I haven’t asked any question in a while, and I know that this feels like a moot point to discuss, but a blogger from KaramelKinema, who is rather articulate about her declining on decoding whatever the hell cinema is–art or entertainment; she doesn’t care, she just loves films–triggered me to finally post this for discussion. The community that we have here at WordPress and the film blogosphere as a whole finds various types of film enthusiasts like my fellow cinephile, Etchie Pingol, from the prolific film (and book) blog Brainstorms from the Showers, who enjoys both “arthouse” and “popcorn” cinema. There’s also me, like Etchie, who doesn’t care that much, who loves a bit of both.
My point of mentioning this is that people are not all Etchie Pingol’s. Some of them may prefer “popcorn” over “arthouse;” some others may prefer the subtitled glory (lol, what?) of the latter. There’s not much of sense in telling which is which and which isn’t. And I care not about all the “every piece of cinema, in the end, is business” sentiment, which I’m sure you already have locked and loaded. It’s only a matter of subjectivity, I believe.
Many needlessly brand filmmakers like Steven Spielberg a commercial filmmaker and a “too-mainstream” one at that. We don’t look at his films the way we look at films from names like Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick and Peter Greenaway. The Lynchian veers a whole lot from the mainstream feels, but makes use of known cinematic conventions. If you want accessible, but arty stuff, names like Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and let’s throw in Hitchock in here, yeah? Quentin Tarantino is a true auteur (see: “Reservoir Dogs” and “Django Unchained”); does that make him an “arthouse” filmmaker, where his films are filled with mainstream-ish one-liners and stuffed with sheer awesomeness?
At the end of the day, cinema may be a business, and from the looks of the present, it’s going to be in the entirety of its existence (see the stark contradiction in this Venom fan-short film; a project made out of pure love for film). There could be different reasons as to why we enter theaters and why films are maid: to enamor, to ask, to earn money–whatever. I think film has one true purpose and this explains why it has been the most accessed artform for how many lifetimes straight: it pleases, in some way, the audience.
This is merely my opinion, you see, and I’m keen to hear yours. Please write them down below and start the discussion. I’ll be back for a review of Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” soon.