Movies are often considered to be a form of art. What makes movies art?This question is for a Film Appreciation and Study class.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many defintions of art and what separates art from a more common form, but if you accept the definition of art as

"... the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect..."

then films that fit this description must certainly be considered art. A certain mastery or skill level is to be expected, and a true piece of art is intended to stimulate "thoughts and emotions": They must be aesthetically pleasing. 

Art is not just restricted to paintings and sculptures, but can include forms such as film, music, literature and photography. Obviously, art is seen from the eye of the beholder: A young child's attempt at finger painting may not be seen as artistic to most people; however, the parents of that child are likely to be emotionally attracted to such an effort, and they may consider it a true work of art. The same can be said of films. Movies such as Citizen Kane and Casablanca are rich in symbolism and have garnered a strong reaction from viewers through the ages; most critics consider them among the best films ever made, and they fit the description of film art. Even certain aspects of filmaking, such as the acting and editing, can be considered artistic. And, there is the belief that any film made is a work of art, since it encompasses a certain skill level and, presumably, intitiates an emotional response from at least some of its audience.

wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've always been fascinated by Saroyan's definition:  Art is looking at things carefully.  Of course movies are commodity, but those movies that allow the viewer to see things carefully -- whether plot development, character revelations, or simply visual records -- are art, also.  We have to expand the definition to include such wonders as "Last Year at Marienbad" to realize how movies can make us "see" things. No novel (even Robbe-Grillet's original), no sculpture, no dance recital, etc. has ever depicted so convincingly the state of unknowing that occurs when we stand back from the so-called present moment.  Because of its "language," only film could do it.

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Movies are art because they are the product of imagination and artistic vision. An artist is one who, through his or her efforts, is able to invoke a specific emotional state or response in the viewer or listener. This means that it actually takes many forms of art to create a movie - acting, music, visual work, special effects, scriptwriting. The movie itself is the net product of a large cooperative group of artists, all working under the direction of the director, who is both artist and project manager.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends on whether you are talking about what we might call "high art" or if you are using a broader definition of art.

At its broadest, art is simply anything creative that is done to evoke certain emotions or to encourage us to see certain of what the artist thinks are truths.  All movies do this to some extent.  They are clearly works of creativity (in that they are not expository works) and they are meant to evoke emotions in us (even if those are not always exalted emotions).

belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One thing to consider is that the Medium of Motion Pictures is objectively considered artistic -- that is, a tool used to create art. However, not every motion picture created with these tools can be considered art. Again, with the subjective nature of Art as a whole, there will be disagreement on specifics, but you won't find many people arguing that the works of Friedberg and Seltzer can be compared on any artistic level to those of Scorsese, or Kubrick, or Bergman.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that there are many different definitions of what art is. Some may look at graffiti and not consider it art. Others may look at it and state that it is.

For me, I do consider some movies art. (In the same way that others may not consider trash re-utilized as sculpture art.) For me, movies which allow one to expand their minds, appeal to many different senses, and evoke emotions are the best examples of artistic movies.


stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Movies appeal to the senses through vision, sound, the use of emotion to stir deep opinion and share experiences with others. I find all of these to be aspects of "art" that I treasure whenever I experience them, whether it's listening to great music, observing a live dramatic performance, looking at a great painting, or in other ways. Movies are art because they allow for human expression to be presented and shared.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we consider literature to be art, then the visual representation of the words on the page through the actions and speech of actors, by extension, would be considered art.  In my Film and Lit class we talk about the "text" of film by discussing how light, space, and sound all contribute to the impression of the words and actions of the performers.  Film is most assuredly art.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Movies are art because they are interpretations of life.  There are a lot of artistic aspects of movies.  They are a juxtaposition of cinematography, sound and words.  A director and an editor basically paint a picture through carefully chosen sounds, music and dialogue as well as shots and images.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Movies often include drama, which is certainly art.  Also cinematography is artistic in its use of light, color, scenery, etc.

Wiggin42 | Student

" Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its representation of reality), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities."

Movies fit all of these characteristics. They usually depict reality in some way shape or form. The reality of human nature and fate are often depicted seemingly effortlessly in movies. This is why we can relate to the characters on screen. Movies also appeal to emotions such as love, anger, and sorrow.

arrellbelle | Student

I consider movies to be works of art. Have you ever heard of stop-motion films? Famous stop-motion films include Wallace and Gromit, Coraline, and the Nightmare before Christmas. People who work with this time of filming technique must create the characters by hand for each film, seperately, and these can take up to thousands of hours. Artists must also move the pieces themselves after each take to make it look like they are moving. This takes into account sculpting, a form of art.

helpmewithschool | Student

Films are a form of art be because they are extremely expressive. However, it is not only the actors who express something, but the camera work, cinematogrophy, costumes, etc.

handyman01 | Student

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kinghtalexis | Student

A movie comprises of various arts, such as photography (camera angles used to make a movie), fashion (dresses and costumes), acting (actors and extras), music (background play), writing skill (script & storyline) etc.

riot174 | Student

alot of things about movies would make it be considered to be an art. just as dancing is an art (because art to me is expressive and dancing is definatly expressive) acting is also. plus all the detail put into it...just so many things would consider it an art.

jbrenw | Student

Movies are considered art because they are a way a person expresses themselves. For example if you give a group of 20 film students an assignment to make a movie based in 1940 you will get 20 completely different movies because they will all have a different story to tell.

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