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Archive for April 11th, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by James Clark

A close look at contemporary film can provide some big surprises. While every saga would have to show some kind of conflict, there is, surprisingly, quite a numerous body of work the exertions of which are far from evident in their essential contours. There are two valid reasons for this obscurity. First of all, the sticking point is very complicated and, as such, almost prohibits full transparency. Its complication is not merely a matter of cognitive architecture, but one of devastating emotional volatility. And, secondly, it engages dispositions that have fortified most of the population throughout world historical civilization, and therefore are cherished with often violent intensity. Film artists boarding that problematic crest of discernment rampant in all of the arts and sciences over the past hundred and fifty years are quite unique in addressing not simply fellow professionals but an audience largely consisting of those with no strong commitment (in fact, rather strong aversion) to those exertions and in a venue having evolved in the form of a casual playground.

Those attracted to the unique expressive means in cinema for forwarding that field of discovery, therefore, come to their métier having assimilated a socio-economic context necessitating for them a life of extreme instability and irony—a life, that is, which largely dovetails with that of most urban sensibilities. Those temperamentally suited for such wild intercourse have brought to us, particularly over the past sixty years or so, marvels of well-concealed reflective depth. They have had to, from out of a work space evoking levels of wit unimagined by those working the more homogeneous and sedate veins of creativity, produce popular, often sensational, entertainments whose real sense virtually no one will notice. As such, they press through their brief days and nights with a view to that vast futurity they will never see. (more…)

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