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The International Writers Magazine

In defence of 'Film' Kulture
Danielle Ward

Entertainment is something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show. Within some forms of entertainment someone is expressing an idea. Some of these ideas capture the imagination of the audience; they become fixed in history and ultimately have power to affect culture. Culture relates to the shared knowledge and values of a society.

Walt Disney

People have been creating these genres for years and it can never quite be defined as to why they started it. It can be argued that film and literature, for example, were created to be consumed by the audience and reader for amusement.

Nowadays though, it is on the increase, but for another reason. As salaries increase so does our ‘throw away income.’ "We have disposable diapers…disposable income, i.e. Income we can "throw away" because it is not required for necessities. The more income we can "throw away", the higher our status in Consuming Society." It means that people have ‘spare’ money and it is likely to be spent on luxuries, such as a trip to the cinema to see a film, or a new book to read. So this money is being spent on the entertainment industry and the films and art must be produced to meet this demand.

Sometimes entertainment develops into more than just a consumed piece of work. Sometimes the messages in them can permanently affect society. For example, the film ‘Schindlers list’ (1993, Steven Spielberg.) is an historical drama that was created to reflect events of the holocaust of World War II. ‘It tells the compelling true story of the German businessman Oskar…a saviour of more than 1,100 Jews.’ Was the film created for the message that it illustrates? Spielberg hopes that it ‘will remain a living reminder of the horror of hatred.’
"I hope it'll be used to educate young people as to the ultimate dangers of how far hate can take us… this is a living example and there are still witnesses that are alive that survived it."
(Spielberg, March 18th 2004. Katie Couric interview for MSNBC.)
He decided that in his power as a director he could produce a piece of non-profit work that would educate the audience in the history of their country. Spielberg was clever in his approach to such a sensitive subject; he used witnesses to support something that might otherwise have been approached with a lax attitude by the audience. "There are survivors who can testify to those facts…sort of give support to the credibility that the film needs. I mean anything about history needs that credible reinforcement of eyewitness testimony."

Some creators of art music, film and literature take a different approach. They create entertainment for the sake of entertaining an audience. Animators use drawings and various techniques to show movement. By showing a series of frames, (24 frames per second. See below) each one slightly different to the last, the illusion of seamless movement is created. ‘These early films evolved to run at 24 Frames Per Second, which has been the standard for close to a century.’ Celluloid (a type of plastic) was developed around 1913. This improved the efficiency of animation production. The creators were now able to ‘sandwich’ moving characters between layers of material, which are transparent except for the drawing on them. Parts of a scene could remain motionless (a table for instance) and the characters could move around it. It saved unnecessary repeated drawings.

One such animator creating entertainment for amusement was Walt Disney. "We are not trying to entertain the critics. I'll take my chances with the public." (Disney.) He developed another aspect in animation, sound. His first movie cartoon was ‘Steamboat Willie’ in 1928. In it Mickey is a roustabout on a river steamer. ‘When a goat eats the sheet music, Mickey and Minnie use various objects to create music.’ This is an example of the synopsis. It is clear that there is no hidden meaning and no lesson to be learnt from observing it.
As head of Walt Disney productions, Disney wanted to inspire everyone to follow their own dreams. He disregarded age and saw no limits to people’s imagination and innocence. "Sheer animated fantasy is still my first and deepest production impulse. The fable is the best storytelling device ever conceived and the screen is its best medium." (Disney.)

To conclude, "In defence of art, music, film and literature, why do people create it and why do we consume it?" I believe, from my readings, that they can be created just for fun, to provide fun. Some creators are just trying to inspire the innocent in a light-hearted way. (Disney, for example.) Others are taking on a greater challenge when creating their works. (E.g. Spielberg.) They want to broadcast an influential piece in the hope of persuading or warning an audience. I also believe that they can either be consumed for pleasure, a simple form of entertainment. Or they can be consumed for a more educational purpose. These genres can be an ideal way of communicating ideas and beliefs.

© Danielle Ward Jan 19th 2005

Danielle is a Creative Arts student at Portsmouth University

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