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The Concept of Paracinema Essay

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2021

Response

It is worth noting that chapter 23 raises interesting issues for discussion. It suggests an idea that thematically, dramatically, and stylistically, the evolution of the 1960s-cinema has shifted the attention of artists from a changed reality to the inner world of a person. It intended to supplant straight-line schemes from art either by animating them or by ironically playing them off. Politically critical cinema of the 1960s can be characterized by a surge in creative energy and a qualitatively new evolutionary leap that affected not only the aesthetic appearance but also radically changed its production system.

Interestingly, the reading emphasizes that the cinema system disintegrated not because of technological innovations but because of important socio-political problems that were reflected in the liberal revolution of the population. Before World War II, cinema, especially the American one, was a place where a particular way of living was reflected, which had no points of contact with the life of the rest of the world. In the 1960s, isolation from the world was destroyed: the cinema entered the dense layers of the social atmosphere and lit up with all shades of public sentiment.

Moreover, the reading section stressed that war has substantially changed human consciousness. The United States, less affected by hostilities than any other country, has experienced a period of economic prosperity and relative social well-being. The growth of the wealthy middle class, which brought with it a new lifestyle, expectations, and an almost unlimited passion for consumption, contributed to the formation and final consolidation of the consumer philosophy.

The emphasis was made not on life itself (as a physical existence) but the improvement of its quality as an independent goal. The counterculture was nonetheless not an anti-culture in its desire to destroy everything created before it.

On the contrary, it formed its special attitude to culture in general, taking as its basis the artistic principle of modernism. Chapter 23 also explains that uneven economic development, as well as political violence, were the triggers pushing the development of politically critical cinema of 1960-1970s. Industrialization and filmgoing started to extend to the third world, which then developed revolutionary cinema. As for the Soviet bloc, people wanted to turn communism into a liberal phenomenon, and this was reflected in the cinema as well.

Discussion

The author of the paragraph has noted that the concept of paracinema was very curious, and I agree with this opinion. According to the ideas from the reading, the explicit task of the culture of paracinema is to re-evaluate all cinematographic forms. It is to be done regardless of whether they were clearly rejected by the legitimate film culture or simply ignored by it. Paracinema means everything that exists outside the field of academic film criticism, which has sacralizing functions. The aesthetics of a paracinema can be contrasted with the aesthetics accepted in a legitimate culture, or it can be considered excessive in relation to it.

It is interesting that this type of cinema is for its viewers the last textual frontier that lies beyond the colonizing forces of the academic filmgoing. It could include all those who held the lowest positions in the distribution of educational, cultural, or economic capital. However, the most important thing is that the creators and viewers of the counter-cinema openly opposed themselves to Hollywood cinema and the mainstream of American culture it represented.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Concept of Paracinema." June 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-concept-of-paracinema/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Concept of Paracinema'. 20 June.

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