BOAN sparked immense controversy. It was a rallying cry for the KKK. Nobody became a racist because of BOAN I never said anything of the sort. BOAN propped up an ideology, it gave inspiration to the regeneration of a movement (it didn't create the movement). It inflamed tensions. It did not define the conversation on race, but it was PART of it. Films are communication, people communicate ideas, ideas influence people, BOAN is no exception.
I don't think you're actually listening because you aren't arguing against what I actually am saying. Because of that and also since you just insulted my intelligence this is my last comment. I'm well aware what "understate" means. If I said anything that you took personally, which you are now reacting to, I apologize and beg your forgiveness, I assure you that I intended to comment on your ideas. Not you.
?? You used BOAN and movies made today to understate the influence of cinema, thats what I was arguing against. You didn't argue from a historical perspective you commented on all movies by transcending a whole century from the silent era to now in your original argument. I responded in kind, referring to movies generally over all time. Sorry that I misunderstood you, but your original assertion lead me to think more broadly than you intended because of its own inherent scope. That is why my last comment was meant to "clarify."
I have been confused as to what you're getting at as well. Lets clarify.
My point is this:
Films reflect and contain the ideologies of their creators.
People who watch films absorb these ideologies.
Therefore Films influence people's ideologies.
Is there a part of that equation do you disagree with? Also:
On the second point: people absorb ideas whether they are aware of absorption or not --thats kinda what the subconscious does; it seems to sponge up random shit that you find there later and wonder "where the hell did that come from." And if one is a more active viewer one will realize the ideology packed into the films they watch and will filter what they agree and disagree with. The ideology is there, every single coherent film has characters, plot points and filmic techniques which express or deny attitudes, beliefs, ideologies, emotions, themes etc. Give me ANY film that is relatively coherent and I can tell you some of the ideology it is trying to bet across. My point is that some of that ideology (theme) gets into our heads. Film is after all a mode of communication as much as it is an art.
I never excluded documentary films... they're films too. and...
Fiction can be equally powerful: Just because it isn't about a real world event doesn't mean it doesn't express actual ideas which influence the way people think. By reflecting culture, as you admit the movies do, they reinforce cultural values do they not?
Perhaps I've been using inadequate examples. Personally: Tangerine changed the way I think about transgender people, now I'm helping with a documentary on a transgender couple. The Thing changed the way I thought about existence itself. The Big Short changed the way I think about Wall Street, government and the banking system (it changed the way everyone thinks whom I have talked to). Seven Samurai made me remember that its important to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Her made me think differently about Artificial Intelligence. The 400 Blows made me contemplate the importance of family. There is no conceivable way that I'm the only one who's life has been changed by the movies. For Godard they were his religion, they may not be that to everyone (I wouldn't even take it that far) but I think its beyond reason to think that many people's lives haven't been changed by cinema (and I don't mean big changes necessarily, perhaps you just look at something differently and do not behave differently, but my point is that cinema can change the way people THINK).
There may be 0 films that are inspiring or intellectually or emotionally challenging to you, but YMMV.
You're right and also I'm right I think; BOAN didn't create any racism, but it sure didn't help and it surely exacerbated the problem. Its was not, and I didn't mean that, it was not the only factor, rather it was part of the culture that encouraged racist ideologies. Films, art and stories are part of the culture, they feed into our fears and hopes for better or for worse, they do not make the culture, but surely they influence it. Also, just because someone is a passive observer doesn't mean they don't take in the onscreen ideas. In fact if one is passive they are more likely, I think, to absorb ideas into their subconscious without even realizing it. Secondly I doubt that you don't know people who get inspired by movies, you don't think that Star Wars has actively inspired a lot of people, including someone you know, over the years? I think you can even be inspired without being able to articulate it, without consciously knowing the source of your inspiration. Finally themes don't just inspire, they can also question, challenge, console etc. the possibilities are endless. Don't you have a list of favorite movies, some of which inspire you? I think everyone has a list of some sort of media--music, movies, books, games, comics--that inspire them. Films are just part of the media culture that everyone carries with them in their hearts and minds. All I meant is that filmmakers should be conscious of the impact of what their films say on a thematic level. I don't mean that most films make people go out and change their lives, but consider this example: an overweight 14-year old girl has grown up with films, music and images that bombard her with an idea as to the way she is supposed to look. How is she supposed to feel? Films did contribute to the culture that shapes how she may come to feel about her body (for better or worse). I could generate negative and positive examples all day, but this one I think is very relevant and illustrative.
1. They glue your ideas together, they keep things moving the same direction, they keep your story from getting lost on irrelevant and distracting tangents.
2. Themes are subliminal, they influence the way people think and what they believe, often without them knowing it... Yet so many writers pretend they don't exist... No judgments here, but this does strike me as terribly irresponsible. (If you want proof of the influence of themes look no further than the highly unfortunate example of Birth of a Nation; before that film came out the KKK was dead, after it came out, its less than subtle themes inspired old Klan members to reorganize and the Klan came back in force. Stories are incredibly powerful, under the right circumstances they can be either destructive or constructive motivators and influences).
3. Why not consider your films theme? I mean, making people laugh is always a noble and wonderful profession, so maybe this theme thing doesn't always apply to every film in every genre: like pure, goofball comedy. But to write a drama, for example, without a central thematic premise is going to make your film, and thereby your audience, discombobulated as to what your film is about (on an emotional and mental level, although they may or may not know why they're confused/dissatisfied). Themes are the organization of the soul of your movie, they are what you believe, who you are. Themes are just personal philosophy embedded into the story, so why leave your soul out? Why not write something that could make the world just a little bit better for the handful of people who deeply connect, perhaps even on a spiritual level, to your film? Theme can be thought of as subtext too, its the underlying message. You can't control everyone's subjective perception of your film, but if its in your subconscious it may very well show up on the screen in the form of ideology; So I try to do my best to make it conscious, to be intentional. The way I see it, I know everything else going into my film (lighting, set design, casting), so why forget about the most important part? Why forget about the thing that is reflected by and is the culmination of, all of the other choices I've made while making my film?
4. Analyze one of your favorite movies, my guess is that if you search hard enough you'll be able to boil the film down to its central idea, aka moral, aka premise, aka philosophy, aka ideology, aka message, aka subtext. You might come to a better understanding of why you love that film so much, why its among your personal favorites. Maybe you'll even learn something about yourself, after all, isn't that what story telling is for?
I have a stupid question... I thought APS-C referred to sensor size and was smaller than super 35mm. How is this a super 35mm camera with an APS-C sensor? I don't get it...