(Thinking about cinema as a social force--I recommend the entire essay)
Cinema, Responsibility and Formation
by Vittorio Giacci
Cinema is the most suitable form of art and communication to represent the society we live in, and hence it is fully affected by the argumentations ... of freedom and responsibility.
But there is a warning: when we enter the area of communication, things become even more tricky as it is evident that one of the hard-won principles, is exactly the one that concerns the value of the freedom of expression, which, in order to be effective must be free of any conditions.
Any restriction of this freedom would in fact evoke the ghosts of censorship which has caused much suffering to the arts in general and cinema in particular. I am thinking of the films made by Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, Pasolini (to name but a few) whose works, today considered authentic masterpieces, have had a lot of problems with the censorship system.
Nevertheless, we must make some cinema-specific reflections even on this non-negotiable principle.
Unlike other forms of artistic expression, cinema is an "industrial form of art": in order to express itself fully, it needs ever-greater financial investments. This means that the author's artistic expression is conditioned right from the start--and it would be hypocritical not to admit this--by the capital invested. These capital sources can be motivated not just by the simple and legitimate desire for expression, but also by power groups, concentrations and lobbies of all sorts and backgrounds, who can use cinematographic media in instrumental way to advance particular interests that that have little or nothing to do with the noble--and general--principle of the freedom of expression.
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