chapter  46
14 Pages

FILM

ByMURRAY SMITH

I will take as my focus in this essay the relationship between film and art (and assume, following most theorists of film, that the notions of film aesthetics and film art can be treated as synonymous, thus bracketing the largely unexamined issue of the relationship between art and the aesthetic in the context of film). Where the relations among film and art have been discussed, the outcome has often been a disdain for the artistic dimensions, achievements or potential of film. A usefully extreme version of such disdain can be found in the work of the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton who, in his discussions of photography and film, excludes the mass of popular fiction film making from the possibility of aesthetic achievement or distinction, dismissing it as the “mass marketing of sentimentality under the guise of imaginative drama” (Scruton 1981: 86).