Sunday, 7 February 2016

Movies As a Major Art Form

Film is widely acknowledged as the highest art form since it in the very least constitutes of several different art genres. A film for instance could have music, be based on literary material, use imagery such as paintings to indirectly drive a message home and so on. This gives films a wider scale to out-do all the other art forms in terms of achieving the purpose for which they are intended.

From eons gone by, art (even at its crudest form as paintings when all man could do was paint pictures of animals on the cave walls where they lived -- to the age of CGI) could at the very basic level be used as a form of self-expression. People have the inherent quality of telling others of their achievements and this was one way to leave something for the other generations to see what their ancestors could do (which was not much).

Art, from then on advanced and with that the reasons for which it was created became more refined. Up till the 1950s, movies were predominantly made for entertainment but slowly the effects of the wars made people realize that films could do more than just entertain people. At first the power of films was used as balm to psychologically soothe people using synthetic mode of psychodrama which enabled audiences to release pent up emotions by watching others enact situations they were familiar with.

The success of this venture, encouraged filmmakers to tackle harder social issues which had either been ignored or personal matters which those involved in making the film wanted to be addressed and thus film became the number one social commentary tool. For a time this encouraged some change in society but not much of it. Nonetheless, once it was realized that there was a possibility of using films to actively influence people moviemakers chose to edge further into the psychological territory of their audiences.

This finally gave birth to the use of the medium as a tool for propaganda. From the cold war era, movies began to be used to subtly garner sympathy for the cause of communism or capitalism depending on which side made the movie. By presenting their enemies as contemptible people, the national populace who had no idea what the conflict was even about were misled to believe that the people on the other side were as bad as they were presented to be. That, far from making things better served to up the ante in terms of driving the tension a notch higher.

Much as propaganda was successful in painting the government's enemies as the bad guys it didn't satisfy movie-makers. A little success whets the appetite for more success. The movies were turned on the people themselves. Depending on the needs of the filmmaker, people could either indirectly be induced to watch more movies, in order to make the production company more money or used to support a movement such as feminism, gay rights, etc.

Over time the main purpose for which films were originally made has become a side issue. Films were meant to entertain people and not used as a platform for educating people, encouraging them to be good guys and so on. Yes it is permitted that a great script should integrate such things into it but then it was the stories' themes were meant to present themselves to the audience and not have the messages shoved straight into their faces.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Arts and Entertainment - Should I Study and Get a Degree In That?

The other day I was talking to a lady who had her PhD in dance. She was able to teach dance all over the world, and she became a professor. The reality is that many people who get degrees in dance don't end up making all that much money, and if they dance professionally it's hard to keep up as they get older, the younger generation just has too much energy and agility to compete with, and your knees only hold out for so long. Not just for dance, you can ask any professional athlete. Speaking of which very few ever make the grade, but let's talk about that for a second shall we?

You see if you get a degree in fine arts from college or from a major university, it isn't going to be cheap, and even with all that debt that you've racked up in tuition and student loans, the chances of paying it off are slim to none in many cases. Yes, it's true those student loans will be guaranteed by the US taxpayer perhaps, but they're still going to want their money back, and will come after you for it sooner or later. Not long ago someone told me that they wanted to get a degree in art and entertainment. They weren't sure what they wanted to do yet, they were still deciding. That's interesting isn't it?

There was a rather troubling article in the Wall Street Journal on February 18, 2013 titled; "A Degree Drawn in Red Ink - Graduates of Arts - Focused Schools Are Shown to Rack Up the Most Student Debt," by Ruth Simon and Rob Barry.

Well, it appears from this article that getting a degree in art or entertainment costs more than let's say getting an MBA or a law degree. That seems like a rather risky venture, and it's not that I don't believe that you should do what you love in life and something you have passion for, I do believe that to be true. But if you think you're going to pay off those expensive loans, think again, and consider your options more carefully. It's your choice in the end, but if you were worried about being broke while going to school, you may as well get used to it if you go for one of those high end art schools.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Performing Arts of Magic

The performing arts, whatever type of it is, are usually presented to entertain in one way or another. One of the most popular of which are the performing arts of magic. In fact, there are many successful stage performances presenting magic and there are many viewers who actually enjoy and appreciate its show. And you must already know that these magic shows are usually power-driven by magic tricks which require the person who will do it years of careful practice. People have always been struck in awe and interest in learning the ways of and the arts of performing magic tricks. Given this fact, magic shows is really one of the most well-liked and appreciated performing arts.

The magic community today that is entirely engaged in the performing arts is massive. In Las Vegas alone, judging by how magicians execute their tricks and perform stunts and the like, there are many people who are left to admire how perfectly they do it. Perfecting its art require meticulous practice, tedious years of sweat, blood and tears. Although some people may just look at it as a low status job, for those who actually perform it, believe that magic is but an integral part of their lives. Have you ever watched David Copperfield perform his tricks on streets? Isn't it incredible? How about David Blaine? They do it unbelievably, so perfectly executed. The amount of patience and determination to perform a trick flawlessly is indeed overwhelming. How these magicians put in and dedicate time for their tricks is admirable, too. To faultlessly do a trick requires heaps of effort and time. However, once you get the drift of it, it can spell gold.

While there are many people who continuously criticizes the performance of a magic trick or do not concur to the idea of whatever the performer or magician is doing, there are still some who believe that magic is a great part of the entertainment industry. People who are against it must understand that performing magic is just a way of entertaining people, to give them something wondrously to watch while relaxing away from a day's work.

Learning the tricks is not easy. It requires passion to actually learn it by heart. And usually those who succeed in perfecting it are those who dedicate time and effort. Contradictory to what we used to think of magic, it can not be yours with just one snap of the hand or one wink of the eye. It is not that simple. It might require full strength and full focus.