Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 20, No. 1, 2021
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
  Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Chris Barry
Don Dewey
Howard Richler
Gary Olson
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
  Music Editor
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
  Photographer Jerry Prindle
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Charles Tayler
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somerville
Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward




Movies have become one of the most influential factors in modern society. From starting new trends to educating the ordinary people, movies undoubtedly make an impression on the general public. Since the discovery of the very first motion picture in 1890s, movies have become a visual documentation on events of human evolution. Talking about the movies that are produced for entertainment purposes, here is a quote, from the Pulitzer Prize winner film critic Roger Ebert:

We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds not simply in sense of identifying with the characters, but by seeing the world as another person sees it.

Roger once said that art is the closest that we could come to understanding how a stranger feels and movies, as an amalgam of audio and visual form of arts, make a very complex and sophisticated form of art. There is an undeniable effect that movies have in our thought process. When we exit a theatre after watching a movie, we leave with the definite kind of thoughts depending upon the movie we watched. Preoccupied with the responsibilities of daily life, we skip through myriads of social and emotional experiences that keep us grounded and humane. We live in a world teeming with diversity we fail to seize the moment so busy are we fulfilling our commitments. And that is where movies are a sweet reminder of who we are and what we have.

Let us take Forrest Gump for instance that portrays the innocence of a regular person, with the spirit to make something out of himself despite all the shortcomings. Or the more recent Happythankyoumoreplease, which shows characters, no different from the ones in our neighbourhood. The characters in the reel world are no different from those in our real world and the challenges they face are just a version of the ones we face. And movies help us understand life through different perspectives.

Let us take modern historical period movies and old classic ones, which depict how things were in the days gone by. As ordinary people they tend to be a reminder of our heritage, a source of reminiscence and nostalgia. There are also movies like Blade Runner which give us a peek into how things could be in the future, and there are ones that make us laugh and have a good time. Educating us, tickling our funny bones to cautioning us about the future events that could fall upon us, movies have an undeniable influence on our thoughts and actions.


Cinema as a technology has grown from a simple fast moving collection of pictures to a complicated industry. With the technology's ever growing popularity, movies have now become an integral part of our daily life. Be it in a friendly chat among friends or the daily news broadcast, we love to talk about film.
Primarily a form of entertainment, movies are often educational and instructive. Many people tend to learn from movies more than any other formal source, although that might seem like an overstatement. In many under developed countries movies and television series are used as the means for educating the population for social reform. But movies also convey negative values and consequences.

Movies that fall under the genres like historical drama, historical war movies and biopics are often criticized for taking liberty with the historical facts. One of such movies is Pearl Harbour, which was released under much criticism. When film makers take liberties with historical facts, is it disrespectful? And what about the viewer who comes to believe the fiction is a fact?

On the other hand there are many movies criticized for violent content. Directors like Quentin Tarantino in Hollywood and Anurag Kashyap in Bollywood are able to justify violent content but there is no denying that the exposure may cause personality disorder in kids and other receptive demographic.

And while violent are categorized as such, the labelling is only as good as the implementation.


"The point is not to avoid all Stupid Movies, but to avoid being a Stupid Moviegoer, It's a difficult task separating the good Stupid Movies from the bad ones . . . " -Roger Ebert

Often movies are termed as stupid waste of time. The opinion is not wrong on its own but we have to keep in mind that there are literally millions of movies representing every genre, and though many of them deserve the oblivion that awaits them, some of them deserve our attention. Thus, the responsibility falls upon us to choose the movie that makes it worth our time, which is why we often turn to reputable movie criticism for guidance.

Every work of art is subject to one's own perception and interpretation and movies are no different. Just like any art, each movie is bound to have its point of view and an agenda. Film is arguably the most expressive among all the art forms and as such it is capable of engaging global audiences. Blockbusters are made with this purpose in mind but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the most popular film of the day is the right film for you.


Movies have become an integral part of our cultural life. We love to go to the movies and we love to talk about them.

The world of cinema is also a huge employer, providing work to millions of technicians, assistance and actors worldwide. So even bad movies provide opportunities to many who would otherwise be unemployed.








Arts & Opinion, a bi-monthly, is archived in the Library and Archives Canada.
ISSN 1718-2034


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