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

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team