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Cinema & Art: When the Twain Meet


What constitutes art? The scope of art is wide; encompassing different channels and media. From conventional paintings and sculpture to installations, performances, cinema and the written word; art manifests itself in every aspect of life and culture. Although the history of cinema is significantly shorter when compared with that of art, it is probably one of the most accessible mediums and holds mass appeal like no other.
Names of auteur directors such as François Truffaut, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Wong Kar Wai inspire much discussion and debate. Their films have been lauded by critics, in spite of some controversial issues and many have developed a cult following.
But how does a film become ‘art’? Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless makes ingenious use of jump cuts and a jazz score to create a movie that was one of the finest of the French New Wave cinema. Though, innovative technique can in no way be considered the only criterion for judging a film’s art quotient. Sometimes, it is the beautiful imagery and motifs it evokes, à la Wong Kar Wai’s classic In the Mood for Love. While some cinephiles may consider the edgy and divisive Pulp Fiction as an art film, other purists might find themselves aghast at the idea of such seeming depravity in the name of cinema.