Cinematheque – an introduction

This is currently an interesting moment for cinema.  Seemingly untouched by the global recession the Hollywood giants continue to produce films which are record breaking for both budget and profit.  2009 was a high water mark for studio profits so it would seem that all is rosy for the Zeus-like moguls who rule all before them.  But cinema should be more than a business, it’s an art form, and history looks fondly upon films which manipulate emotions rather than profit margins.  2009/10 will be remembered for Avatar, but should it perhaps be engrained in our memories because of films made out-with the borders and structure of Hollywood?  and are arguably the best films of the last year, and most recent years, yet they are not applicable for the best film Oscar on the 7th of March.  Language dictates that they cannot be.  So, these wonderful works of art languish in the foreign language category, an afterthought.  Is this wrong?  No, because the Oscars are the awards of the Hollywood film industry.  They are not universally representative, but they are marketed as such and this belief is passed onto the casual cinema viewer.   Hollywood is simply one film industry existing upon this third planet of the solar system.

International film from countries such as Japan, France, Mexico and Korea are treated as specialist when in fact there’s no reason they should be.  Most people are happy to experiment with food from all nations, why not film?  Watered down remakes of European and Asian films seem to be preferred to the artistic nourishment of the full strength original classics.  However, in the majority cross pollination is beneficial.  Without where would the western genre have travelled?  And were there not the stylised gangster flicks of or the film noir of post-war America we could hardly expect to have seen ’s sorties into heroic bloodshed.  Film needs to develop and that is fed by the influence of other filmmakers.  There is a delicate line between influence and theft, but that’s an argument for another day.

If a blog can have a mission statement then Cinematheque’s is to shine a light on forgotten classics while remaining a la mode.   As dear old Percy Shelley suggested; we shall fear not for the future, nor weep for the past.  Chronology and geography will not restrict us.  This blog will provide news, reviews and some games and discussion on films from all periods and continents. It’s a two way street though.  One selfish motivation for writing the blog is that I can discover obscure unknown gems or individual interpretations of current or classic films from reader’s comments.  Reality is nothing more than our perception, so my opinion is nothing more than my opinion.  We don’t always need to agree, so please add any opinions or comments.

So, hopefully this will be the start of something interesting.  Thanks for reading, I hope you continue to do so.  Long live Cinematheque!
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