Volume 1 : Cover Topic - Film and Society (1)




Why Films ? “Why Not ?”

Biswajit Roy

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"All the arts appertaining to man have a certain common bond, and are as it were connected by a sort of relationship.”—Cicero. The good not the bad is here my concern to carry on. ‘Film is an art’ is what I firmly reckon. Particularly when its pertinence or relation with society is the peg to hang on, the viewpoint can be well attributed to be of paramount importance to our further discourse. ‘What is art ?’, is the common question. To me, it, a blend of emotion and intellect catching a likeliness of life, is the nature gifted mode, fully motivative to juxtapose and unfold life’s universality, further entertained by positive fit-for-hope predication of a subject. Hence, I find it neither subject nor predicate, but the copula. Seneca quotes, “Every art is an imitation of nature”. Widely, art confirms being optimistic to qualify society. Film being an art claims to vindicate the same, and thus helps us explore the explorative.

Normally at the time to thrash the matter (film) out, it becomes quite obvious to classify and stick fast to a candid terminology. What would be appropriate terms of classes to continue discourse seems initially something we ought to cudgel our brains to adhere on. Personally I set cool to state film an audio-visual narrative form of art, so as to be broken up, in lieu of blowing hot and cold, in two initial broad classes viz. narrative and story teller. Let it be unclouded to get the hang of such cleft that every story teller though a narrative, all narratives need not be story tellers.

Thereafter, to denote the narrative’s importance in society I settle on to split it in terms viz. fiction and non-fiction. Fiction here, to make the wit of the ‘term’, is not necessarily referred to as the story but rather the particular point/moral needed to be illustrated, so as to be preferrably stated parable cinema too. One comprehends crafty personification of human psychology with the focus being read between the lines, as being too a question that evokes one to ressurect the reverse of the medal.

Non-fiction brings home to one what has happened, happens and even what can happen in one’s reach and recall. It too, puts forward reality (to be verified thereinafter) rather than the mere-apparent by non-fictitious evidences. It, to my belief, is informative and moral scientific, not the data-based. It is a mode moreover to discover the factual-inevitable—unknown, hidden, usually overlooked or the casually-looked-upon.

However, storyteller, commonly what we figure up as fiction may verbally be contradicted as non-fictitious when based upon true story. This needed to be split further into, sub-story teller and fantasy, having conceptualized the same distinction device by—every fantasy though a storyteller, all storytellers need not be fantasies. Hence, sub-storyteller—the on-ground myth, then, substantially conduces to be or resemble moving metamorphosis of literature consisting of written characters or stories that come out screen-alive infront of one’s perception, and literature as we contemplate is depiction of life as admitted about the former too. This way one gains in the story-form as much as from literature, so as to picture all parts, short stories to novel.

Fantasies too, I claim of the same about though, differ still being a thorough-paced figure of speech form, marked precisely a cloud-castle endeavour, regardless of whims, to well up the cream. It personates to imaginarily fulfil/unfulfil the heroic desire or wish formulated in dreams that stays mostly in oblivion in one’s consciousness. In brief, it helps to brush up the oblivion but unavoidable case of conscience, intense in the thorough-bred child’s mind—the child that exists in every human. Animation is also indubitably included in.

The common good ‘n’ evil conflict metamorphosises one’s natural innate habit of trying to catch a tartar while dealing with the ill-developed seven sins actually embodied in every mind. Likewise, all sorts of instincts are rightly unfolded in every class of cinema, from the very divine to the animal. Film, a key of vortex, lets in to slip reminder about the root of society. Mankind’s origin is the root, recurred back in films both clockwisely and anticlockwisely directly/indirectly to strip off masks. “All human beings live in circles, but in different circles. In some countries the ratio of this circle is larger than in my country,” said Iranian film director Jafar Panahi on his latest film, The Circle (Times News Network).
Man (root) Family (branch) Society (body)
Film, the art, has been constantly proliferated thus, since it’s origin.
Note : According to what the terms here have been referred to, fiction objectifies the moral through story or ant-montage shots, and story teller the vice-versa. Put bookishly, fiction vivifies poetry more than prose, and story teller vice-versa. In one way hence, Fiction does the same as story teller literaturewise. Montage here, has been referred to as chronology of shots just for an easy wit. Shots need not be essentially chronological to reveal a story. Story is itself too a creative illustration of moral. ‘Way of showing/conveying’ is the story in fiction, ‘What is shown/conveyed’ is the story in storyteller. Apparently be the shots chronological or scattered, to comply context (moral) is always the motto of films. Besides in fiction and non-fiction, director’s intention is to place or may be sometimes improvise directly an image. As far as maker’s motive is concerned, image placed though too in storyteller, improvisation (instant unintentional off-hand expression, thereafter even interrogated by maker itself) happens only in fiction and non-fiction, of course exceptions been un-forgotten. But all are experimental to silverline image in mind. By improvising, I talk not about the making or filling up. Moral and message need not always be the same. Moral in the truest sense is eternal truth and films can act as much an indirect as too a direct illustration of it. Thereby graduates the fact of non-fiction to, ‘does it not also sketch out a story/moral ?’, infallibly verified by the fact that the ‘word’ story differs from story the ‘term’ (fixed common identified word)—not exactly ‘tale’ or ‘fable’ yet relevant the verbatim ‘fruitful’ meaning.

