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The Politicization of Art and Film


Palmerin
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... among the worst is its politicization of the arts.

The WIKIPEDIA article CULT OF PERSONALITY says that practically all the art and music of North Korea is dedicated almost exclusively to the glorification of the Kim clan. That, of course, started with the Soviet Union and its subordination of the arts to propaganda; the movies of such as Eisenstein may be technically masterly, but their content is totally repugnant to anybody with a soul and a mind.

I once read an article about Renoir written by a feminist critic. As you surely have guessed, that lady berated Pierre Auguste for belittling women with his nudes, which supposedly objectified them. I am absolutely sure that it was not Renoir's intention to belittle or objectify women, but try telling that to someone who sees art exclusively in terms of political propaganda.

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With a thread title like that, you run the risk of this thread being locked. I would suggest renaming it to something like "Totalitarianism and Film" or something like that. That way the discussion can focus on how dictatorships of both the right and the left have tried to influence their publics through film. The moderator has often warned us that discussions of contemporary politics is off limits, and this has been interpreted broadly.

 

In the past, moderation policies on these TCM boards have not been supportive of strident political partisanship and polemics. Here, there is a low threshold and tolerance level of political polarisation by the moderators. There are many, many other websites where openly partisan political rhetoric is welcome, but I don't think this is one of them.

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While I agree that politics and art make very poor bedfellows, I think the title of your thread is inflammatory, possibly deliberately so. There are many examples of "right-wing" dogma affecting artists as well.

Good idea would be to stay away from such obvious subjective statements, and, as Thelma Todd reasonably suggested, re-title the thread (her idea for a new thread title was a good one.)

 

The concept of a discussion around how dictatorships (whatever their wing configuration may be) have long affected for the worse, artists and the work they create, is in itself an interesting one.

 

However, I say, let's stay away from wings altogether, right, left, or chicken. 

 

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The concept of a discussion around how dictatorships (whatever their wing configuration may be) have long affected for the worse, artists and the work they create, is in itself an interesting one.

 

Who's known to suppress artistic freedom.

 

“It is impossible to be truly artistic without the risk of offending someone somewhere.”  - Wayne Gerald  Trotman

 

(who's quote should be applied to Fred's Mikado thread.)

 

The thread title is wrong but maybe it can be directed towards how oppressive ideology can suppress artistic freedom, especially in film making throughout the world. 

Edited by hamradio
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While I agree that politics and art make very poor bedfellows, I think the title of your thread is inflammatory, possibly deliberately so. There are many examples of "right-wing" dogma affecting artists as well.

Good idea would be to stay away from such obvious subjective statements, and, as Thelma Todd reasonably suggested, re-title the thread (her idea for a new thread title was a good one.)

 

The concept of a discussion around how dictatorships (whatever their wing configuration may be) have long affected for the worse, artists and the work they create, is in itself an interesting one.

 

However, I say, let's stay away from wings altogether, right, left, or chicken. 

How can a title be changed? I can't find any EDIT button.

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No doubt politicization of the arts is a serious subject, but I think the

worst aspect of leftist dogma was the attempt to ban supersized

soft drinks. That goes right to the heart of our society in a way

that art doesn't. If the commie manifesto contained eleven main

points instead of ten, you can bet that banning big gulp beverages

would have been that eleventh point.

 

 

And they are trying to take the fat out of our hamburgers! When will this all stop? What ban is next? No one is safe.

 

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And they are trying to take the fat out of our hamburgers! When will this all stop? What ban is next? No one is safe.

 

 

Well the NYC soda ban was rejected by the courts.   It is highly likely any ban on fat in hamburgers would also be rejected by the courts if it ever became law.   So when will it stop?    Most of the time it (actual bans) don't make it into law.     Calling for things to be banned (by both sides), will never stop and it shouldn't since that is protected free speech.

 

So what I see again is mostly paranoia.

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Please consider the title changed to OF ALL THE EVILS PERPETRATED BY 20th CENTURY DOGMA (regarding computers I am no more than a child that struggles to learn reading and writing).

