It's one of those words that can have different connotations depending on who's using it and who it's being said to. Ask an advocate for the humanities or a museum connoisseur what Cinema is and undoubtedly you will spark up intellectual conversation about the nature of film as art. Ask a casual drinking buddy about Cinema while sharing a pint at the local pub and you're more likely to receive the question "Why are you calling it Cinema?! Just say 'Movies' you artsy fart". The great thing about Cinema is that both of those situations are valid, each touches on what Cinema is truly all about.
Whether you are aware of it or not, the world of Cinema is going through a change, as any revolutionary art form should every once in a while. However it's not the kind of change one would expect. This transformation is not about new genres (like the teeny-bopper vampire flick genre), or new cinematography techniques (3-D), or new forms of exhibition (online streaming) or even about the state of the medium in general. No, this revolution in taking place within.
Since it's scrappy roots as traveling sideshow phenomenon in the 1800s, cinema has changed and evolved into a multi-billion dollar, world-wide entertainment industry that has become as much a part of our lives as the automobile, the internet and iPods. Everyone, young or old, male or female, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation has experienced cinema in their life time. However during it's evolutionary journey, Cinema has in many ways, become disconnected from the audience experience; films, in our current times, are often little more than monetary-driven, mass produced escapism that doesn't necessarily need to evoke a substantial experience within it's viewer. If you have any question about that just check out the lastest listing at your local movie theater and tell me how many of those films are not A) big-budget blockbusters, b) are shameless star-vehicles C) are produced by Disney or D) star Johnny Depp/Robert Downy Jr/Jennifer Aniston. Not many, right? This is why we, the movie going public, are changing; this is why this blog was created.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not some pseudo-intellectual that thinks that in order to enjoy a film, I have to be in an art-house theater, sipping on wine, wearing an argyle sweater and sporting thick black-rimmed glasses. Far from that. I enjoy all genres and types of films. What this blog is all about, is more an alternative for those of you like me who are awakened to our analytical mind and who enjoy rationally thinking about film. Most importantly this is about the change I was speaking of earlier. The change within us. More and more I run into people who are not just simply "watching" film anymore but are instead talking about it, dissecting it, debating it and truly experiencing it. This is extremely encouraging and this is the true revolution in the world of cinema that no one is talking about. But I'm changing that.
This blog will not be an argument advocating cinema as art, although there will be blog entries about that from time to time. This blog will not be about reviewing movies, although there will be plenty of my own brand of "movie reviews" to come. This blog will not be about the latest exploits of movie stars or what studio is scheduled to produce which film, although there will be discussion from time to time about the state of the movie business. This blog will not be about movies . . . it will be about Cinema and everything that comes along with that.
Its appropriate, I think, that Cinema comes from the Greek word Kinema, which means movement. Its appropriate because in no other current art form is there such an important need for constant movement, growth and revitalization, then in Cinema. Its consistently evolving and as the audience, our opinions and thoughts towards it should also be in this same state of flux. We owe it to the early pioneer writers of Cahiers du Cinema.
And if you don't know who or what that is . . . you will. Just keep reading.