Film food vs. mass hypnosis: the nutritional value of film.
Watch what you eat. Culture is food, it’s the baseline of your intellect, the wave you ride on your way to work, the dreams you dream awake and in your sleep, how you shape your future, the stories you tell your children. If you do not think you are fully shaped by culture, open any history book – and see what remains of a civilisation.
What you will find standing solid in the dust, unmoved, is how we materialised our creativity. History of the world is the history of culture.
Culture has been hijacked. It belongs to the few, distributed in crumbs to the many. This may not be obvious to the naked eye, as we are inundated with culture, views on culture, thoughts on culture, tweets on culture. There is a steady stream of daily culture coming your way every time you switch on a gadget – it became like air. Invisible, all-encompassing and potentially poisonous. We only assume we are free to choose our stories, because there is so much choice, but you cannot choose to breathe or not breathe air.
Culture is an intellectual process, and without a personal filter, we become saturated with narratives, toxified by them, and then toxic ourselves.
Film culture has not only been hijacked, it’s also been gaslighted, desecrated, dragged through the woods by a crazed magician. It is still a private fiefdom, an ego trip of a thousand little wizards, existing only in clusters, engaging your attention for personal gain. Yet, there are many fighting the good fight, despite the ones who’d happily sell your dreams for VIP access and more social media influence.
Think before you eat. Demand a piece of the pie. It’s your pie. Don’t be told, ask. Think clearly. Drive that engine to the open road, and ride your own storyline, like a boss. Thinking creatively is our birthright. No one has authority over what we consume. And no one should.
Yes, art is by its nature elitist. There is no democracy in quality. But there must be democracy in distributing quality. The elitism of culture is a personal filter, not connected to social status. It’s our melody on that collective baseline.
Film as a medium twins reality. It is the most influential of all arts, even more so than music, because it engages all senses, and captures our attention fully. We are an element of its power, a receptacle to its perpetual spectacle. Its a reflective ocean, storing our collective dreams, a medium with the potency to enslave us, as well as inspire, inform, and entertain us – so all ships sailing those deep blue waters should be watched with a most observant eye.
It’s a tricky thing judging how a piece of art feeds you, what it nourishes within you, where it fails, or even damages, but it’s a joyful prospect thinking of film as soul food, and hopefully, a worthy one.
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Author: Milana Vujkov, writer, artist, psychologist. Film historian. Independent scholar, researching psychology of film and spectatorship, psychology of art and creativity, the female gaze in cinema, alchemical storytelling and art. Two decades of experience in the arts, media and entertainment industry – reporting, curating, event management, film marketing. BA in Psychology, MA in History of Film and Visual Media. Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Currently shooting a documentary on female ancestry.
Photo: Kino International, Berlin. 50 Jahre Kino International in Berlin | The Huffington Post