a follower on my tumblr asked :
wow what a beautiful question, which definitely requires some thoughtful consideration so thank you for asking me 💕💕
in my humble opinion the most significant value of cinema is its ability to connect. whether that’s with individuals, couples, families, etc. building a community that transcends centuries, borders, religion and culture is a wonderful attribute within movies. you can say this with many art forms (i.e. poetry, music) but in this case cinema is a marriage of moving image and sound – which touches so many human senses.
also a film can represent something larger than its maker and in doing so produce a larger engagement, create social and intellectual capital that might not have been readily available.
as for cinemas contributions that goes without saying! since it can and historically has abided by the template i stated (building a community, provide a unique experience) film has showcased itself as a vehicle for bridging a gap in a otherwise divided world and unfortunately has also been an agent in stratifying populations due to labor exploitation and blatant discrimination. but cinema and its makers permeating culture is fascinating to me… sometimes with iconoclast movies it can be what a case of what came first the chicken or the egg lol? with the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey and John Williams score for Jaws literally becoming the music that’s synonymous with a shark attack and even the bountiful curiosity of the outer space! with The Godfather, the dialogue has literally become the language of the mafia, which is a bit terrifying, but some fictional characters doing fictional things providing the lingo for the actual people is completely wild. cinema living within pop culture and informing people’s language, style, career, etc is a totally fascinating aspect about the power of film (and also the power of audiences to allow a space for something like that to occur).
what are cinemas values? what can it do? answer? help? what about cinema as a vehicle for social change! legendary director Frank Capra once said “if you want to send a message, use Western Union” many believe you should use extreme caution if you want to send a political message through film. but others such as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy lamented in her Oscar win that because of her doc, A Girl in the River, the Pakistani prime minister changed the law surrounding honor killings. now the film itself wasn’t the primary force of change, it would be heinous to disregard years of struggle, grassroots organizing, and general ache for revolution to simply sing a film its highest praises but there is a necessary connection between art and struggle and in my opinion true art should be made by the people for the people, which speaks to crucial need for democratization of cinemas resources if we can achieve this goal. Capra’s quote disregards the nature of art’s main duty IMO ✊