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July 1994


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"Brian L. Tanner" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Jul 1994 16:10:17 EDT
text/plain (32 lines)
in re re[3-True Lies
Guy writes :
"I heartily agree with you.  Movies are foremost entertainment.  Any effort
educate or extract a response beyond enjoyment is secondary."
Only in Hollywood is entertainment foremost.  Ever since the beginning of
film making, politics has had a political undertone.  Look at Soviet Montage
(e.g. Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin) and socialist realism in the soviet
cinema endorsed by Lenin and Stalin (who saw the importance of movies as mass
communication).  There was also the French poetic realism (e.g. Jean Renoir).
 Look at the war-time propaganda films of WWII and at Italiam Neorealism
(e.g. Rossellini).  There is also the French New Wave (e.g. Rasnais).  Even
today there is the Third World cinema.  There are many other periods and
countries and auteurs I haven't mentioned because I don't want to overkill my
I just wanted to say that it's a mistake to neglect the history of polictics
in cinema (especially politics as a root of cinema) or the oppurtunity for
cinema to present political messages to a wide audience.  Cinema is not and
has never been just for entertainment; at least not outside of Hollywood,
where it matters more to make a statement than to make a buck.  Entertainment
is what sells here in the states, and may not be secondary to most people,
but I feel the reverse is true in other places.  I'm not saying that films
can't be fun or have to hit you over the head with a political hammer but
that shouldn't be the primary reason to  make a film.
Am I off the mark or what do other people think?
Brian L. Tanner
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