Film died in 1927.
No, it’s just more fun to watch documentaries most of the time.
why would u even ask this question! there are so many good films coming out in theaters and on DVD man. Im gonna have to get like a second job to afford to see them all lol
I would have to say cinema will never die until people are wiped of the face of the earth, or until all the cameras are. To say that the toaster, the balloons, the plastic bag floating in the breeze is cinema I think is in my humble opinion, not correct. That is life. Cinema is what takes you either away from the real world or most often tries to impersonate life, only to fail every time. The arts are about representation and with representation you gain a perspective but lose some of the subject.
Cinema, in its Western context is dying, becoming increasingly conventional, but it is being reborned in the East – both Far and Middle. I have discovered, and am still discovering, the wonderful films coming out of Asia & the Middle East today – they are the new vanguard – Kiarostami, John Woo, Wong Kar-Wai, Jia Zhange-ke, Zhang Yimou, Edward Yang, Ang Lee, and others I have yet to discover, There is a subtle shift going on – Spengler defined it many years ago, as the Decline of the West. All hail the new sensibilites coming from the East.
and this“I would argue that radio drama is dead.
Just in response to the idea that a story telling format can’t die.
You don’t see much hieroglyphics these days either.”
—is just classic, and completely true :) you were warned. nothing is permanent. artforms get superceded, like it or not. blind human faith in the supremacy of their contemporary culture is no match for the dinosaur syndrome, aka extinction.
revel in your time, for tomorrow there may be no time left.
I’m developing a piece for a publication on this and this has helped me form what it’s going to be about and who to aim it at. I think people are apprehensive to the notion that cinema could ever die, because they view cinema as a being that is concrete. So I think the clarification about what we are talking about is needed (read T/Against Mr. Boo’s post) I think the idea that cinema is dying is becoming more and more prevalent in western cinema and harder and harder to deny. Bob makes that distinction and I think it’s an important one to make when examining our own in comparison to others.
It’s not that there isn’t good films, it’s just the dynamic of how films are made is changing so much that the steps to making those good films are harder and harder. The big thing at the last Oscars was that a majority of the best picture candidates were financed by foreign backers. When someone gives you money they control what you make. Remember distribution dictates production. And when a film like Che leaves Cannes without a buyer that affects not only the industry (the crumbling of the specialty devisions) but also the filmmaker. The only reason the film got picked up finally was because of Soderbergh and the reception from Cannes. Just imagine if a no-name made that film with a no-name cast. Not only would that filmmaker be stuck without a distributor it might discourage him from making another film like that.
In an art medium, money should never affect how it is created, but since art became a business, it’s now inseperable. So the choice we will be left with is this:
Big budget blockbuster movies – some good, some not, but you’ll be able to see it at any theater in the country
Low budget movies – again some good, some not, but will be regulated to New York and LA for limited engagements
When it gets harder for Joe Schmoe to see a film like Synecdoche, NY in Kansas City or Seattle or Minneapolis, that’s the death of cinema.
but what is cinema? What is “this cinema”? First I want to someone to excavate and uncover a definition for me what “cinema” actually is?
Cinema is not dying per say, but there are certain genres that are expierencing crippling lows. I feel that horror and science fiction are taking huge blows these days.
Mezmorized: I totally agree with your last comment.
I am trying to give this matter some more thought, especially as regards the view of cinema as an art form – not an entertainment form. I must admit to considerable pessimism re the Western film canon of films we know. love and would die for when I heard that Tarkovsky had died. Then we lost Bergman and Antonioni (on the same day, I believe – the gods of cinema work in a mysterious way), then Kieslowski. With his death, I thought film had sort of died for me as an intellectually challenging medium that made us think and reflect. Sure, we still have Bela Tarr, Peter Greenaway, maybe David Lynch, and you can add any small handful of others I have left out from your own personal pantheon.
So far, inspite of what I said earlier about Eastern films, none of these auteurs moves me yet in the same way as my old favorites. In many ways for me, tragically, I really did feel the loss of Kieslowski as one of the last truly independent, and uncomprimising spirits and thought the day I heard he had died that cinema had indeed died. That was the day the cinematic music (as in muse), died.
So which one of you cinephiles and fellow film lovers is going to resurrect it?
To Bob (above)—-I composed this reply yesterday and only now have it ready to post…you covered my points very well…..
“Here’s the best way I can frame the discussion to the best of my understanding:
Last year, two individuals who for decades were considered Cinema giants—Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni—died a day apart. The news made me cry. But there was hardly a ripple, beyond a day or two, reported from the industry by the media.
If Cinema were truly thriving and alive, should there not have been a sense of profound loss, and days of discussion from our cultural leaders and tastemakers?
Directors like these were the Fine Art of motion pictures. These were the inspiration to young filmmakers in their heyday. With few exceptions, those who inspire filmmakers today seem to be business-savvy nostalgia-merchants or computer technicians.
Does a general audience, those who still attend movies in a theater, still find thrilling the creative use of cutting, camera movement, and lighting, in service to an intelligent script, finely acted and deftly staged? Are we giving the moviegoing public a fair chance to know these pleasures? Or have moviegoing habits changed irreversibly?
Is it possible that there is a new group of revolutionary thinkers out there, like the French New Wave, willing to back a manifesto to infuse new and creative art into motion pictures? a manifesto of intelligence, informed by literature, music, philosophy, art, great film, and a desire to present the truth of the world around us against all odds? Are they already out there? "
I think you summed it up so well: “a manifesto of intelligence, informed by literature, music, philosophy, art, great film, and a desire to present the truth of the world around us against all odds.” I couldn’t agree more and, if we truly believe, this next New Wave will surely come. Thank you so much for your observations.