Why this title? Propaganda comes from the CONGREGATIO PROPAGANDA FIDEI=CONGREGATION FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH--thus it referred originally to religious propaganda, a type to which most people do not object. As to cult of personality, it could be said that it applies to someone like Queen Victoria, a lady so admired in Canada that her birthday is a national Canadian holiday.

The problem with 20th century propaganda is that, beginning with Mussolini in 1922 and followed closely by Stalin in 1924, it became identified with people definitely not as admirable as Queen Victoria. It is very revealing that Stalin identified, not with someone admirable like Peter the Great, but instead with the 16th century version of Idi Amin, Ivan the Terrible (very appropriate nickname). Not surprisingly, when Saddam Hussein looked for a role model, he chose Stalin, whom he followed slavishly both in style of governance and in personality cult.

Political nature abhors a vacuum. Thus as religion lost much of its importance many self appointed Messiahs and pseudo religions rushed to take its place. That is how you have today the corpses of Lenin, Mao and Ho Chi Minh enshrined as holy relics, and feminism and other politically correct dogmas abusing the reputations of people like Pierre Auguste Renoir, whose art never had a political agenda, but instead was simply designed to make people glad and happy.

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There is nothing new, original, or especially troubling about the observations you make.  From the earliest historical times, from the Maya in the Americas, the Shang in China, and Ur in Mesopotamia, art was used to validate and reinforce the ruling regime.  For all practical purposes, all art and artists were, if not the direct employees of the state, the protected of royal and aristocratic patrons.  The concept of art not created for political purposes is a relatively recent phenomenon.  It was only with the development of Romanticism, which went along with the Industrial Revolution, and the rise of the Bourgeoisie, which enabled artists to make a living apart from patrons, that notions of the artist as rebel, and autonomous social observer/critic could develop.  Even so, political objectives more often than not, play a part in the art.

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Why are you singling out "leftist" dogma as perpetuating the evil of "politicization of the arts"? Historically in the US at least it has been the far political right that has sought to suppress free speech and used political litmus tests and blacklisting to prevent artists from creating art.

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Why are you singling out "leftist" dogma as perpetuating the evil of "politicization of the arts"? Historically in the US at least it has been the far political right that has sought to suppress free speech and used political litmus tests and blacklisting to prevent artists from creating art.

Right!....like a crucifix standing in a jar of urine. :) Art should not be used as an means to scapegoat slander of religion.

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Guest TCMModerator1

I have changed the title of this thread to something less inflammatory.  I saw the OP was looking to change it as well.

 

I was going to put something in the title about censorship but the irony would have been to much!  :rolleyes:

 

 

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I thought it was a BUCKET of urine.

 

Point is, regardless of "slandering" religion, or not, it's protected by the first amendment. 

 

Let the artists, art instructors or critics define what's "proper" art or not.  I didn't get out on a cold, rainy day to stand in a long line at the polling place to vote for some dunderheaded candidate for CONGRESS to decide what I would appreciate as "art" or not.  I'll decide what I wish to read, watch or listen to, thank you.  I know HOW to turn the radio and television off, or change the station or channel if I see or hear anything that offends my sensibilities, and feel NO need to supress or deny anyone else from the ability to see or hear it and decide for THEMselves. 

 

I figure, if "art" lovers feel that paintings of nude women fornicating with SWANS is acceptable, then ANYthing goes!

 

Sepiatone

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As an actor and playwright, I do have to say that artistic expression is artistic expression, and expression is free speech, so art naturally falls into political expression by the basics, and any and every art form basically responds to the times of which it is made. Would we have not paid attention culturally to Franco's regime  if Picasso didn't paint Guernica? Would we have not paid attention albeit slightly to the human cost of lynching if it wasn't for Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit?" Would we not have seen the humanity behind those who have suffered from HIV/AIDS as well as faced discrimination against their sexual orientation if it wasn't for the 1993 film Philadelphia? 

 

Call it what you will, as it is your freedom of speech to, but if you are threatened by someone else's expression of a basic human right in this country, a right not bestowed easily in other countries, then who is the propagandist? 

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