New Russian Chronicles
Surviving monotaxocausofilia

III – Art

Is a panting art? The usual answer is yes. Is grafitti “art”? Then the controversy starts.
Is music art? The usual answer is yes. Is Heavy Metal then, art? Not everyone would agree (I think it is).
Is filmmaking art? It might surprise you but not everyone thinks it is. Is “Die Hard III” art? …

Let’s leave aside for a second the discussion on the quality if art. I mean, let’s not discuss whether a certain object of art is good or bad. My question is just limited to “IS it art” ?

Let me quote a wikipedia article. I shouldn’t just quote an article on block, but honestly I don’t feel I can express it better.

The word art can describe several things: a study of creative skill, a process of using the creative skill, a product of the creative skill, or the audience’s experience with the creative skill. The creative arts (art as discipline) are a collection of disciplines that produce artworks (art as objects) that are compelled by a personal drive (art as activity) and convey a message, mood, or symbolism for the viewer to interpret (art as experience). Art is something that stimulates an individual’s thoughts, emotions, beliefs, or ideas through the senses. Artworks can be explicitly made for this purpose or interpreted on the basis of images or objects.

From the article Art, which I totally advice you to read before continuing.

I quoted that passage above because it is, in my opinion, both the most accurate and the most open to interpretation, and that is good.

The only possible conclusion to this is that art is incredibly subjective, that from the point of view of the user something might not be art (if it doesn’t speak to you) but it might be for the author, who created it with passion.

The only three solid, unequivocal conclusions I seem to find are these:

1- That everything can be regarded as art, by someone, for one of the reasons listed in the quote. At the same time, this also means that nothing can be regarded as art. Either everything can be or nothing can be.  (Personally I prefer to think that everything can be)

2- That the majority don’t rule here. It doesn’t matter if everyone else in the universe think something is not art. (For instance, I know for a fact that at some point only a handful of people regarded Fado, Flamenco and Blues [to name just a very few!] as art, since upper class society regarded it as the entertainement of the poor and lowly, and for the practitioners it wasn’t art, it was just something they did).

3- That some arts are more derivative than others, because they depend on more sophisticated instruments, or combinations of arts. For instance, playing guitar is more derivative than just singing, filmmaking is very derivative because it uses many other arts (painting and architecture for the backgrounds, photography for the takes, acting, music…).

And so, we get to the crux of my argument: I think that videogames are at a point when, some of them at least, can be considered art.

I can hear the objections already: “But hey, didn’t you just say that everything is or can be art??
Well, yes. And see, I admit it, I just moved the goalposts a little. What I mean by that statement is that I think that nowadays there are videogames that most people, if they took the effort, could appreciate as art. They could appreciate it in the same way as they can appreciate a deep and thoughtful movie.

Though to be honest, there’s only one game that I know that would fit in that cathegory:
Portal (click here)

Portal is like a very atmospheric movie, only interactive (and aren’t videogames that?). Very few elements given to the player, the rest, is up to your imagination going on overdrive…

(note: if you think other games should be included, plesae mention them)
Deathproof…  I just dunno. It’s a cool film and all, with some interesting moments. The girls are pretty (and quite normal looking, which is cool). The premise of the weird serial killer is interesting.

But…. so what? I mean, if that was all there is we could chalk it up to Tarantino doing another weird movie, mocking old genres, doing too many drugs with Robert Rodriguez… So why then are people so incensed about this movie, and, more importantly. why the crap are all the girls I know insisting that this movie is about “Girl power” ? No it’s freaking not! The second group of girls decided to go all out against the psycho. Ok, cool. The first didn’t because they didn’t stood a chance. There is no moral, at no point of the story should you think “oh I should do like the second girls and not the first”. It’s just bullshit that people keep spouting.

So yeah, it’s a mildly amusing film, but that’s all there is. I seriously advice people to stop taking Tarantino seriously until he’s out of this weird phase he got himself into, because crap.
It’s not even good from the cinema point of view, with the story cut neatly and awkwardly into two (like Jungle Julia). But I understand that’s Tarantino copying old style pulp movies for fun.

Finally, I don’t know why but the Ship’s mast scene makes my stomach into a knot,and it’s unpleasant.


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