This is my first post on my first academic blog, to be honest, internet to me is usually a place for fun rather than study, which is kind of wasting resources. However, with this new place, I am forced to study, keep updated with other academic blogs.
Visual culture is strange to me, though I am surrounded with it, I never try to learn it as a theory. If I was given a chance to list my favourite films, I could easily name some:<Awaydays>,<The wackness>,<Berlin Calling>,<Yesterday>…but how about exploring them in a deeper level? I begin to thrill…
After reading some chapters of <Film Production Theory>, I begin to understand what confused me before, as the topics listed below:
1. Why Hollywood type of flims persist popular among the audience, while independent movie makers still struggle for life?
As personal taste, I never prefer Hollywood films: typical, commercial, sensational stimulation more than inner artistic value. What appeal to me are those films describing my ideal life or work situation, or the subculture I have been interested in. However, in the chaper 1, “Richard Hofstadter once emphasied the continuing importance of anti-intellectualism in American life”,”the feeling that ideas should above all be made to work, the disdain for doctrine and for refinement in ideas”,”The culture was no longer concerned with how to work and achieve, but with how to spend and enjoy”, such cultural perspective help me to understand that audiences nowadays just want to consume films as pure entertainment more than mental activities, therefore, the motion pictures of Hollywood films save them from thinking deeply.”All in all, the deintellectualiation of art and the primacy given to sensual response by the body–the guiding principles of the counterculture movement in the sixties–have led to a filmmaking style today that is entirely driven by stimuli which mesmerize and keep audience coming back for more”.
2. The advent of independent movie makers
This questions never came to me with the thought of post-modernism, however, <Film Production Theory>reminds me of the influence that post-modernism have in the film industry. “Its spirit made it possible to dismantle the boundaries that carefully contained and defined fields of investigation in theory as well as in practice”,”Their very opposition to the social system had in fact infused them with enough confidence to create vital works”, with the encouragemenr of post-modernism, also with the development of the technology, we are happy to see that there are more and more independent movie makers engaged in making films not just considering commercial value and effects, they would rather concentrate on intellect level, and the artistic value of the film, which will in essence show the diversity of society, though maybe”The joy of thinking ,creating, and assembling images and sounds that mean something is your entire reward.”
3. The definition of entertainment
“In other words,entertainment is counted on to provide the “human” environment that is missing 8 hours a day,5 days a week.”,”In that sense, even when a commerical product fails at its primary task, it is still successful in that it has kept other works from being created,disseminated, and enjoyed by audience.” In a way, entertainment provides space for those commercialized products to survive and prosper, since there are always people who want to enjoy the appearance of entertainment, not the serious meaning behind it. Only by this could people find balance them of their life, so as to balance the whole society.Here, art is opposite to entertainment, because”the work of art, itself a legacy of the resistence of the world’s innermost being to the artist’s techne, ends up reminding viewers that their own will to power”
4.screen writer and writer
As for me,before I read this book, I thought that screen writer has nothing different from writer, and in China, most famous writers have the experience of remolding their works to a screen play, therefore, I think they play the same role. However,”the screen writer is much more a film maker than a writer”Unlike writing solely, a screen play is prepared to make a entire film, more behaviors, and unexpected situations should be considered aside from texts, so there has to be the type of Hollywood screen play to help screen play become more efficient and completed,”as soon as genre announces itself, one must respect a norm, one must not cross a line of demarcation, one must not risk impurity,anomaly or monstrosity.”
It’s magical that reading theory opens a door for me to see deeper into those things I have already met,hopes that I could make more progress!