film as art


How is an art film defined? I define it as I define art, and the meaning of art to me is to search and discover the riddles and questions about human existence and to find and reveal the human soul - simply put, it is all about people, you and me, and what it means to be human. Any film that uses this as its theme is to me worth seeing, no matter how boring it is! Such a film provokes us, while the others make fun of us. While one challenges, the other pacifies. While one seeks the truth, the others offer cookie-cutter truths. One appeals to the heart, the other to the senses. One tries to confirm life, the other tries to escape life.

Sculpting in Time is a book by a Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovski. If you could stomach only one book about filmmaking, then this is it.

Here is my top ten(?) favourite films in no particular order;

title - director - country

M - Fritz Lang - Germany

Bicycle Thief - Vittoria De Sica - Italy

Mother and Son - Alexander Sokurov, Russia

The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick, USA

The Bus - Tunc Okan - Turkey

Where is a Friend's Home? - Abbas Kiarostami - Iran

Woman Under the Influence - John Cassavetes - USA

Belle de Jour - Luis Bunuel - France

Nights of Cabiria - Federico Fellini - Italy

The Stranger - Satyajit Ray - India

Aguirre - The Wrath of God - Werner Herzog - Germany

Dersu Uzala - Akira Kurosowa - Japan

Life of Oharu - Kenji Mizoguchi - Japan

Diary of a Country Priest - Robert Bresson - France

I know there are more than ten in this list and that's the point - it's impossible to narrow down the list to a such a ridiculous number when there are so many wonderful films and these are only from what I've watched over the years.

In order to appreciate what is involved in making a film, I've scanned this one page graphic illustration from a book entitled How to Read a Film. It's a simplified look at the filmmaking process. Click here.