The tremendous expense involved in producing motion pictures reminds us that film is both an Industry, and an Art. Each film is the child of a turbulent marriage between businessmen and artists. Yet despite an ongoing battle between aesthetic and commercial considerations, film is now recognized as a unique and powerful art form on a par with Painting, Sculpture, Music, Literature, and Drama. As a form of human expression, the moving picture is similar to other artistic media, for the basic properties of other media are woven into its own rich fabric. Film employs the compositional elements of the visual arts: line, form, mass, volume and texture. Like painting and photography, film exploits the subtle interplay of light and shadow. Like sculpture, film manipulates three-dimensional space. But, like pantomime, film focuses on moving images, and as in dance, the moving images in film have rhythm. The complex rhythms of film resemble those of music and poetry; and like poetry in particular, film communicates through imagery, metaphor, and symbol. Like drama, film communicates visually and verbally : visually, through action and gesture; verbally, through dialogue. Finally, like the novel, film expands or compresses time and space, traveling back and forth freely within their wide border. Despite these similarities, film is unique.
1. It is set apart from all other media by its quality of free and constant motion. The continuous interplay of sight, sound, and motion allows film to transcend the static limitations of painting and sculpture – in the complexity of its sensual appeal as well as in its ability to communicate simultaneously on several levels. Film even surpasses drama in its unique capacity for revealing various points of view, portraying action, manipulating time, and conveying a boundless sense of space. 2. Unlike the stage play, film can provide a continuous,...
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