Perhaps because it’s one of the youngest artistic forms, cinema is often assessed in much different manner that literature, or the visual arts. We discuss it in terms of genre, not in terms of thematic offering. Comparing, for example, Corpse Bride and Up because they’re both animated leads to some dubious discussion especially when – like any art form – thematic elements examined in cinema and the way different filmmaker address them make for some stimulating discussion. Motifs in Cinema is a discourse, across nine film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2011 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of the artist or the family dynamic? Like everything else, a film begins with an idea - Motifs in Cinema assesses how the use of a single idea changes when utilised by varying artists.- Andrew K.
Accidentally or otherwise, every year we get several films that deal with the same themes. Often, similarities between these films are so many and so clear that a narrative starts to build around one of these themes. Everyone spoke about the omnipresence of nostalgia in 2011’s films, for instance. Most of these motifs give way to different ones once everybody stops talking about one year and moves on to the next. One theme that never really disappears from the conversation is the dichotomy between fantasy and reality, which is why I chose to write about it as soon as Andrew introduced his Motifs in Cinema mini-blogathon to me.
Fantasy, in the strictest sense of the word, is inseparable from the cinema. What are fictional films if not the fantasy of those who imagine them, write them and act them? What is fantasy if not the imaginary world we immerse ourselves in for a few hours in the dark? Here, I want to write about filmmakers who, aware of the power they hold over their audience and making the most of their psychological advantage, presented an image of fantasy that changed the way we think of reality. Needless to say, different directors had different approaches, they worked in different genres and affected us in distinct ways.