Its All Greek

Tonight’s assignment is to define Aristotle’s techne in a way that is relatable to my field. Cinema is that such field. The craftsmanship of cinema is difficult to establish because film is a relatively new art form that is evolving rapidly. In its most basic form it is an audiovisual media. On a higher plateau it can be social commentary, a form of escapism, a produced commodity, pure entertainment, a release, a sermon, a teacher or a window to lost or future worlds.

What is Cinema to You?

My specific techne is developing a critical analysis of film theory. This is to say I study academic writings of film so that I can make connections between films, audiences, and other disciplines film may extend itself to.

I have been developing this craft since I was very young. My favorite movie is The Princess Bride.

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For me this film embodies everything that I love about film. It has action, adventure, true love and quick wit. I studied this film religiously; I analyzed the script, the sets, the themes, the stunts-anything I could to be closer to the film. I developed a decent cinema knowledge by the time I was in high school.

In high school I began to make films that and learned the physical craft of film. I grabbed a camera and made my first film which was music video for the classic Ramones hit “California Sun.” It was then that I decided I wanted to study film for life. Upon entering college my whole perception of the craft change. I was shown a completely different world of filmmaking. I was introduced to films without happy endings, producers that went bankrupt, and films that changed the perception of a whole society.

The first theory that a professor used to explain film was Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

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For the unfamiliar, in a cinematic context, the allegory explores film as a shadow world. The prisoners in the cave are likened to the theater audience: they see the film and can not accept the outside world as reality or they do accept reality but feel the need to take part in an imitation.

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This does not seem to bother some as famous French Filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, once described cinema as

“THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FRAUD IN THE WORLD

An early critic (1896), Maxim Gorky, was horrified by cinema calling it the

“Kingdom of Shadows.”

He predicted that cinema would become voyeristic and allow people to see things they should not.

Since Gorky many scholars have debated what film should and could be and what it is currently. Jim Morrison disagrees with Gorky entirely saying that the very “Appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death.” Thus he sees cinema as a way to preserve the self. The cinema is not for one person to define. To practice this craft one must have a deep love and appreciation of film. My craft is to study the critical film essays that helped to further define cinema and more importantly form my own conclusions about what film is and how it will evolve.

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An Extended About Section

Welcome to KTrott on WordPress. The intent of this blog first and foremost is to create a portfolio of new media composition. As a film studies major I want to share with you, the reader, some interesting tidbits in the world of cinema.

Eventually, I would like my academic submissions to resemble that of the academically accepted online publication, Senses of Cinema. By the time I graduate in May I would like to build the essential skills required to be a freelance film writer. My true goal is to travel often, watch a lot of movies, and get paid for it.

I have been fortunate enough to travel to two different countries in the name of film. The first was the Cannes Film Festival in Spring 2011. I was able to intern at the Marche du Film and walk the red carpet for a few premiers. This past summer I went to IL Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy. There a found a love for old movies that I never thought I would have. In October, I am off to Busan, South Korea for the “Cannes of Asia.” Right now I am doing all of the paying for these trips, but eventually I would like to get paid to go to these festivals and report on current industry trends.

The blog color scheme is meant to be reminiscent of a theater. The grey represents the big screen and the black is the inside of the darken theater. The orange is meant to add excitement to the color scheme just as what’s happening on screen adds excitement to the otherwise dull theater.

And what is a theater without entertainment? The focus of this blog is to integrate laughing and learning. There will be written word and there will be YouTube videos. There will be pictures to laugh at and ideas to debate. I believe the conventional idea of the blog can be, and arguably already has been, transformed from that of a personal online extension of the self to a online vehicle that can promote literacy by giving access to a plethora of new ideas and methods of obtaining them.

I will strive to make the blog interesting for it’s readers and in return I hope that the convention of the blog will encourage those with constructive criticism to leave comments that let me know how I could have made the format more appealing and the context better written. The blog gives me the opportunity to be judged by people who do not know me personally, who don’t know where I come from other than the scope of the blog and can provide a relatively unbiased opinion of blog product itself. Essentially the blog will teach me how to reach the widest possible audience.