Spectres of Mark
WOEBOT said:but, fraid to report, I just loved star wars, and i'll quite happily celebrate most blockbusters (independence day, that one with bruce willis blowing up the asteroid) above the wretched hand-wringing of art cinema. ok i'll give you herzog. but he was a visionary of visual extremity. all the great russian cinema vertov, eisenstein connects more meaningfully with the total cinema of the blockbuster than it does with the paucity of ambition of art cinema.
I think we're perfectly, isomorphically opposed here, in that I'd go for Girls Aloud and Rachel Stevens while despising Independence Day and (you MUST be joking) Armageddon. (BUT I think there's an argument to say that the 'rockist' values of innovation and novelty are better serviced by Xenomania than anything in rock atm.) (I've not even seen any but the first Star Wars film; I almost literally can't watch them, every time I attempt to do so, they repel my attention. Ditto Harry Potter, which I've never managed to make myself sit through). I'm not sure what you mean by art cinema though.... I mean the phrase 'paucity of ambition' could hardly apply to Tarkovsky... or Marker.... or Pasolini... or Bergman... etc.
Isn't 'ambition' being conflated with 'scale' here... because it seems to me the creative ambitions of blockbusters are very limited.... lots of NOISE and BIG stuff.... but in a setting that is formally conservative and threadbare formulaic....
I think there's a direct connection between pop malaise and cinema malaise (but mainstream cinema is certainly much worse than mainstream pop) - both have lost connection with their outsides. Mainstream cinema at its best stole precisely from art experimentalism (you can see this in everything from the famous take-up of German expressionism in 30s horror and film noir to Scott's appropriation of Ozu and Tarkovsky in Blade Runner) . MTV is an interesting symptom of this disease. Even up to about six or seven years ago, MTV was explicitly arty; now you're lucky if you find music on it, never mind about art.