What should film do? Should it try to reach some answer as to what is existence, why we exist? should it leave the viewer to find the answers or should the film point in one direction?
There is no one thing film should do.
Entertainment, repulsion, enlightenment, artistic brilliance, social commentary, historical record. All of these things, and more, can be achieved within the wide-ranging spectrum of cinema.
film, pretty much like any art, should be used to do whatever the creator wants to do with it, and should be enjoyed and evaluated by whoever wants to evaluate it. some things just shouldn’t be over evaluated…
basically, there’s something for everybody.
the most universal thing I can think of is Keep Interest
The purpose of film should be to reproduce images by means of a silver halide-based, light-sensitive emulsion.
the Glorification of GOD
To enlighten, to enhance, to inform, to communicate, to entertain, to celebrate life.
as william blake would say, to cleanse the doors of perception.
truth twenty-four times per second.
A film should allow the viewers to see the infinite possibilities of life as in a kaleidoscope. It should raise interesting questions but allow the viewers to enter the “dialogue” and reach their own conclusions. A film can achieve this by reflecting the shifting boundaries out there or challenging certain boundaries, collapsing and reconstructing them.
If by film you mean the stock, the purpose of it is to capture light into images. Movie film can be run through a projector to create an illusion of movement to create movies.
If by film you mean movies, the purpose of movies are to create images on a timeline. Those images need not necessarily move. What people do with those images and that timeline is entirely up to them. What other people want to see in movies is entirely up to them.
It should be art. Whatever your definition of art is, that’s what film should fit into. If the film fails to meet your definition of art, then it’s failed to really be a film, it’s just cheap entertainment at that point, not that cheap entertainment is wrong, in small doses.
Everything it possibly can.
I am giggling.
Possibly even chuckling.
Absurd’s the word.
Something. Or nothing.
The purpose of film should to make you feel something. Be it happy and laughing or sad and emotionally scarred (and I mean in a good way like Bergman not in a bad way like after being forced to watch Pearl Harbor). If you feel entertained the film worked and if you feel amazed at the artistry of film then it worked.
film should not and does not have a purpose. filmmakers may have a purpose, like any artist, and this purpose may respond to their internal needs of expression, or the need to communicate something. but while it does not have a purpose, it does have a end, which is, hopefully to provide an experience, intellectual, erotic, or else. great films are great, unforgettable experiences.
I love this > “film should not and does not have a purpose. filmmakers may have a purpose, like any artist, and this purpose may respond to their internal needs of expression, or the need to communicate something.”
I wouldn’t want to demand any purpose- it’s in the mind of the film-maker. But film can be an international art form/entertainment, so i cringe when it’s used to create divisons between nations when it can increase mutual understanding and empathy. It can help create a better world, not just by giving pleasure to audiences but also through enhancing human solidarity and means of expression..
Entertain and enlighten and everything in between.
The purpose should be whatever the viewer wants to be the purpose.
A film should give the viewer what it wants and this can be difficult because every viewer wants a different thing. Some want to simply be entertained, to forget about their mundane life, others what to be intellectually stimulated, want a film to make them think about things they never have thought, consider new perspectives. I think a great film and a great filmmaker can achieve this – that is, give the viewer what it wants (which in some cases, what the viewer wants is to be given something they don’t want). Because if you don’t do this, if you don’t satisfy the viewer (satisfy as defined by whatever the viewer wants – for instance, if the film leaves he viewer unsatisfied but the viewer wants to be unsatisfied, then you’ve given them what they want) then they’re gonig to dislike the film and nobody will see something they dislike.
>>truth twenty-four times per second<<
But what film does best is lie at 24 fps …
Consider: A man walks through a doorway. Cut to the man now on the other side of the door in a room that’s on an entirely different soundstage. Cut to a close-up of him looking around the room, filmed two months later … or earlier. Back to master shot as he walks across the room toward a window, outside of which is a process shot of landscape … re-used from a film made ten years ago. Etc., etc., etc.
Film should reaffirm the need to live while confronting one with the terrible consequences of living. Film can also simply provide the necessary escape from the tedious and horrible aspects of life.
Seems to happen more often than not that in cinema “the worst are full of passionate intensity”: the most utilitarian, earnest, overdetermined films are the bad ones. All of the terribly manipulative and overdetermined movies now are accompanied by a plague of publicity appearances, earnest humorless interviews on the Charlie Rose Show re The Grand Purpose of Art, and those DVD commentary tracks mocked @The Onion’s AV Club…
(Comedy excepted: while it has a definite end in making you laugh, I wouldn’t class a funny film as “overdetermined” or manipulative, because the goal of driving you to appreciate wit or to laugh is folded in perfectly with this very ancient form)
Drew’s answer is best — a film should make you feel.
keep me interested in filmmaking.
“Keep me interested in filmmaking”
I’ll second that!
Film, music, and visual art are all deeply emotive mediums. But while visual art and music are more abstract, film can immerse you very deeply into situations in a way that can enlighten your understanding of humanity, because it mimics how you experience something in reality. The illusion is so powerful, and I feel like it can have a greater depth of feeling and connection with humankind because of that.
I actually got into a heated argument with my Dad over this question just a few months ago. He thinks that film (and art in general) has one and only one obligation: realism. Which is not surprising given that my father is a scientist and a pragmatist. He had me foaming with rage when he said that fantasy and imagination is garbage.
I agree with the first few posts that film (art) can be whatever its creator wants it to be. Furthermore, in order to review and assess it, the only measure of its success should be, “did it meet its objectives?” A popcorn movie deserves a 5 out of 5 if it delivers what it promises. An art film that wants to upset or nauseate you is also a 5 out of 5 if it succeeds at evoking the intended response; I would expect nothing less.
Film should grab us by the shoulders, shake us violently, and proclaim: “You are alive!”. Film should be an alarm clock, whose jarring pulses should penetrate our dreamless slumber with the urgency of a full bladder. Film should be a goddamned rocketship that jets us away from the humdrum and hurls us into the sublime surf of the cosmos. Film shouldn’t say a single word or eat at a single McDonald’s; it should simply wrap itself around your tiny little head like a plaster mold and suffocate you. Film should murder, film should fuck, film should be a stand-up comic that insults you in front of your wife. You shouldn’t be able to watch a film with your head in the sand or in between reruns of “Happy Days”. Film should be the last meal given to the men on death row. Film should stretch itself thinner than the value of the dollar and then collapse into a black hole. Film should be the cure for blindness and the cause of cancer. Film should teach you how to dream and dream to make you feel.