Cinema, a phenomenal effigy, substantiates to ordain philosophical value in society. Consider a scene of two shots minus music, expression and dialogue, for instance, to prove film’s fertility of mind stuff. Shot 1 : a teenager boy’s face covers full frame. Shot 2 : a teenager girl shown cap-a-pie standing who fills up a background of greenary and the sky together captured in single frame. Both face camera complying that both look each other. I, just for an explanation, take upon an XYZ’s viewpoint for a make-it-fast clarity as follows —— X would say, the boy happens to be the nearer one to the girl than she to him.’ Y would say, ‘the girl seems exclusively possessive of the boy what he fails to be of her’. Z would say, ‘the boy seems fortunate to own her naturally whilst she looks eager to catch a glimpse of the sky that he has dominated upon. Connote, ‘may be she wants/wants not/feels him close or he the same himself to her’, ‘may be he wants/wants not/feels distance or she the same herself from him’—OR—a ‘farewell’ or ‘memory’ ?…..
Now, I further substantiate why I opted to classify films to prove it’s pertinence. Again consider a sheep ‘n’ goats conflict film having the evil visually won as the concept, to exemplify the point. Three films of the same concept may convey morals followed by three statements as follows — Statement 1 : This is what should be called ‘injustice’. Statement 2 : Looser’s faults show him/her the grave whilst winner’s quality fetches him/her the reward. Lastly statement 3 stands as compound of both. Statement 1 succeeds protagonists being the hero and villain. Statement 2 comes after in order of them being characters of casual normalcy. And protagonists being jointly both one as mentioned above in both statements preceed the last statement. If looked upon broadly, it is adhered finally that good always attains victory in a ‘vis-a-vis’ way.

An irony or image, may or may not be to thrash a point viz. ‘a’ home to one, gladly goes acceptable by myriad on-the-track points derived and con to be relevant even more than the former ‘a’. One green lights hence, its course of thought with whatever candid on-the-trade point it possesses.

The text of comprehension merely pertained may lie twixt the cup and the lip, hopefully having the broad ground for justification accomplished through as, a profound acknowledgement of reality, if absorbed. Even having not yet attained that much brain sauce to define reality, I candidly figure up such omniscience as profound consciousness of man about life’s existence, obtained jointly by perceptibility, thought and reverie. Given, man part of nature and inner man part of man, art remains unconscious till one creates or recalls it to verify, ‘art is itself creative art and vice-versa’. So is ‘nature’ a part of man wrong neither if conceived that it would have been unlearned had it been excluded from profound consciousness of man, so that nature retains its creativity thereafter. I turn up to ‘profound’ than ‘virtual’ kept in mind, ‘what is the consciousness here referred to as?’

Fiction — not the term mentioned but the word, appears clear in Javed Akhtar’s diction of transparency : “Generality denotes — this is there / that. Fiction connotes — what if the other had been there / that or what is not there / that. Take an incidence of a child who holding a string the other end of which is tied to a stone, spins the thing. Stone is imagination and hand holding the string is life. Imagination’s axis or centre is thus life. String joins the two. The circle by stone’s rotation becomes big as the string-hold gets slowly loosened, symbolizing that one excels with broader surface of imagination.” (Part of interview translated from Hindi Program : ‘Limelight’ — Star news channel. 17 Nov. 2001). Imagination is man’s cup of tea that destines broader understanding of reality. Henceforth fiction / parable cinema, storyteller and fantasy combine to be together marked the ‘word’ fiction. Art being a fiction and film art, I mark non-fiction upto its dexterity and image-making, the same. This way film is a fiction art wedded to truth.

Thus, film — the art that serves as food for thought, seeks to ponder one’s quintessential mind to reflect upon society as a case of conscience. Business point of view of films can be read well between Wordsworth’s lines, ‘Creative art demands the service of a mind and heart’. The long and the short of all, places the prodigy cinema, as a perspicacious mandatory portraiture of the unsolved.

Note : I intentionally shelved up a bit the Indian-specific-invented charismatic popular cinema — a harmony of unique stylization of sub-storyteller or on-ground fantasy plus music-visual (song-orientation) adroitly smart-scaled, picture palace having notedly silverlined character-impact if not exactly character-image. I found it just another topic to be talked about differently, need not be through ‘n’ through intellectual but intelligent indeed, provided non-films (mortal intellect or whims)—the stiff peep-toe(d) sandals, do not interfere.

I check on, ‘put the best foot forward’ to find compendious still hypothetic an answer of a ‘Why?’ Hats off to the avante garde to struggle out the auspicious “Why not?”


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