wtorek, 1 czerwca 2010

Movies made for your money

For people from United States tt's problably an odd situation but for people from Europe it's just as obivous as the fact that the day comes after night. Here's what I'm talking about: in my country an artist in order to make a movie is taking money from a state institution. It's called State Institute of Cinematography. There's a commission which is judging which scenario is worth subsidizing. Commission consists of people from different field: directors, actors, producers, photoprahers., etc. The idea is based on the assumption that "experts" in the given field of art are able to find new genuine artists.

SIC, when introduced, got a lot of criticism for using taxpayers' money for such abstract purposes but now public opinion or journalist - the people who think they know what others think - are more friendly and willing to justify its existence. Why? Since SIC has been working we had a lot more of new 'our' movies in cinemas and according to some - there is more good movies than in the past. That is assumably thanks to SIC activity.

I think that what we can question here isn't the fact that there is a lot of new movies thanks to SIC. It's true. But it's also obvious that when you giving money to many directors you will get many movies. We can't even argue at the point of the quality of movies. Despite philosophical argument that art is a subjective sphere we can truly say that people are watching local movies more willingly and critics are claiming they're truly better.

What we can ask here is the fundamental question: what if there was no SIC, if we let people be creative not only in writing scenarios but also in finding financial resources to bring their project off? What if we lay our trust not in artificial acceleration of market but in the natural maybe slow (not always) process of evolution?

Here we meet contrargument: it is impossible to find financial means to make a movie when you're not living in USA. And it's impossible to have a profit from that movie. Why? Because you have to have theaters to play it - not only on a local but also on the international scale. But there's no theaters to play it - they prefer something which guarantees the profit - Hollywood movies - to something which is a certain loss. No matter how silly the first part of the argument sounds, the second is more important. Is the market the right instance to judge the quality of a work of art or maybe it can't be like this and in order to save the world's artists from dissapearance we should finance them? Are there no objectives in life to which we can sacrifice the standard property rights understanding?

Those are provocative questions but they should give birth to the line of arguments that would be able to this simple ethical fact visible: you can't steal in order to make the world more beautiful place. The first and very concrete argument that can be made on the basis of my country's experience. No matter how good new movies are and how big is their number - their success is still limited. It's still local. They still don't pay off. Also they rarely win foreign festivals, some small ones maybe - if any. That should be the reason to think that maybe subsidizing artists and accelerating their development is something quite opposite to our intentions - it's making them handicapped.

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