Most people that walk into a movie theater want to be entertained. They go in to sit back and relax and sit at a screen to take their mind off things. As it should be. There is nothing wrong with watching the movie The Avengers and expecting the movie to give you social commentary. But what if a film can be more than that? The question I pose today is: Are movies art? Is there more to a movie than just people holding a camera and shooting videos of other people?
That last question can be answered very in depth, going over all the techniques and procedures involved in making a single movie. (But I’ll answer that completely in my research paper.) The issue I want to focus on right now is, should movies be classified as art? Here I will be more brief and concise so you won’t have to read pages upon pages of details on how movies work.
In an article by Kenan Profitt, the author goes over 5 basic reasons on how movies are art. He even goes on to say movies are the highest form of art.
- It Takes Several Years to Make a Good Movie. “Now granted the length of the project doesn’t always determine the quality of the result, but the amount of dedication to one craft to put together a final movie, works to prove my point.”
- It Takes Multiple People To Make A Movie. “Most art forms require just the artist’s skill and what he or she can accomplish. Movies however are not a one-man-band; they require teams of people with one unified goal to come together in the creation of one finished masterpiece.”
- Movies Tell Stories. “Human beings communicate by stories, and movies are able to speak to the emotions of the audience and connect with each viewer on different levels. We remember our favorite movies because of the stories told in them, and audiences hold these stories near and dear to their hearts.”
- Movie Making Utilizes Skills Unique To The Craft. “For as long as movies have been in existence, filmmakers have looked for ways to improve technology in order to create their final film. The world of cinema has literally created completely unique skill sets that are strictly made for cinema.”
- Movies Incorporate Every Form Of Art. “All of the previous points can be summed up in this reason. Movies are the highest art from because it takes writing, story, photography, drawing, painting, concept art, animation, visual effects, music, acting, and a whole host of other talents, skills, and abilities from talented individuals. “
In another “article” by James R. Temple, he describes the cultural effects movies have. “Movies are invaluable reflectors of twentieth century culture, not only from filmic commentary by intelligent and socially aware filmmakers, but often inadvertently; the escapist musical Top Hat (1935) tells us something about the grim realities of the Depression. Movies will often shape themselves to appeal to perceived cultural attitudes, and as a result they will not only reflect their culture but actively influence it. This penchant for distorting a reflected vision of reality can often lead movies to create myths, with the heroic leads of action melodramas and presentations of historical characters that succeed more by their emotional resonance than their accuracy.” This is the same effect that literature and other art, like paintings, can have on society. But it’s effect is on a larger scale since movies are more perverse in our society than other forms of art. It can be simple effect, such as t-shirts on little kids with their favorite superheroes. Or it can have much more grandiose effect in distorting peoples views. For example, the movie Jaws made an entire generation afraid of going into the ocean in fear of sharks.
So yes, movies are as much as art as anything else. It requires a lot of effort to make and produce. The cultural effects are just as far-reaching as any other type of art.
Movies are art.
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