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 shaped by culture, open any history book, if there are any more of these around – and see what remains of a civilisation.
You will find very little on daily life, all the blood, guts & tears fade, wars are dates, and casualties become numbers, the entire span of all that sound & fury a footnote in a giant’s diary. What you will find standing solid in the dust, unmoved, and untouched, is how we materialised our creativity. History of the world is the history of culture.
And 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 incredibly toxic. 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 toxified 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 a private fiefdom, an ego trip of a thousand little wizards, existing only in clusters, engaging your attention for personal gain. I’ve seen how your daily culture is served, and may I say, you’ve been robbed. Only a few brave souls fight the good fight, all others would happily sell your dreams for a round of champagne, a VIP lounge, 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 it like a boss. Thinking is your birthright. No one has authority over what you consume. And no one should.
Yes, culture 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 your attention fully. You are an element of its power, a receptacle to its perpetual spectacle. It has the potency to enslave us as it entertains us, so it should be watched with a most beady eye.
Lola On Film is designed to deconstruct the spectacle, measure empty calories, offer nutritional insights on films newly released, as well as archival treasures (and junk), assess the state of film culture, and illuminate cinema’s place in society, as well as in our individual psychology.
It’s a tricky thing judging how a piece of art feeds you, what it nourishes within you, and where it fails, but it’s a joyful prospect thinking of film as soul food, and hopefully, a worthy one.
And if the idea of demanding nutrition from your culture, along with the thrills, really catches on, stars are our limit.