Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Visionary Movie: A Manifesto

This essay caught my attention on a number of levels, but most particularly that of engaging with film as a mythic medium.

"Over the past forty years the dominant art form in America has shifted from the novel to the movie. Yet for the most part, the movie–and the popular movie, in particular–is not addressed with the same level of critical analysis as the novel. The purpose of this site is to remedy that lack.

As the Russian literary theorist Bakhtin noted, the novel is the youngest of all literary media, the only literary form, in fact, that has arisen within the context of literate civilization, for all the others–the epic, the lyric and the dramatic–are pre-literate in origin. If we take a moment to survey the evolution of Western literature, it becomes evident that each of its literary media have evolved through a three-phase cycle of formative, dominant and climactic stages. Pausing here to survey this overall evolution will give us a larger sense of perspective within which to characterize the place of cinema as a medium that has evolved out of the Western literary tradition."

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