Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating – or indoctrinating – citizens. Film may be combined with performance art and still be considered or referred to as a “film”, for instance, when there is a live musical accompaniment to a silent film. The act of making a film can, in and of itself, be considered a work of art, on a different level from the film itself.. A “road movie” can refer to a film put together from footage from a long road trip or vacation. Intuitively, some films qualify as artworks and others do not. All film is art, though some of it is better art or higher art. This, it turns out, is not just a question for those with a special interest in film. It has interest for aesthetic value more broadly, because film can serve as a test case for definitions of art. Some theories of art seem too restrictive, because they prevent us from classifying certain films that are aesthetic masterpieces into the category of art.
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The intentions of the creators in attaining status as art. Sometimes, however, creators do not conceive of their creations as primarily belonging to the class of artworks, but viewers come to recognize that they can be fruitfully regarded in this way. This is not to say that a work becomes art when it’s taken up by a art-consuming audience. A theory of that kind would face the difficulty of saying which audiences had the power of conferring art status. Moreover, audiences
do not transform works into art, rather they discover that a works deserves to be regarded in that way. If this intuition is right, the key to understanding what makes a film count as art is what goes on in this discovery process.
India is well known for its commercial cinema, better known as Bollywood. Almost every Indian is well versed with onscreen “running around the trees singing songs”, the fight sequences, twins meeting each other pachchees saal baad, topped with some dose of mush and lots and lots of spice. However there are other types of movies which focus purely on story- minus the masala. This genre is sometimes referred as “Pheeka” or “Bina namak mirch wala” (bland) kind of cinema. In addition to commercial cinema, there is also Indian art cinema, known to film critics as “New Indian Cinema” or sometimes “the Indian New Wave”. A true admirers of cinema and people who consider movie-making as an art call it the “Offbeat” or “The Art House Cinema”. Many people in India plainly call such films as “art films” as opposed to mainstream commercial cinema. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the art film or the parallel cinema was usually government-aided cinema. Such directors could get federal or state government grants to produce non-commercial films on Indian themes. Their films were showcased at state film festivals and on the government-run TV. These films also had limited runs in art house theatres in India and overseas.
The Indian Art Cinema or the New Wave sometimes called has had a humble beginning. This genre doesn’t boast of foreign locales, hopelessly expensive clothes or the big star cast. The sole strength of these kind of films is the story. The Indian Art Cinema has beautifully transformed and re-invented itself. From socially relevant topics of Child Marriage, Dowry, Female Foeticide, Widow Re-marriage to a simple love story. The Art film-makers have done it all. It’s amazing to see how some of the very talented film-makers have gifted their audiences with some of their magnificent work. There is Shekhar Kapoor who beautifully told the story of a man struggling to make his illegitimate son a part of his family (Masoom) and we got one of the all time masala entertainers Mr India from the same director. The person who gave us Zubeida, Ankur and Manthan came up with something as entertaining as Welcome to Sajjanpur and the very recent Well Done Abba.
The Gen-X today are more intelligent and open to a wide variety of topics. At the end of the day the purpose of the film and the audience should be served. The audience wants a good story and a really good way of putting it and that’s what the film makers are supposed to do. Yes masala flicks are welcome but too much of masala can cause acidity! A good mixture of masala movies and intelligent cinema is what the audience wants. Brainless comedies work, but again not always. In this new context of art-house appeal to the mainstream, “of limited box-office appeal” is striking, if not, perhaps, inaccurate. On the other hand, general conceptions of “art house” have come to describe films simply on the basis of their production outside the Bollywood system, regardless of their status as conventional dramas or slightly offbeat comedies. Surely a film with a 30-crore budget, Bollywood stars, and wide release does not fit the standard “art-house’ profile. And yet a documentary about global warming with “art house” written all over it-complete with its charisma-challenged star, Al Gore-enjoyed sold-out screenings at huge multiplex theaters across the globe.
From the very inception of this genre, there has been a difference between art and commercial cinema. However with changing times this gap has been bridged. The themes of art movies have witnessed a change. The earlier trends in Indian Art movies were more specifically related to the Indian audience, while the recent incline is towards the global concept. Quite ideally therefore the Indian Art cinema has gradually emerged itself as a reflections of the happenings in the society. Now many of these Art Movies or “small” films are grossing major profits and competing for space at the big multiplexes as well as finding their audiences at the small cinemas devoted to specialty fare. What will be ideal is an exclusive chain national art house cinema multiplexes to mark the new era of these specialized cinema.
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The audiences today look out for “good” films rather than the serious or popular films. Hence once a while a multi-starrer movie bombs and a small budget movie like Aamir is much appreciated by the cine goers. The need for better subjects, the desire to watch something more feasible on the screen and the boredom that has set in with the regular candy floss cinema are some of the reasons for this apparent change. If this trend continues then the day is no far when there will be no commercial cinema or art cinema, but just good cinema and bad cinema.
India is full of art and that is depicted in Indian movies. But a commercial or non commercial movie, both need art. Commercial movies need art in form of background, sets, getting a shot right. Both have got distinct way of describing art through movies. There are a number of genres and styles of Indian cinema that a viewer encounters, such as, romantic comedies, gangster films, horror films, westerns, melodramas, musicals and historical films. While some of these genres are present in Indian cinema, often as a consequence of the impact of the western films, the Indian filmmakers have also created some styles of their own, that are acknowledged as their own. This is clearly discernible in the popular tradition of filmmaking in India.
The knowledge of Indian cinema provides an entry into the thought-worlds and performance-worlds to the people interested in this art. Many Indian film directors, right from the pioneers such as Dadasaheb Phalke to the modern ones like Yash Chopra, have deployed their creativity along with traditional forms of dance & mime, folk & classical music to enhance the communicated experience. Indian popular cinema has evolved into a distinctively Indian mode of entertainment by imaginatively amalgamating music dances also and the works of veteran directors like V.Shantaram. Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor bear a testimony to this fact. So, through Indian cinema one can also enter the larger world of Indian aesthetics. Film makers like Ketan Mehta has made a movie on the life of 19th century painter Raja Ravi Varma named it as Rang Rasiya. It’s a very artistic movie showing us the reality of the society in the 19th century. He had also directed Mangal pande which was againg very artistic from the sets to costume everything gave you the feel on the 18th century. Aushitosh Gowarikar’s Jodha Akbar is another epic story in which art played a very important role. To add on the list is devdas Sanjay Leela Bhansali did a brilliant job with art direction.
Indian cinema has presented a detailed version of India from its different historical movies to its present scenario movies. The distinct genres of films depicted by the different filmmakers have helped in the study of India from a different and distinct angle of vision. Thus, one cannot help but realize the fact that indeed it has been the old traditions and the cultures that have actually framed the Indian cinema, which have been an encouragement to uplift India and make it one of the renowned countries in the world. By seeing the cultures and traditions of the distinct societies, people can examine their own country`s culture with fresh eyes and with a special vision and approach.
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