Anarchic Cinema: An Introduction

Art is a very simple word to pronounce, though one of the hardest ideas to pin down. The more encompassing the word, the more ambiguous its meaning. Now, where some have taken the steps to saying that art goes beyond ambiguousness and reaches the realm that it is a ubiquitous concept, that is not what will be explored here. Though personally viewing the perspective that art is one in the same with everything to be a very valid point of view, what my odd little ramblings are focused on is chaos as art, or what I attempt to label as artistic anarchy.

Anarchy, by its dictionary definition, is classified as a state of disorder due to absence or non-recognition of authority. But applying this idea to art is often left to how the artist treats the art world from which they spring. And this is indeed a variation of artistic anarchy, this is still not the point I wish to make; this conversation will be on the manifestation of artistic anarchy expressed through the medium of film. Why? Because there’s always a dire need to inject ideas into the conversation.

What I mean by this is that filmmaking is dynamic. Every film screams to the audience in many different tones, tongues, and different styles; different moods, and a different attitude to that of the one coming before and after it. If we go beyond the typical groaning and whining that originality is not alive in art today, the reaction to this ‘unoriginality’ in it of itself is an original idea.

The original idea is individual perspective. Though it might be a retread or a remake of an idea, individual perspective is molded and expressed in a reactionary form. To explain, a film can push the audience into places mentally that are uncomfortable and challenging, or to places that are cheery and comfortable. Regardless where it lands on your individual spectrum, this is a reaction to the film. This relationship with the audience is a very personal one as film is usually the most direct reaction to the culture surrounding its creation and exhibition.

As a result of this constant tug back and forth of reactionary worlds of the film and the audience, the art form constantly changes and evolves. Through technical skill and proficiency on set and in the editing room, the technology that has made film not only accessible to almost every person, but has also democratized the playing field for distribution and exhibition. This opens up so many avenues to approaching moviemaking that the possibilities are actually grossly underappreciated. However, this current era in filmmaking is the epitome of a singular idea: We forget that as art changes, the artist must change with it.

Art is application of human creativity and imagination; which is molded by each artist’s interaction with their education, relationships and ultimately their perspective of the world. With such a powerful combination of character traits and modes of expression, art by its very existence (in all forms, but especially in filmmaking) must stress the limits, pushing to a point that you do not wish to cross and then pass it. This is not in reference to shock films, pornographic works or anything that can be classified as snuff. As our minds evolve, as our rationale changes, so, by the organized chaos that is life, should the art change. Now this is very evident by simple observation of art throughout history, especially cinema since its lifespan is so much briefer. Not because films should become more graphic, sexual, hostile, avant-garde, or even pandering. Filmmaking needs to mature.

Also Published on Community Soul.

Written by Matthew Roe. Published: April 22 2016

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