Room 999

Source: PassionForCinema

How does arthouse or independent film relate to growing commercialism?


Check this out:

Partho Sen Gupta — “I don’t make products I make films!”


We’ve invited filmprofessionals from around the world to answer this question in our contemporary, but nonetheless equally urgent, spin off: Room 999.

Nowadays, cinema has a central position as a source of imagery, supplying our encompassing audiovisual culture. Still, as an artform, cinema is under fierce pressure. Development of thought and language has been narrowed down to elite arthouse cinema, which has troubles in reaching it’s audience. The loss which Wenders was fearing, has appeared to be the alienation between cinema and the public.

PAf (Pressure group Arthouse film) strives to keep the debate alive about the positioning of filmart in our society. Not because we don’t have a clue, but rather to sharpen our ideas, and to get them known. Our films contain these ideas too, but they need to be backed up by a contemporary discussion. Room666 was dominated by a postmodern frenzy, but it’s central concern seems actual as never before.

We’ve invited a selection of international directors, producers, distributors and sales agents – all IFFR guests – to reflect on our central thesis: How does arthouse or independent film relate to growing commercialism? Cinema is an expensive artform and every fim is a challenge to finance. We ask ourselves if pure artfilm is possible to maintain itself in these circumstances. Isn’t a director forced to bend to the wishes of financers, funds, televisionstations, private parties, or the bigger audience? What we call arthouse today seems to be subjected to market mechanisms. It seems that artistic freedom is only reserved to the few big directors like Almodovar, Ozon, von Trier and Wong Kar Wai – and still just possible with the coöperation of celebrities, respectively Penelope Cruz, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman and Norah Jones.

Others wil have to submit to smaller budgets and the consequential lesser public appeal.

We’ve asked a reaction to the following statements:

  • Arthouse cinema nowadays is subject to market-mechanisms.
  • The director’s artistic freedom is a fairytale.
  • A film involves many financing partners. This limits the director’s artistic freedom.
  • What do you choose: an author’s signature, or box office success?

Room999 is intended as a survey. After the IFFR 2008 we will research our material and publish our learnings in Dutch national filmmagazine De Filmkrant


~ by Rajeev on February 12, 2008.

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