Maybe not dying, but it seems to be stagnant. There were great periods: silent, beginning sound, pre-code, censored cinema (which coincidentally was the Golden Age of Hollywood). Then when censorship was finally lifted, people made “daring” films. But nothing shocks anymore, so what are we to do? The French New Wave is over and movies like Four Christmases are #1. I saw it this wkend and I knew it would probably be lousy, but I wasted my time anyway. There either needs to be a new film development or something. I don’t foresee anything interesting happening anytime soon.
I can’t even believe that any of you are taking this question seriously. The history of movies is a constant ebb and flow. Look at American movies, just for an example. Aren’t the sixties a horrible decade for American movies? With a few exceptions, it’s a celluloid wasteland. But after a number of factors came into place, American studios began making some of the most compelling films ever in the seventies.
But here is why I really think this question needs to be put to bed. If we were to take any given year in this history of movies, and watch every movie that was released in that year, most of what we watch would be horrible, or mediocre at best. Which is exactly where we are today. It isn’t fair to judge todays films against film history, because all the dreck from 1958 is either in a vault or destroyed. Why? No one wants to see the incompetent films from that year. We’d rather watch “Vertigo”, “The Man with the Golden Arm”, “The Defiant Ones”, or “Some Came Running”. And after we see those four movies, we sit back and think, ‘Man, the fifties were such an awesome time for movies’. Whatever. If I could judge 2007 on five movies, I’d have one of the best years in all of film history.
I’m sorry people, but cinema isn’t dead. It’s going through transitions, which is the state that it’s always in.
I won’t say that film is dying
but I will say that Meet the Spartans exists
Is Cinema dying ?
Uh ……………………………………… No.
If it’s dying, ya can’t kill it :)
I think I’m with Gerhard.
The comment made me laugh out loud though.
I would also like to say that the introduction of the television destroyed the movie-going experience. Kids used to skip school and spend all day at the theater. People got everything from the movie theater, short-films, newsreels, serials, commercials for house-hold products… intros from studio execs… making-of featurettes with the stars of the next season’s pictures…
I’d prefer a twenty minute short-film before the previews instead of twenty minutes of commercials.
What does that even mean? Cinema cannot die. Because Cinema is not one thing it cannot be generalized as a whole. Yes many crappy films are made but so are many masterpieces. So not at all.
No, it merely changes
I just finished a three part essay on this subject for a film publication I write for.
Part One: The Dying Industry
Part Two: A Time for Rebirth
Part Three: Sustaining a New Era
Cinema’s been dead since the end of the Silent era, and suffered a second death with the birth of the blockbuster. Seven lives to go.
Interesting, someone brought up the issue of the age of the MP3 players as a way of watching movies. If one thinks of the medium as it is today, the MP3 or Itouch/phone is totally ridiculous a size of screen to watch current or past films.
I seem to remember reading part of an interview with Brian Eno, where he addressed this issue in a very interestingly creative way; rather than simply transfer films to the small player, compose/make the film for its restricted parameters.
Basically suggesting to create cinema for the MP3 size screen; using the limitations inherent with its method of distribution to see what form Cinema may take. The Itouch movie as a new art form.
Cinema was killed by HD. Nothing beats the density of capturing the nuances through the photographic image.
HD facilitated the democrazation of image acquisition, and made it possible for filmmakers to use those tools to tell stories.
But I don’t get it. You pop in a film like The Third Man that was made 60 years ago and nothing today can rival it’s poetic and often striking use of the camera. I think the tools have gotten more sophisticated, but filmmakers have lost track of the #1 thing that makes it happen: story.
In america at least, commercialism supercedes art. Sometimes the two collide. Good movies are still being made, but not the kind of memorable stuff 1999, the last year a revolution took place, brought. I used to think the 21st century was going to be a leap forward in imagination and vision, yet few and far in between films feel like a leap forward. Again, anything’s possible with the tools, it’s how they’re used that matters in service of the story.
Film is not dead, it’s just that most films these days fall into too many formulas.
It must be dying because you just don’t see that many movies today.
It’s not dying, but it’s not sprightly either.
Like some people kind of said earlier, the commercialization of independent films (around the time Pulp Fiction came out, IMO) kind of killed any chance there was then for a rebirth like there was in the 1970s. I still haven’t decided if HD killed it. Rather, I think that it could contribute to a rebirth if utilized correctly. But all cinema now is the same old thing, and hopefully on its way out. Someone wake me when it’s reborn.
Sorry for the double post- my connection’s rather weak.
I don’t believe that because many films that are advertised in America, particularly those produced in Hollywood, are commercial and often devoid of any real artistic exploration necessarily means that cinema is dead or dying. By asking if cinema is dying you are asking if art is dying. I don’t believe that art dies, and I certainly don’t believe the commercial exploitation of cinema will cause its death. There are plenty of filmmakers and auteurs around the world that continue to make wonderful movies, and I believe (and hope) that there will be a revival of artistic cinema in Hollywood. That being said, I feel like I can speak for many people by saying that I am tired of the majority of one-dimensional, transparent, capital-motivated films that are released without any apparent end. It is depressing, but it also brings hope that maybe the we can transcend the typical conventions of Hollywood and bring a new wave of films and filmmakers to America. This feeling of loss is not entirely new; what is important is how cinema can be changed.