Is there a social function in the Movies ? If so,what is it and how can it be revealed through major films?Review: The book deals with the psychological and socialogical aspect of movies. Their relationship to human dreams and their impact on the psychic of the audiences It shows how many film directors gained through their works the status of eminent thinkers and hence should be considered as a reference as much as other classic ones established in the areas of politics , sociology or any other human area of knowledge .
Abdelwahab gives an overview of the book:
A SOCIAL FUNCTION FOR THE CINEMA?
There is no doubt that the artistic act is an act of production and that the emotion remains the first condition of its fulfilling and the condition of the artistic terrain’s fertility as well.
Another undeniable fact is that movies appeared in the twentieth century to cope with a social demand and need. The cinema is not the reflection of the reality .It is a facet of this reality. It is a component that came, at the appropriate time, to enrich it.
The cinema: is the dream of the human societies.
We dream in the movies: the obscure theatre recreates the night, the film: the dream images.
Everything, in the ceremonial of the film screening participates in deactivating the relationship of the spectator to the immediate reality. The darkness, the sitting position, the comfort preceding the projection induce a passivity that increases as the film moves on.
" Indeed, the spectator is not in state of hypnosis, but the autonomous alpha rhythm of his brain, as shown by the electroencephalogram, is more ample, more regular "1
The motor inhibition is therefore quite real. Slowly, the film asserts itself as responding to the same imaginary need of the dream.
Aren’t - we therefore entitled to wonder if, like the dream at the individual’s level, the movies have not got a repairing function of the spectators’ psyche?
1-(Edgar MORIN: Le Cinéma ou l’homme imaginaire- The cinema or the imaginary man -Gonthier1958 – Paris (My translation)
Closing for any reason a theatre, would not that amount to a displacement of the spectacle to the street to satisfy the need that the theater can no longer satisfy?
Could we not consider the spectacle in theatres, as a means for the audience, to unload their excess of energy of all sorts that has not yet, found its way in real life?
It seems that there is a movie function (nevertheless to be verified) that we seem not to acknowledge to cinema: it is its repairing function at the level of the audience’s imagination.
On the other hand, in the world of the moving pictures, Could we not class the films according to the objective that they aim to reach?
We will have, for example:
1 – The Beacon films (orientation).
2 – The Warning films.
3 – The Pedagogical films.
4 – The Mobilizing films.
5 – The Therapeutic films.
And in this respect, any important film is to be considered as an audience programming film (in the “data-processing” meaning of the term).
Anyway, when showing a film, we speak of a “program”, term that is strongly significant. That is for the cinema.
What about the people who make it?
No doubt that among people who are extremely aware of the problems of our world, we find the filmmakers.
The status of the film director in a society is, before all, a status of an intellectual, a thinker.
Even if he does not tell it expressly, his film, if it is an important one, is here to suggest it.
An attentive perusal of some great films makes us aware, that these are our modern philosophers. If the word existed, we would call these moviemakers by neologism: “philosorectors” by contracting the words philosophy and directors.
When you listen to them through their interviews, on television or in specialized magazines, you are often struck by their knowledge and culture.
They are truly the spearhead of the human thought.
Many film directors have already given answers to many crucial issues.
And as a matter of fact, we must no longer feel ashamed, when speaking about psychoanalysis, to quote Hitchcock, Visconti besides Freud or when we speak about politics , sociology or any other human area of knowledge ,to quote Renoir, Fellini , Chahine, Ray ,Wilder , Ford, Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola to mention only a few among them.
The moviemaker (re)shows the beauty of the universe to people that have rendered blind, the banality of the habituation and it is not surprising that many among the filmmakers , fight to set love as a milestone and hope as an orientation for the human race.
Hadn’t this always been the dream of all the Prophets?
In this perspective, how about trying to see, through the movies, which are a human adventure among many others, the (GREAT) HUMAN ADVENTURE.
Acting and filmmaking are an intelligent act that addresses the human intelligence.
It is a process where the sole actors are: intelligence and emotions.
For our part, we have made this experience that consists in trying to see life through the camera’s lens.
Tremendous was our astonishment! We have gained in lucidity, and the following questions spontaneously occurred to our mind:
-Is this experience worth sharing?
-The movies: a great school?
And the answer seems to be: why not?
Abdelouahab Hammoudi is an Algerian writer ,screenwriter and filmmaker. He has several works to his credit. Among them are:
1983 - Blowing in the Wind
1984 - Megahertz (Won a 3rd Prize)
1985 - Super narcissus