Party of the Uncertain

"If there were a party of those who aren't sure they're right, I'd belong to it." Albert Camus

A Very Preliminary Hypothesis on Cinema

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

It dawned on me last night after I’d finished viewing Max Ophuls’ award-winning La Ronde (1950)* that we’d probably have to deal with far fewer stupid films if sex weren’t such an issue. Given, La Ronde‘s not the worst of them, and for the time, it was a pretty daring movie. I think that’s my point, though; the whole thing was an exercise in maintaining an arched eyebrow, a self-conscious and -congratulatory concoction aimed at showing how world-weary and knowing about hook-ups and games were the production team.

I don’t really think the film deserves such abuse, but I feel I’ve reached some sort breaking point, where sappy and/or simplistic takes on love, romance, sex, and boredom-easing melodrama are concerned. And think about the fantastic literature that has been produced, thanks to those very things: Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Scarlet Letter, Lolita, etc., etc.: none really has any excuse for existing in a world shorn of sexual hang-ups. Maybe it’s just the fact that cinema, especially of the variety that gets splashed on every billboard, magazine cover, TV screen, and news feed, is a much more in-your-face kind of medium, and being so dependent on grabbing and maintaining a mass audience, it simply has to make an issue out of everything, regardless of insignificance or staleness. If this is true, however, American soap operas should be a much more popular phenomenon than they are, belaboring each plot point for days or weeks on end. And where does reality TV fit in in, between, and/or amongst these genres?

As noted in the subject heading, these thoughts are so preliminary, they probably shouldn’t even be posted at this point. Maybe feedback, though, will help put some meat on the bones of this monstrosity, if there’s any to be had.

* (Based on the play by Arthur Schnitzler.)


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This entry was posted on July 17, 2013 by and tagged , , , , , , .
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