into an auteur, and the intervening harassments of power, capital, and the means of production are all eliminated, or at least radically compromised, are we not then at the threshold of a whole new technological change in the very essence of cinema as a public media? I tend to believe that because of the increasingly individual nature of cinematic production, as well as spectatorship, the cinema of the 20th century will become the literature of the 21st century."
"By the end of the 20th century, the filmmakers were in a position of power and choice. Would the digital revolution and its ancillary consequence of a massive increase in film production result in a stalemate where there are more people to make films than those who are willing to sit quiet in a dark room for a sustained period of time and actually watch a film? What if buying and operating a camera is as easy as buying a pen and writing with it? Certainly there has never been as many great creative writers as there have been pens in the world. Nor would the inexpensive availability of digital camera mean the disappearance of the creative filmmaker. But cinema as an art will certainly lose its multitudinous audience. The general appeal of cinema may thus be fractured into more specific attractions, and a division of labor and market may take place in world cinema. Gradually, in fact, the audience, as consumers, may begin to dictate the terms of its expectations, and cinematic narrative may begin to be deeply affected by the expectations of its viewers."
"When books were not too many, people considered what was written superior truth and if a book was found in a remote village they would attribute its origin to heavenly sources. When books became abundant, this absolute and sacred assumption was broken and earthly authors lost their heavenly presumptions. In the age of the scarcity of cinematic productions, "Titanic" has the function of that heavenly book, and our world very much like that small village."

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